innovation | change | leadership

GeniUS! Open

Transferring good practice in City Open Innovation

In 2014, when working for the City of York, Ian wrote the successful bid for them to run an ERDF funded project through the URBACT programme that enables the exchange of knowledge and experience between cities through defined projects and networks.

The project was one of six "pilot transfer networks" funded by URBACT to test the transfer of an existing practice to other EU cities.

Genius Open saw York lead the project to transfer its open innovation model ("GeniUS! York") to three other EU cities: Tallinn (Estonia), San Sebastián (Spain) and Siracusa (Italy). Ian led the overall project for York, with the practice being transferred to and implemented by the other three cities over 15 months during 2014 & 2015.

The transfer projects had two main aims:

  • Provide cities with new or additional benefit from adopting existing good practice already in use elsewhere;
  • Test and understand the process of transferring good practice from one city to another and capture this as a defined methodology where possible.

The project was a great success, for both URBACT and the cities involved, with the practice having an impact in all cities (particularly Siracusa and their ways of working and engaging with their citizens). The learning derived from the project was significant, greatly informing URBACT in the design of their Transfer networks for the new programme and that same learning is still in use in our practice at Viatic today.

Video summary of the Genius Open project on You Tube


Project Info

  • Lead CityYork
  • Date 2014/15
  • Type EU collaboration project - Transfer of practice
  • Partners York  |  Siracusa  |  San Sebastián  |  Tallinn
  • Website www.urbact.eu/genius-open
  • @GeniusOpen

More info

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