DIACCESS - Digital ACCeleration for medium SizE Sustainable cities
"Sustainability is a key challenge for everyone on this planet. Växjö municipality have for many years progressively been working with sustainability and one thing we've learned is that finding solutions for the challenges of tomorrow, requires cooperation today. Therefore, the project DIACCESS is so important as it combines the competence and creativity of not just the whole of Växjö municipality and our 7 partners, but also entrepreneurs and innovators from outside of our organizations. All focusing on the challenges we have and within the boundaries of public procurement. An open IT-platform further supports innovation by lowering the effort to develop sensor based and data driven solutions, empowering more to turn their ideas into commercial products or services helping us and others alike to face the challenges ahead."
The city of Växjö has many societal challenges linked to the Sustainable Development Goals to tackle. Digital solutions are identified as a mean to solve or bridge some of those challenges. To deal with these, using digital tools, a myriad of underlying obstacles must be tackled at the same time as the innovation culture must change. The current IT infrastructure is proprietary, stand-alone, purpose build systems holding data in silos. The fact that systems do not interlink and share data, minimise the opportunities to use integrated data-sources for innovation. Procurement for digital services is a challenge due to rather rigid procurement processes and lack of collaboration between needs owners, developers and end-users which results in IT-solutions which rarely completely solve the problem for the municipal organizations. There are plenty of data collected from different actors in the city including from the local authority, but the data is not stored in a common platform. The effort for innovators to collect, get access to and use data to create valuable services are high which hinders the innovation and commercialization on data.
The Digital Acceleration for Medium Sized Cities project (DIACCESS) aims on solving societal challenges by establishing close innovation partnerships between municipal departments and companies and digital innovators. The aim of the project is to make available highly functional and relevant digital solutions that solves needs and challenges for Växjö’s own operations while also making solutions which could be marketed by the innovators to other municipalities in Sweden and beyond. The assumption is that very close innovation partnerships based on innovation procurement contracts will allow the partners to jointly, and in cooperation with stakeholders in the value chains, including citizens to develop solutions which is fully solving the challenges identified and at the same time bring opportunities for innovators to bring new innovative products to the market.
The project is built around three major components: firstly, a digital acceleration hub that will facilitate the innovation processes from identifying needs to finalised digital service by engaging in everything from business intelligence, stakeholder engagement, citizen outreach, pilot testing to completed and verified prototype.
The development will be done in five consecutive cycles which tackles approximately three to four challenges in each cycle. The digital acceleration hub will also facilitate digital development processes based on data, by making data sources available to digital innovators. The digital acceleration hub will be supported by the second component, the digital lab, which is a technical unit which will assist in making digital prototypes, perform service testing and work on data maintenance and cleaning.
The third component is a data platform which will host both the data sources that evolves from the project but also be available for other municipal and third-party data sources, including allowing external data providers to commercialise their data to innovators.
- Municipality of Växjö
- Linneaus University
- GodaHus - NGO
- Castellum City Förvaltning AB - private enterprise
- dizparc Växjö AB - SME
- Wexnet AB - SME
- Vöfab - public SME
- Företagsfabriken - business support organisation
DIACCESS has transformed Växjö to be a city where digital and smart city solutions are widely used to solve challenges and improve the life for citizens. The municipal services and digital innovators work closely together in a new and well-tuned process to seek smart solutions which are made available for many other cities by the digital innovators that substantially benefitted from introducing the new digital services to the market.
The IT platform developed has opened completely new opportunities to develop smart, integrated solutions from data and the awareness of data for innovation has been substantially increased among all relevant stakeholders.
Many of the needs and challenges connected to the sustainable development goals has been solved and the new ways to identify and tackle upcoming challenges is seen as an opportunity for both municipal services and innovators.
Växjö is well known to be a smart development hub for digital innovation and a city that can attract competent IT-staff.
January 2020: Team and office for the Växjö Digital Acceleration Hub (WP4) mobilized and ready. Assemble the first rendition of needs/challenges backlog.
February 2020: Start the first iteration of initiatives for identified needs and challenges.
March 2020: The digital lab’s is equipped and ready to receive the trainees.
November 2020: The first 4 trainees leave the project for the regular labor market.
August 2020: 1-3 innovation processes have been started and the data platform ready to receive data from data providers.
January 2021: The first ~3 digital solutions are ready for market testing.
February 2021: A system for improved snow clearance and de-icing is installed, starts operating and is continuously improved.
March 2021: A system for temperature control has been installed in three schools and are substantially decreasing the energy consumption in the pilot buildings.
August 2022: 10 work processes of Växjö have been improved with assistance of DIACCESS and 16 digital services have been introduced to the Municipal organisation in Växjö and are being rolled out to market by the innovators.