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New Activities Promoting Nordic Sustainable City Solutions

The rapid pace of urbanization affects millions of people around the globe, posing challenges for health, safety and the environment. It also creates a growing global demand for solutions for the urban environment.

The Nordic countries can offer high quality solutions to global urban challenges based on our Nordic strengths such as good governance, public-private partnerships, design tradition, environmental and social consciousness as well as robust technological solutions.

Nordic Innovation has co-financed four Nordic consortia that will host activities promoting sustainable Nordic urban development solutions to stakeholders outside the Nordic region.

Combined, the projects have a total budget of NOK ‭6 122 600‬ and have received NOK 2 095 200 in co-financing. The funding comes from the Nordic Sustainable Cities special initiative and the projects will be run in 2020 and 2021.

You can find descriptions of the four projects further down in this article.

Promotion activities and collaboration models

The four projects will host events and activities in the Nordic countries, the UK, India and Singapore. The activities span from creating a model for international smart city collaboration to hosting workshops, matchmaking meetings and give business support.

quote author

We are confident that the selected projects will contribute to strengthen the Nordic brand globally and help promote Nordic businesses outside the Nordic region

– Håkan Lind, Nordic Innovation

Senior Innovation Adviser at Nordic Innovation, Håkan Lind, is working closely with the four projects and is excited to see what impact the projects will have.

"We originally received 34 applications for co-financing, so the competition for these grants were really though. We are confident that the selected projects will contribute to strengthen the Nordic brand globally and help promote Nordic businesses outside the Nordic region", says Lind.

Due to the current coronavirus situation, several of the activities will be conducted digitally and are subject to change depending on how the pandemic develops.

"The current situation obviously makes it challenging to conduct events, but all the co-financed projects have been very flexible in their planning. And we will try our best to be as flexible as possible in our end too", he adds.

30 international promotion activities

Since 2017, Nordic Innovation has co-financed 26 Nordic activities and events that has promoted sustainable Nordic urban development solutions to stakeholders all over the globe through six rounds of grants for such events and activities. With the four new co-financed projects the total number of projects is now 30. The projects have a combined budget of NOK 35 million and have received NOK 12 million in co-funding from Nordic Innovation.

The grants have been given out through the Nordic Sustainable Cities special initiative. Nordic Sustainable Cities is a part of Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges, which is the five Nordic prime ministers' initiative to share knowledge and experience from the Nordic region to help reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative is coordinated by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

These are the financed projects:

Nordic-UK Sustainable Cities Partnership

The aim of the Nordic-UK Sustainable Cities Partnership is to cement the Nordics' joint responsibility and relationship with the UK in combating climate change through a collaborative workshop series based in London. The workshops will focus on three specific thematic areas, namely, circular economy and waste management, urban mobility as well as integrated planning. This project will help increase collaboration between sustainable cities in the UK and the Nordics, as well as further strengthen the networks of Nordic stakeholders.

Organizers: Business Sweden (Project Lead), Business Finland, Innovation Norway and the Embassy of Iceland in London.

Contact person: Robin Bangs (Business Sweden),

The Nordic Smart City Model

The Nordic Smart City Model project will constitute a basis for future Nordic and international smart city collaboration, strengthening the brand of the Nordics as a leading smart city region and providing an alternative, people-centred smart city model to the world. Activities will span across three phases, including several workshops in the Nordics for relevant smart city players, a mapping of the 10-15 best existing projects in the region, to a showcasing of the Nordic smart city model to an international audience.

Organizers: Design and Architecture Norway - DOGA (Project Lead), The Nordic Smart City Network, Bloxhub, Demos Helsinki, Danish Architecture Center – DAC, Nordic Edge, Nordic Urban Resilience Institute, Innovation Centre Iceland, Arctic Mayors Forum and Iceland Design Centre.

Contact person: Malin Kock Hansen (DOGA),

Nordic Solutions in Sewage and Sludge Treatment – An Offer to India

Building upon an established contact with relevant Indian stakeholders in Mumbai, the aim of the project is to bring innovative Nordic solutions within the water sector to Mumbai, Indore and Pimpari in India. As such, several value chains will be created where Nordic companies can collaborate in order to provide full-scale solutions to various water-related challenges in these cities. Project activities range from an information platform, matchmaking sessions, and a pre-study which will build a base for establishing a full-scale project.

Organizers: IVL – Swedish Environmental Research Institute (Project Lead), CAMBI Group, Scania AB, Gasum Corporation, Nordic Water Product AB and CSIR – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.

Contact person: Rupali Deshmukh (IVL),

Sustainable Nordic Solutions for urban developments in Southeast Asia 2020

The project will create a “Smart City Program” which will strengthen the Nordic brand within sustainable urban development and help guide Nordic companies to the Southeast Asian and Singapore smart city market. Activities include promotion of Nordic sustainable city solutions, business support for Nordic startups, study tours, networking events and information sharing.

Organizers: Innovation Norway in Singapore (Project Lead), Business Sweden in Singapore, Embassy of Finland in Singapore, Embassy of Denmark in Singapore, Embassy of Iceland in Tokyo and the Nordic Innovation House Singapore.

Contact person: Per Christer Lund (Innovation Norway in Singapore),


Portrait Ivar Josefsson

Ivar Josefsson

Innovation Adviser
Ivar combines his international experience with an environmental background to identify the most promising Nordic projects for achieving sustainable growth. His main strengths lie within the fields of international relations and environment, and he worked briefly in the international development sector prior to joining Nordic Innovation in 2018.

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Portrait Rasmus Malmborg

Rasmus Malmborg

Senior Innovation Adviser
Rasmus has extensive international experience in complex project management, predominantly within health care system development. Prior to joining Nordic Innovation, Rasmus has been with LHL International for nine years and worked the last four years as CEO.

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