Banner showing the Umeå municipality was runner-up in iCaptial 2018

Social Progress Innovation Sweden

Girls at the equal meeting place Frizon in Umeå.

Sweden’s sixth innovation platform for sustainable cities is situated inUmeå. Social Progress Innovation Sweden (SPIS), with support from Vinnova, complements earlierinnovation platforms in Lund, Borås, Kiruna, Göteborg and Stockholm.

When Umeå grows with the aim of 200 000 inhabitants by the year 2050,co-creation and change of existing power structures are obvious perspectives insustainable city development. Umeå’s innovation platform rests on the thesisthat development of a social sustainable city is only possible if all thecitizens participates. This can be achieved if the municipality and otherpublic organisations, citizens, the civil society and the private sector talksand collaborates with each other.  


The main focus of the innovation platform is therefore to establish astrong and sustainable cross-sectoral organisation that can coordinate ongoinginnovation processes, and work as hotbed for new initiatives. The innovation platformsupports Umeå municipality to meet burning challenges. This is achieved by making useof the cultural and creative power in our city, increasing the flexibility, aswell as its capability to cooperate with the ambient society, both locally andinternationally, and also by pushing forward more brave innovators in thecity.  

"We want to create a safe environment for innovations where we with pride dare to test new innovative prototypes and ways of working. One aim with this is to create clarity for the citizens about which considerations are needed to reach social sustainability and climate neutrality."
Carina Aschan, one of the leading actors in the innovation platform.

The innovation platform offers support like: 

- New ways of solving old problems in aim tomanage already burning challenges.
- Creativeand co-creating meeting management.
- Cross-sectoral coordination.

The innovation platform Social Progress Innovation Sweden is run by Umeå municipality and the research institute RISE, and is part of the project NATSAM – National cooperation between innovation platforms for sustainable attractive cities. Read more at

Contact person Umeå municipality: 
Ellen Grahn  
Development Strategist Innovation 

Carina Aschan 
Development Strategist 

Linda Gustafsson  
Gender Equality Officer 


Contact person RISE:  
Albert Edman  
Senior Project Manager 

Jeroen Peeters  
Senior Design Researcher 

Magnus Johansson  
Senior Researcher 

Umeå municipality were runner up in 2018's European Capital of Innovation