Smart City challenge

 “Quadruple helix” – the ideal guiding principle for co-creating the smart city?

The City of Fredrikstad has adopted a municipal smart city strategy where the notion of co-creating the smart city by means of establishing a quadruple helix approach has been chosen.

The term “quadruple helix” encompasses the four areas of society: Government, business, academia and the civic sector (non-profits as well as individual citizens). The main idea is that representatives from these four areas should work together in various ways in projects or networks in order to make a city smarter.

In order to both doing it right, and at the same time reflect on how we do it, Fredrikstad has opted to establish a research project on the very issue of quadruple helix as concept and guideline for the establishment of a local “Smart Fredrikstad Network”. To this end, Fredrikstad is co-financing a PhD project on the topic, where the researcher both co-creates the network with the city, and also brings new research, connections and experiences on to the table as we progress – hopefully letting us learn from others. More on the project at:

This round table introduces a challenge and a wish at the same time:

Wish: We would like to know other cities experiences: Do they employ a quadruple helix approach? How are they practically working on getting local government, business, academia and civic society to co-create their smart city?

Challenge: Is quadruple helix the way to go? Does it work? How can it be improved – or are there better ways of achieving co-creation? What do the round table participants think, and what are their experiences?

Existing solutions: 

The project is just starting, but there are already (too many?) networks in the city, with in the fields of business (general), circular economy, MedTech, and many more. We have started doing workshops with representatives from the various sectors in order to understand what their needs and wishes are.

Gard Jenssen
Head of Smart City
Fredrikstad kommune (City of Fredrikstad, Norway)
What is the city looking for?

In addition to learning from other round table participants about their experiences locally around the Nordics – as well as discussing the possible ways to structure quadruple helix co-creation – we would be looking for other cities for exchanging experiences in a more structured manner over time. We would also be looking for interested parties who would like to contribute to the PhD-project – as data sources or in any other contributive way.

  1. Is ”quadruple helix” a term or approach that you know or use?
  2. If yes, how is ut employed in your city?
  3. How can co-creation of a smart city, or a smart city solution happen?
  4. How can the city ensure co-operation between and mutual knowledge of people and organisations who don’t normally connect?
  5. Which local (city-based) smart city networks do you know?
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