Innovation Management

IRIS – innovation for sustainable growth


The EU-project IRIS Smart Cities aims to develop and replicate smart solutions for cities to become increasingly energy efficient, sustainable and attractive for their inhabitants. This week an international project meeting was held in Gothenburg, bringing together the range of innovative start-ups, research organisations and local authorities that make up IRIS.

By demonstrating smart solutions that integrate energy efficiency, e-mobility and ICT, IRIS connects the interests of many different stakeholders in innovative business models, allowing scale-up and replication of integrated solutions for sustainable cities across Europe and world-wide.

”This is a good opportunity to speed up the development. Within the IRIS project, the innovations combined with the ability to receive and implement new solutions can be rapidly developed for all involved parties”, says Jonas Norrman, CEO at IMCG.

Bankable business models
IMCG’s goal is to make sure the innovations that are being developed within the IRIS project will be replicated at several places and IMCG will identify and further develop sustainable business models.

”We will create leverage, so that the solutions will contribute to social benefits, both in European cities and beyond. We will develop investment plans and business models that are attractive, so-called bankable business models. This means that the business and finance model is scalable, economically appealing and associated with relatively low risk, making it attractive for other cities to replicate.”

Study visits in Gothenburg
All in all, seven countries and 43 partners are involved in the IRIS project. Amongst a number on hands on-site visits, delegates of the IRIS meeting in Gothenburg got the opportunity to visit HSB Living Lab, where 30 residents will be given the opportunity to closely monitor their own and their neighbours’ energy consumption in order to reduce it. The delegates also got to travel by the electrical bus, part of the ElectriCity collaboration and visit Riksbyggens Positive Footprint Housing project.

“For Gothenburg, this type of project means more than direct financing for development – it also strengthens our position as an innovation city and opens up opportunities for future investments that will enable our city to stay at the forefront and offer its inhabitants an even better quality of life,” says Gunilla Åkerström, Head of the Innovation Program of the City of Gothenburg.


IRIS is a five-year Horizon 2020 funded project led by three lighthouse cities; Utrecht (project coordinator), Gothenburg and Nice, and four follower cities; Vaasa, Alexandroupolis, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Focsani. In Gothenburg, there are nine collaborators – the City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Science Park, Akademiska hus, Chalmers, HSB, Metry, Trivector, Tyréns and Riksbyggen. RISE and IMCG are partners who will work on a more comprehensive and international level. Johanneberg Science Park coordinates the project on behalf of the City of Gothenburg. The application was rated number one by the EU Commission.

More information about the project: