Helsinki has joined an extensive digital innovation project launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The new initiative for European capital cities aims to accelerate digital innovation to improve critical services for residents.

The New Digital Innovation Project for European Cities was launched by Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City, in London on 25 June 2019.

All 28 European capital cities have been invited to join the project. Through project support, grants, and professional development programming for Chief Digital Officers and other key leaders, Bloomberg Philanthropies aims to help European cities to consolidate digital leadership and to share lessons learned with cities across the rest of the world.

- A critical part of the Helsinki City Strategy is our commitment to making better sense of global change. Helsinki aims to be the city in the world that makes the best use of digitalization. Our collaboration with Michael R. Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies enables Helsinki to succeed in these critical issues and to work with other cities in concrete ways, says Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

Cities participating in the initiative will benefit from a range of supports to advance local efforts. Chief Innovation, Digital, Data, and Information Officers who are driving these efforts will receive leadership support focused on building strong teams and managing transformational change. Cities will be eligible for innovation grants and project support, delivered by world-class partners to help transform critical public services. In addition, cities will benefit from best practice sharing and peer-to-peer networking.

- The City of Helsinki has an ambitious digitalization strategy aimed at creating better digital services for citizens. A requirement for the creation of new proactive and customized services is ethical use of data and AI, says Mikko Rusama, Chief Digital Officer at City of Helsinki.

- We look forward to deepening cooperation with Bloomberg Philanthropies and with leading smart cities such as London. Cities should work together to solve shared challenges, Rusama continues.

At the time of the announcement by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mayor Vapaavuori participated in a two-day meeting in London for the mayors of EU capital cities. He spoke at the meeting on EU’s urban agenda and challenges in safety and security faced by cities – that is, some of the main themes of the mayoral meeting. In a joint statement, the mayors committed themselves to closer collaboration to counteract extreme ideologies and polarization and to fight climate change.

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About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Announcement from Bloomberg Philanthropies