HRI wins EU:s prize for innovation

The European Commission has awarded Helsinki Region Infoshare with the European Prize for Innovation in Public Administration. The prize is 100,000 euro, which will be used to develop services further including access to public information about city decision making.

The Commission’s prize was part of a public sector innovation competition and awarded in the competition’s section on services for the benefit of citizens. The awards were made by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn during the Week of Innovative Regions Europe IV (WIRE IV) Conference in Cork, Ireland on 6 June 2013.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: “Innovation is not just something for business. The public sector makes up half of EU gross domestic product, so it must also embrace change. The winners today show that by harnessing new ideas and technology we can improve people’s lives and help modernise our economies. We need more initiatives like these.”

An internationally unique new addition to HRI is public access to Ahjo, the electronic decision making system of the City of Helsinki, from the service interface. Since March 2013, Open Ahjo has made the system’s public documents and all of their attachments available from one source in a machine-readable format. Ahjo comprises all agendas and minutes of Helsinki’s City Council, City Board and other boards, and its content is produced by about 5,000 Helsinki City officers and persons of trust.

“The prize sum will be used to improve the compatibility of the Ahjo data with other city data including financial and location information as well as statistics,” says Asta Manninen, Director of City of Helsinki Urban Facts, adding that open public data should also encourage the development of new innovative services for citizens. Manninen affirms, “We intend to share our experiences with other actors in the field both nationally and internationally.”

Helsinki Region Infoshare’s European Prize for Innovation in Public Administration was accepted by Asta Manninen and Project Manager Ville Meloni of Forum Virium Helsinki.

The European Commission’s innovation competition received 203 submissions from around Europe. The competition for the European Prize for Innovation in Public Administration sought new ways to improve public administration. The prize went to nine initiatives. According to the rules of the competition, the prize should be used for further development of the project and public information.

The jury selected the winning initiatives on the basis of four criteria: (1) the originality and replicability of the initiative; (2) the economic relevance for the community concerned; (3) the social relevance for the community concerned; and (4) the planned use of the prize sum.

More Information

  • Asta Manninen, Director of City of Helsinki Urban Facts (firstname.lastname [at] hel.fi)
  • Project Manager Ville Meloni (firstname.lastname [at] forumvirium.fi)
  • Project Manager Tanja Lahti (firstname.lastname [at] hel.fi)
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