The Mayor's innovation competition
The Mayor's innovation competition seeks innovations and ideas on how we can improve the services we provide for Espoo residents and develop our practices in keeping with the Espoo Story. The competition is open to all City of Espoo employees and work teams together with their partners as well as Espoo-based companies. The home municipality of the company must be Espoo.
We are paying particular attention on innovations that prioritise customers and city residents − either as recipients of improved services or even as cooperation partners in the development work. The purpose of the competition is to highlight the continuous, innovative development work that is being carried out in Espoo.
The competition is seeking resident and customer-oriented innovations under two series: new innovations and potential innovations. A panel of experts from Excellence Finland will evaluate the applications and select the finalists from among them. Later, the City of Espoo’s own competition jury will evaluate the applications that have made it to the final.
Applications will also automatically take part in Excellence Finland’s national Quality Innovation Award competition, and the winners of the award will also compete in an international competition.
The Mayor’s Innovation Competition has been organised in cooperation with Excellence Finland since 2012.
Issues related to completing the competition application: Timo Kuntsi, Excellence Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 44 9778385
General information on the competition: Minna Salaspuro, City of Espoo, tel. +358 40 6368978 email@example.com
- Competition is open: 3 April–24 May 2023
- Information session as a Teams webinar(external link) (in Finnish): 12 April 2023 at 15:00–16:00. The webinar will provide concrete application tips.
- Information session as a Teams webinar(external link): 25 April 2023 at 10:00–11:00 (In Finnish; in the webinar we will advise and assist with general application drafting matters.)
- Excellence Finland will evaluate the applications by 15 June 2023.
- All participants will receive a notification on whether or not their proposal has made it to the final: 22 June 2023 at the latest.
- The finalists will give a brief presentation on their innovation to the city management in autumn.
- After that the City of Espoo’s competition jury will convene.
- A proposal of the winners and honorary mentions will be presented to the Mayor and after that to the city's Management Group.
- The award ceremony will be held in 27 October.
- The winners of Excellence Finland’s national Quality Innovation Award will be announced at the end of the year.
The 2023 competition is seeking resident and customer-oriented innovations under two series:
Innovations series. New innovations that have already proven to solve challenges efficiently or productively.
Potential innovations series. New innovations that are still in the development phase and have the potential to solve challenges effectively or productively.
The winner of the Innovation series, or winners if first place is shared between several innovations, will each be awarded with €5,000. The winner(s) of the Potential Innovations series will be rewarded with €3,000. In addition, honorary mentions worth €500 each will be distributed in both series at the jury’s discretion.
When assessing competitions applications, the evaluators shall use a uniform set of criteria. Innovations will be assessed based on the following criteria:
- Novelty value
- fulfils needs in a new or significantly revised way
- is timely
- is applied in practice systematically and according to a plan within a company, organisation or society
- is feasible
- based on a clever idea
- utilises information in a new way
- is created as a result of or is supported by systematic development
- service development utilises partnerships, where appropriate
- Customer orientation has improved
- meets current and future customer needs
- meets customer requirements
- aims to exceed customer expectations
- service development utilises partnerships, where appropriate.
- Profitability and efficiency have improved
- technical or financial performance related to customers
- social, societal, and environmental responsibility
- lower stakes yield the same outcome
- same stakes yield more outcome
- lower stakes yield more outcome
- service development utilises partnerships, where appropriate.
Instructions for filling in the Mayor’s Innovation Competition application
These instructions provide more information on what is entered in the fields of the innovation competition’s application form. Please note that the assessors and jury do their work mainly based on the application.
Attachments are used to help the assessors and jury better understand what the innovation is all about. That said, all relevant information should be included in the application. The maximum number of attachments is five (5).
LINK TO THE APPLICATION FORM(external link). You can complete the application form in parts using the ‘Save and continue later’ button at the bottom of the form. The system will ask for your e-mail address to send a link to continue completing the form later. If you don’t see the e-mail, please check your clutter or junk e-mail folders. Enter the competition application using the ‘Submit’ button at the end of the application form. Once submitted, the application can no longer be edited.
City of Espoo sector and unit/Name of company and business ID (you can also add both)
The official name of the sector and unit/company participating in the competition. The business ID of the company. It must be registered in Espoo.
Postal address or PO Box of the applicant.
Postcode of the applicant.
Post office of the applicant.
Name of the person representing the applicant in matters regarding the competition.
Title of the contact person.
E-mail address of the contact person.
Direct telephone number of the contact person.
Have you previously participated in the Mayor’s Innovation Competition with the same idea you are proposing now? If yes, what are the essential changes between that innovation and the one proposed now?
If you have submitted the innovation to a previous Mayor’s Innovation Competition, state the year of the previous submission and include a brief description of how the innovation has been improved.
Key people involved in the development of the innovation (also mention if you personally were not involved in the development)
List all the persons to be considered here. Also, mention if you apply on behalf of someone else and/or have not personally been involved in the innovation development.
Is your proposal an innovation or a potential innovation?
Select the competition category in which the innovation participates.
- INNOVATION is a knowledge-based competitive advantage exploited for commercial, societal or well-being purposes.
- POTENTIAL INNOVATION is an idea for which concrete results have not yet been achieved.
Name of the innovation (max. 100 characters)
The name of the innovation participating in the competition in as brief a form as possible.
Short description of the innovation (max. 200 characters)
An elevator pitch. Describe briefly (about one paragraph) what the innovation is all about. Use as down to earth language as possible. The brief description should provide an answer to the following question: what is the innovation?
Describe the story behind the innovation. Describe, for example, the starting point and the actions taken, the resources used, lessons and insights learned, and the results achieved through the innovation. Describe also the positive social, societal and environmental impacts of the innovation. (max. 2,000 characters)
The starting point for the innovation, the actions taken and the results achieved. Describe here the background story: why was the innovation developed? What actions have been taken to develop the innovation? What results have been achieved or will be achieved with the innovation? Also, this description should give a person less knowledgeable in the field a good understanding of the origin of the development of the innovation, what happened next and what the innovation is really about.
Self-assessment of the innovation’s novel features. How does the innovation fulfil the needs in a new or significantly revised way? Is the innovation timely? (max. 2,000 characters)
Give here your self-assessment of the innovation’s novel features. Present results that convince the assessors and the jury that your proposal is a real innovation. Describe how your innovation differs from existing similar approaches.
Self-assessment of the innovation’s usability. How is the innovation applied in practice? Is it done systematically and according to a plan within the company, organisation or society? An assessment of the applicability of the innovation. (max. 2,000 characters)
Give here your self-assessment of the usability of the innovation. How is the innovation applied in practice? Can the benefits promised by the innovation be realised? Describe a successful practical implementation of the innovation or how it could be achieved.
Learning. Is the innovation based on a sudden realisation/inspiration? How is knowledge utilised in new ways? Is the innovation born out of or supported by systematic development? Has the development of the innovation involved partnerships? If yes, what kind of partnerships, and what is the contribution/responsibility of the partners in the cooperation? (max. 2,000 characters)
Describe the research and development process that gave birth to the innovation. How were knowledge and know-how utilised along the way? How did the idea for the innovation come about? How was it developed into the innovation? What have you learned along the way?
Has the implementation of the innovation involved external partners? What is their contribution to the implementation of the innovation?
Self-assessment of the innovation’s customer orientation. How does the innovation correspond to customers’ current and future needs? How does it fulfil their requirements? Does it aim to exceed their expectations? Assess also the contribution of any partner in the improvement of customer orientation. The partner can also be the user of the service. (max. 2,000 characters)
Describe here what is the ‘new’ that the innovation brings to its target group. How were the needs and expectations of the innovation’s customers determined? How does the innovation make life better for the customers? Provide results that prove that there is a real need for the innovation.
Self-assessment of the innovation’s results and effectiveness. How has the innovation improved the technological, financial, social or societal performance with regard to the customers or users? Also assess the possible social and ecological responsibility. What kind of measured information there is regarding the results? Or assumptions about the potential results? (max. 2,000 characters)
Describe here the results achieved with the innovation. What are the indicators used to assess the results of the innovation? What targets have been set? Have they been achieved? How do the results compare with similar innovations, if any?
Explain and assess the way in which the innovation/idea has improved or will improve the productivity of the operations.
Provide an assessment, for example, on the following (for applicable parts): How does the innovation contribute to the production of the service, activities or work process with fewer resources without affecting the current level of service or activities negatively? How can the provision of service be increased using current or fewer resources? If possible, demonstrate the improvement in productivity in numbers. Describe how the innovation/potential innovation contributes/will contribute in creating economically sustainable growth in Espoo or growth after COVID-19.
Attachments to the application
You can add a maximum of five (5) attachments to the application. We only accept PDF files with a maximum size of 25 MB. The primary purpose of the attachments is to illustrate what the innovation is all about. The attachments are not intended to provide answers to the questions presented in the application form. The assessors will primarily assess the application: any attachments are only used in support of the assessment.
Help and support regarding the application form
Timo Kuntsi, Excellence Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 44 9778385