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A Model Partnership

The partnership

Barcelona City Council works with Citymart to design and deliver new tools to support more open problem solving, to catalyse innovation and to accelerate business growth in the city. This bold new programme takes the step of using public procurement to stimulate development and attract new talent. Through BCN|Open Challenge, Barcelona City Council will become an important new client for the selected companies.



The context

Today, more than 557,000 local governments and city councils spend approximately EUR 3.5 trillion per year. Yet, in a survey of 54 global cities carried out by the Agile Cities consortium, only 1% of global city governments publish their problems to the business community, and less than 10% of city governments accept unsolicited proposals or new solutions from entrepreneurs or small businesses.

Such exclusion means many technologies and innovations are barred from improving citizens’ lives, and smaller businesses and start-ups are precluded from most public procurement opportunities.

Building trust in innovation & entrepreneurs

Citymart is an impact organization that helps city leaders to deliver transformative solutions to public services. We provide tools and methods adopted by 52 cities to-date – such as London, Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Fukuoka, Cape Town and Mexico City – to leverage entrepreneurship and markets early-on in the public procurement and regulation processes. As a result cities invest less public resources to greater societal effect, and create more sustainable, resilient and responsive communities.

Over the last 5 years in cities around the world, SMEs have won 98% of the Calls published on By opening procurement and finding new approaches cities stand to save from 5-10% of operating budgets (Source: McKinsey Global Research). More competition reduces costs, creates local jobs and increases entrepreneurship.


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