Experimentation as a Service framework

OrganiCity is created as an interoperable mechanism formed of different elements to enable experimentation. After identifying the dynamic elements which need to be in place, we have created the processes needed in line with our vision and values. The Experimentation as a Service framework enables collaborative innovation for the cities of the future.


Experimentation managementTwo Organicitizens thinking of an experiment, surrounded by machine cogs

Enables the implementation of experiments in a systematic manner. The management includes financial processes, administrative aspects, communications and the interactions service.

The tools we use to apply it are application forms (describing ideas for experiments), reporting and budget templates (monitoring progress and feedback), a communication strategy through a variety of channels, a service blueprint (describing the interactions between users and the internal team across each stage of the process) and a helpdesk system.


  • Experience running open calls as a mechanism to develop use cases and feedback to iterate the service.
  • 26 experiments from citizens, businesses, NGOs, research labs and academia with a diversity of learnings
  • Prototype of how a vertical for experimentation might function as the ‘digital experimentation helpdesk for a city’

See some of these documents at the Resources page.


Urban data discoveryAn experimenter inspects the data over a building with a magnifying glass, while he thinks of a potential visualisation in an app.

Standard interoperable access to data. Whilst datastores deal with historic data, our innovative approach is to enable access to near real-time data from a diversity of sources (with different technology readiness levels) in a homogeneous manner.

We gather heterogeneous data and translate it into standards, which make it interoperable with other sources of data. We display information in context to enable a better understanding of the source and reputation of each data asset. In addition, we are testing data annotation services which allow users to validate and qualify values across a data asset.

The data management features enable both discovery and monitoring – someone interested in an area can receive notifications on new data assets or reports from missing data.


  • Experimentation across 3 cities – demonstrating the value of implementing the Open and Agile Smart Cities mechanisms of interoperability. We are open to new cities through our open call.

You can explore the first prototype for a public interface of urban data discovery at the Urban Data Observatory.


An experimenter holds a lab container before a board with different tools and data.Technical environment

A set of tools and APIs that support the co-creation and validation of services and applications under real conditions in the prototype of an innovation ecosystem.

The technical environment enables experimenters to develop websites, web services, desktop applications or smartphone applications which interact with OrganiCity through APIs. The tools have functionalities for advanced developers, as well as citizens with a medium level of technological literacy.

See which tools are available to experiment and explore their demos or their documentation at the Technical environment.


Inclusive co-creation
Three people discuss and generate ideas.

Including a variety of people in the process of developing our service and each experiment.

We involve cities, citizens, communities, businesses and academia in discussions in order to take a direction. People take part in the definition of the problem and throughout the resolution. We encourage everyone in the city to be active in the development of our cities; whether that means becoming an experimenter or taking part in other people’s ideas.

This process makes ideas resilient, because co-creation ensures they deal with real local issues in a collaborative approach, and everyone is invested in obtaining the best possible outcome. Above all, we are making sense of technology together.


  • Methods for workshops inclusive to people from different backgrounds to discuss the potential for impact using urban data.
  • Experimenters co-creating in their local context and connecting to local resources (when located abroad).
  • Adapted our process to onboard new cities through conversations with innovation units across local authorities.
  • Creation of materials for new cities to co-create in their local context, such as the Guide to host a clinic.

Read some of our documents on co-creation at the Resources section.


Two people in conversation, one has a set of rules on his hand.Engagement principles

The foundations to connect with different stakeholders across the city, to create a physical and digital space for co-creation.

Our engagement guide contains leading principles and actionable steps for your engagement journey. Based on our experience and research, these guiding principles establish a base for the OrganiCity team and the experimenters to reach to people and involve them in a coherent manner.


  • Engagement principles tested and adapted to three local contexts across Europe.
  • Two years engaging online and offline at Aarhus, London, Santander and beyond with a wide variety of people and communities.
  • Stakeholder ecosystem with people from different backgrounds experimenting together. Currently supported globally at our Connect section.

Find the Guide to engage with people across the city here. Find other supporting documents at the Resources section.



Trustworthy legal & ethics
Two people stand before a library, one of them holds a book with the word Ethics on her hand.

A legal framework established in the Experimenter Agreement, which provides a Service-level Agreement addressing intellectual property, liability and data protection.

Ethical and privacy implications have been identified throughout the service and tackled through documents to inspect, inform and address.

Whilst legal and ethical considerations create friction during innovation processes (potentially slowing progress down), this framework is protecting the different people involved in the service even including those who might be producing data without their awareness.


  • Trust from different parties involved in the process.
  • User-friendly summary at the front of the legally-binding legal document, making legal processes more inclusive.
  • Ethics and Privacy Checklist to ensure experiments comply with up-to-date regulations.

Find these documents at the Resources section.


Co-creation: People from different fields working in collaboration towards a joint goal.

Experimenter Agreement: The legal document that defines the parameters for experimentation in OrganiCity.

Service Blueprint: A detailed diagram that describes a service, including the stages visible to users and those developed by the internal teams.