New sustainable solutions for a better tomorrow

CORO, Co-lab is the result of an ambitious vision of creating innovative collaborations. The local innovation platform creates new sustainable solutions to complex societal challenges. It takes place in cross-sectorial cooperation’s between public organizations, academia, civil society and businesses across industries. Through the activities, new sustainable scalable solutions are developed, using the entire area of Roskilde as a unique real-life test platform with demonstration facilities.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The innovation platform commences locally and subsequently upscales solutions to solve complex societal challenges both on national and global level. The civil society benefits from the innovations which are explained further in the text below.
The innovation platform works with projects, where a single actor is not enough, but where cross-sectorial cooperation is required. One or more members of the collaboration initiate each project, and relevant actors as well as civil society are involved to test the project using their resources, knowledge or test platforms, all of which may contribute to the development of new solutions. The innovation platform speeds up the process from idea to solutions, ready for the market.
An example of social innovation is COCONF, which is an innovation process where public sector, academia and private actors from all of Denmark are called upon to present their new solutions to complex challenges put forward by larger organizations. COCONF is hosted annually and 2019 is the third year in a row. More than 2500 representatives from both private and public sector and over 2500 students have been involved so far.
Examples of new sustainable solutions developed:
Center for flood and cloudburst protection through a simulation environment
Flooding is categorized as one of the world’s biggest natural disaster. The damages between 2003-2013 has cost the EU 150 billion EUR. The Center for Flood Protection will help to strengthen the knowledge and competence of citizens, so that they are better prepared to take an active role in both emergency response efforts and preventing their homes from potential damage. The core of this venture is a simulation environment in Roskilde, which will act as a testing and training facility for citizens, cities and Emergency Services both within and outside of Denmark. At the same time, companies can use the center to develop, test and demonstrate new solutions. The goal of the project is an efficient Emergency Service, whose knowledge gain puts society at large in a better position to prevent and handle flooding. The project was initiated by the Emergency Services. The partner collaborations driving the project consists of several businesses, the municipality and several academic institutions, which hence makes it a public private innovation partnership. Building the simulation center is estimated to start during the 1st quarter of 2020. The whole concept together with the simulation center will be possible to upscale and duplicate to other cities and countries.

Creating better learning environments in the Municipality’s schools
In 2018 Roskilde Municipality and the local company IST Ltd. presented a shared challenge on how to create better learning environments for the schools in the municipality. The winning solution was a ‘climate-box’, which, along with sensors, an app and educational material, has the indoor climate in the classrooms as its focal point. The cross-sectorial partnership between the parties ensured that the project went from idea to realization at a rapid rate. The solution has been tested at several primary schools in Roskilde during 2019. Both pupils and teachers are involved in testing and verifying the “climate- box” via a co-creation process. After the testing phase, it is expected that the solution will be implemented in all schools in Roskilde city and subsequently to more schools in DK.

Another example of a project that has emerged from COCONF is “Climate Button” In 2018, the housing association Boligselskabet Sjælland presented a challenge on optimization the energy consumption in their non-profit housings. The housing association teamed up with several other small companies as well as academic institutions, to develop a solution, that could be tested and developed at the residence of the housing association. The new solution is a climate button used by the residents themselves to regulate the indoor climate and indirectly minimizing the energy consumption in the long term. The development of the Climate Button is based on preexisting and tested solutions where the interplay between these preexisting solutions are connected through a new application. The innovation collaboration works with energy optimization in a new way that has not been used before in housing projects. The solution is expected to reduce energy consumption by 15%. As an example, a building with 172 apartments and an annual consumption of 1,810,000 kWh will have an annual saving of DKK 190,000 (25.427,89 EUR). In addition to annual energy consumption savings, the solution will also be able to alleviate the problems and costs of mold remediation - not just the financial costs but also the material costs and health issues, caused by mold. The resulting product can contribute to reduce the climate footprint from housing in the future.

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Year: 2015
Level of government: Local government


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed

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