The CITIE survey was a collaboration between Accenture, the UK charity Nesta, and the  London-based business incubator Future Cities Catapult. It looked at which cities are the best at encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Amsterdam came in fifth place, close behind New York, London, Helsinki, and Barcelona. 

Smart strategy gives Amsterdam the edge

Amsterdam was also a "Tier 1 Top Performer" in terms of its tech strategy, beating out other European technology powerhouses such as London, Paris, and Berlin. The report mentioned Amsterdam's medium size as an advantage, as smaller cities "are more capable of experimenting and developing the right policy conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish." 

Another factor in Amsterdam's favour was the appointment of the city’s first chief technology officer (CTO) in 2014, which helps in co-ordinating citywide innovation projects. 

Also important to Amsterdam’s high ranking was its Smart City initiative, which is an ambitious plan to reinvent how the city delivers services. Amsterdam provides startups with many opportunities to use the city itself as a "living lab" when testing out new products. The report mentions the example of local “smart thermostat” startup Quby, which works closely with the city on many innovative projects. 

Making a top-performing tech city even better

As the study’s co-author John Gibson told Wired, Amsterdam did so well in the survey because of its “city-sponsored smart districts, co-working locations and investment funds. The government just launched their Startup Amsterdam strategy to promote the community globally." 

But even more important than the accolades, the report provides concrete advice that Amsterdam's policy-makers can act upon to make their tech-friendly city even more innovative than it already is.