About GeniUS!

The GeniUS! Website and project is a partnership between Science City York (SCY) and City of York Council and was originally funded by NESTA as part of their Creative Councils Programme. GeniUS now forms part of a wider Innovation programme in the city called Innovate York. Innovate York is also a partnership between SCY and City of York Council which aims to enable York to lead the way in attracting, adopting and embedding innovation city-wide.

The concept behind GeniUS is simple, and based on getting everyone involved (residents, businesses, charities, students, and public services alike) who are part of the city to look at new ways to solve some of the city’s problems.  This is through online ideas generation and development that anyone can contribute to by commenting on a challenge. To find out how to comment on a challenge visit the GET INVOLVED tab.

The web site and the challenges are supported by the Innovate York Team. Behind the scenes they answer queries and push forward ideas from GeniUS! to be developed and refined into real solutions. These solutions can then be piloted in a live setting across the city to test if they work and to refine them further.

The Innovate York team help to navigate around potential barriers individuals or business may normally face. They put their contacts and experience of the system to good use to smooth the way for challenges solutions. By being part of GeniUS and talking to the community City of York Council have a much better understanding of your views on issues and who to talk to, and who has the expertise to advise when looking at future challenges for the city. It’s a win win situation! 

GeniUS is in itself a pilot programme, all be it one that’s forging the way and being rolled out across cities world wide. Therefore it’s not without the odd hickup along the way, if you have any comments on the site itself or the content please let us know at GeniUS@york.gov.uk

GeniUS!: Open

We are half way through the process of transferring the GeniUS! approach to three other European cities through the URBACT GeniUS!: Open project. Our team in York are transferring innovation best practice to San Sebastián in the Basque Region of Spain, Tallinn in Estonia and Siracusa in Italy.

The team have built online open innovation platforms similar to the GeniUS! York website for San Sebastián and Siracusa. All 3 cities have begun their first open innovation challenge and they can be viewed on the following websites:

San Sebastián



More info on the GeniUS!: Open can be found on the URBACT website by clicking here. 

The Council's Role

Find out more about the Council's role in GeniUS! York by clicking here.

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Latest News

A Right to Solve Update

Please click here to read an update on our Right to Solve challenge following Bloomberg Philanthropies announcement.


Synergy Surgery: A Right to Solve

Please click here to read a great blog all about Dom Smith’s journey through our Synergy Surgery and Innovation Fair events in July where all the discussion from the platform was brought into the room. As ever let us know what you think!


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