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EU launches prize for innovative public authorities

Brussels, 17 September 2012

The European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation has today launched a competition to find the most innovative public authorities in Europe. In total, up to nine prizes of €100,000 will be awarded to successful, already running public initiatives that benefit citizens, firms or the education and research sector. The purpose of the prize is to encourage and highlight modern approaches to public spending, which accounted on average for half of EU gross domestic product in 2010.

There is no pre-defined list of projects that could qualify. Examples could include: support for rural entrepreneurs with e-commerce tools; networking platforms for SME start-ups; initiatives that provide special assistance for the elderly, eco-friendly public transport, new approaches to vocational training or facilitating entrepreneurship of researchers.

The competition is open to public authorities established in an EU Member state or a country associated to the EU's research framework programme. Submitted initiatives must have been on-going for between one and four years. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2013.

The competition will be judged by a panel of experts in public administration, business and academia. The winners of the "European Prize for Innovation in Public Administration" will be selected on the basis of four criteria: the economic impact of their initiative; its relevance to challenges facing society; how original and easy to replicate the idea is; and how they plan to use the prize money. It is intended that prize money be used by winning administrations to scale up and expand their initiatives, thereby leveraging and inducing further excellence and innovation in the public sector.

The prize winners are expected to be announced in spring 2013. 

For more information please visit the competition website:



Michael Jennings, +32 229 633 88
Spokesperson, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation:


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