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Amsterdam is the European Capital of Innovation 2016

Brussels, 8 April 2016

The European Commission has awarded the European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) award 2016 to Amsterdam. The results were announced at an award ceremony in the European Committee of the Regions.

Amsterdam was chosen by a panel of independent experts in a close competition with eight more finalists. Amsterdam's prize of €950,000 will be used to scale up and expand the city's efforts on innovation. Two more cities, Turin and Paris, were selected as runners-up, and will receive prizes of €100,000 and €50,000 respectively.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Amsterdam fully deserves to be our European Capital of Innovation for its holistic vision of innovation in and for the city. But the competition was very tough and the outstanding achievements of the all nine shortlisted cities are an inspiration to others. They are shining examples of how cities can put innovation to work to improve the way people live and businesses work."

Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "This Award is all about speeding up change: we must encourage cities and regions to tackle burning societal challenges by jumping on the innovation train and spreading bottom-up experiences. I am proud to see that 12 European Committee of the Regions' members represent these nine finalists. We need pioneering cities and regions like the winner, Amsterdam, to lead the way."

The winner, Amsterdam, has received the award in recognition of its approach to innovation related to four basic areas of urban life: governance, economics, social inclusion, and quality of life.

Background:

The 2016 European Capital of Innovation award was launched in July 2015 for cities with over 100,000 inhabitants from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020. 36 cities from 12 countries applied to this year's competition. The winner and the finalists were selected by a jury of independent experts on the basis of new initiatives launched since 1 January 2012 and on the cities' ideas for developing innovation capacity in the future.

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