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European Capital of Innovation Award - iCapital - FAQ

  1. Which cities are eligible to apply for this award?
    All cities above 100 000 inhabitants in the EU Member States or in Associated Countries to the 7th Research and Development Framework Programme (FP7). For the purposes of this competition a "city" is understood to be an urban area, excluding metropolitan areas, larger urban zones and conurbations, and is understood as an administrative unit governed by a city council or another form of democratically elected body. In countries where there is no city with more than 100 000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.

  2. What do you mean by metropolitan area?
    A metropolitan area, sometimes referred to as a metro area or metro, is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories. It usually comprises multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships, cities, exurbs, counties, and even states.

  3. What do you mean by larger urban zones?
    The larger urban zone is an approximation of the functional urban area extending beyond the core city. The core city is defined by its administrative and/or political boundaries.

  4. What do you mean by conurbation?
    A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area. In most cases, a conurbation is a polycentric urban agglomeration, in which transportation has developed to link areas to create a single urban labour market or travel-to-work area.

  5. What documents of proof should I upload?
    It is mandatory that you upload the two documents as requested on page three of the submission forms: proof that you are the mayor or a legally authorized representative of the applicant city and that your initiative is on-going and has not started before 1 January 2010. In addition, you can upload any relevant documents to support your application (e.g. budget plans; creation of local partnerships; involvement of population and/or stakeholders...).

  6. I have a general delegation to act on behalf of the mayor in affairs covering the subject of my application. Do I need another specific delegation to apply on mayor's behalf for this contest?
    No, the general delegation to act is sufficient for the purpose of this award and can be uploaded as requested above.

  7. We are a private company which received a delegation from the mayor to carry out a specific activity, and this activity would become the object of the city application. Can we apply on his/her behalf to this competition?
    No, the delegation would not refer to external stakeholders: it only applies to members of the city administration expressly designated by the mayor.

  8. We would like to apply with 2 initiatives, which we are running in 2 different departments of our city government. Can we submit 2 applications?
    No, the award is aimed at rewarding the most innovative city as a developed, multi-faceted, well-functioning innovation eco-system as a whole. Hence the submitted initiatives should show a holistic approach to fostering innovation in Europe.

  9. Our initiative has been successfully running since 1 January 2010 but was stopped for a few months then re-launched. Can we apply?
    Break periods in the activity of your initiative do not disqualify you if you can prove that the initiative was initially launched on 1 January 2010 and is currently on-going.

  10. In November 2009 we adopted a legal act, according to which our innovative programme would be launched in February 2010. Are we still eligible? What documents should we submit?
    In order to be eligible initiative is on-going and should not have started before 1 January 2010 regardless of when the relevant act was adopted (which can be earlier). However, if such an act does not mention the actual starting date of the initiative, you should prove this by uploading further relevant documents.

  11. The initiative we have launched 3 years ago has already received a regional award from my country. Does this disqualify us?
    No, it does not. The eligibility criterion refers only to prizes of a monetary nature which were received from EU Institutions. Please follow the link below for a list of all EU Institutions.

  12. The initiative we are running has already received support from structural funds. Does this disqualify us?
    No, it does not. The eligibility criterion refers only to prizes of a monetary nature which were received from EU Institutions. Please follow the link below for a list of all EU Institutions.

  13. What do you mean by 'innovation ecosystem'?
    The application must focus on the vision of a city as a place of systemic innovation, where four Ps - People, Place, Public, and Private - join together as an interconnected systemic whole, where all the players are interdependent on each other and changes in one part affect other parts too. Innovation as a system links the citizens (People) with the built environment (Place) and public organizations and policy-makers (Public) through business (Private) - creating an interactive city-wide innovation ecosystem.

  14. Some of the criteria require us to provide concrete evidence to support the application? What does concrete evidence mean?
    Concrete evidence could be any supporting paper, fact, figure, web link and other tools that present clear relevance to the specific criterion and provides clear indication of an achievement reached in the specific field, e.g. number of people reached through a dissemination campaign etc.

  15. Some of the criteria mention the link to Europe 2020 strategy. Where can I get more information on this strategy?
    Comprehensive documentation on the Europe 2020 strategy, along with its Innovation Union Flagship Initiative, is available at the following links: The strategy portal:
    The priorities:
    The Innovation Union Initiative:

  16. One of the criteria requires us to describe the planned use of the monetary prize as well as to prove our commitment to scale up our initiative. Can I submit the budget plan, which takes into account the continuation of our initiative?
    Yes, a budget plan would be accepted. You are also strongly encouraged to further explain your commitment and provide sufficient information for a better evaluation of your proposal.

  17. When I open the application software I am asked to provide an acronym and a summary of 2000 characters (including single spaces). What does it need to entail?
    The acronym and summary section mainly serves the purpose of helping the software to archive and search for your application. It is an automatic step when creating an application. The summary which will be relevant for your evaluation has to be included in the submission forms. When you open the submission forms you will first be asked to fill in an abstract (3000 characters available including single spaces).

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