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The European Capital of Innovation Award – iCapital

Save the date: the third competition starting in March 2017

With this third edition of the award, the European Commission will award the city most willing to experiment with new and innovative citizen-driven initiatives, proving itself as a 'test-bed' for potential solutions to relevant societal challenges.

Participant cities will be judged on the extent to which they allow citizens to experiment and ensure the uptake of their ideas. Three cash prizes will be awarded to the best city initiatives creating the right environment to innovate:

  • The European Capital of Innovation 2017:
€1 000 000
  • First runner-up:
€100 000
  • Second runner-up:
€100 000

Who will be eligible to apply?

The contest will be open to cities:

  • which have over 100 000 inhabitants (in countries where there is no city with more than 100 000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply)
  • from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020, the European research and innovation programme

Read more: Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016 - 2017

More detailed 'rules of contest' will be published in early 2017, watch this space!


Amsterdam is the European Capital of Innovation 2016

Links to related pages: Video presentations of each city | News Alert | Video recording of the ceremony | Interviews with Commissioner Moedas and the winners | Photos from the ceremony | Commissioner Moedas' speech

On 8 April 2016, the European Commission awarded the title of European Capital of Innovation ("iCapital") 2016 to Amsterdam for its holistic vision of innovation related to four areas of urban life: governance, economics, social inclusion, and quality of life.

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

Commissioner Moedas

The nine cities shortlisted for the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2016 presented their cities' achievements at the award ceremony on 8 April.

Watch their video presentations.

Read the News Alert

Watch the ceremony and interviews with winners

Photos from the ceremony

The European Capital of Innovation Award 2016 – more about the finalists!

The nine cities shortlisted for the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2016 were announced on 21 January 2016. These finalists were chosen by a high-level jury of independent experts from 36 applications.

The nine finalists were:

  • Amsterdam (NL) - for embracing a bottom-up approach based on smart growth, startups, livability and digital social innovation
  • Berlin (DE) - for performing as an urban living lab where innovative Information and Communication Technology solutions can be tested
  • Eindhoven (NL) - for combining digital technology with creativity in its world-leading urban smart lighting strategy
  • Glasgow (UK) - for its replicable innovation model based on partnerships across industry, science and communities
  • Milano (IT) - for enhancing social inclusion and alternative models in the delivery of public services to create more opportunities for employment
  • Oxford (UK) - for its vision to openly share the wealth of knowledge within its world-class innovation ecosystem
  • Paris (FR) - for its strategy based on open innovation, connectivity and ingenuity aiming at becoming a world hub for start-up
  • Torino (IT) - for its open innovation models supporting social innovation start-ups and creating new market opportunities for urban innovations
  • Vienna (AT) - for its innovation and ICT strategies based on a citizen-centred approach and long-term developments in economy, education, research and technology

Read more: News alert

More about the second competition:


The first European Capital of Innovation Award

In 2014, the winning city, Barcelona (Spain), was chosen by a panel of independent experts "for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens".

Read the press release : Barcelona is "iCapital" of Europe

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