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The European Capital of Innovation Award - iCapital

Paris is the European Capital of Innovation for 2017

The European Commission awarded the 2017 European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) prize of €1 000 000 to Paris. The award, granted under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, recognises Paris for its inclusive innovation strategy. Tel Aviv and Tallinn were selected as runners-up, and were both awarded €100 000.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, announced the results at the Lisbon Web Summit. The Awarding took place in front of 15,000 people on the main stage of the worlds' largest annual tech conference. Commissioner Moedas said: "Cities are not defined by their size and population, but by the breadth of their vision and the power bestowed upon their citizens. Some cities are not afraid to experiment. They are not afraid to involve their citizens in developing and testing out new ideas. These are the cities that empower their citizens. Today we are here to acknowledge these cities."

After the Award Ceremony, all finalist cities participated in Panel Sessions on experimentation and citizens engagement and smart and resilient future cities, moderated by Jean-David Malo, Director of the Open Innovation Directorate of DG for Research, Science and Innovation. All finalist cities were awarded the iCapital trophy.



The 10 finalist cities for the 2017 European Capital of Innovation!

Ten cities are shortlisted as candidates for the 2017 European Capital of Innovation prize. The winners will be announced on 7 November 2017 at the Lisbon Web Summit. Follow us on #iCapitalAwards

Read more about the cities below and further explore the their innovation-related activities or follow them on Twitter.

In Aarhus everyone is united in building a smarter tomorrow by breaking down silos through co-created policies and experimentation in urban & cultural testbeds. Do you wonder how does the smarter tomorrow in Aarhus look like? Twitter  youtube

People in Berlin live in an urban living lab. Find out how the lab contributes to a holistic approach that boosts the urban ecosystem through real-life tests and co-creation in digital and social innovation! Twitter  youtube

Copenhagen is a Transformative Living Lab. Are you curious how the experimental approach inspires, empowers and nurtures innovation and continuously expands opportunities to engage the public and private sector, citizens and academia in processes of co-creation? Twitter  youtube

Helsinki is committed to accelerating and empowering open innovation on all levels of the city from governance with open data to opening infrastructure and services. Would you like to know how testbeds for companies and R&D&I community create new opportunities in all sectors including healthcare, schools, ports and roads? Twitter  youtube

Nice, with its unique location and its smart and sustainable city strategy deployed from a coastal city to mountain villages enables citizens to become actors of a living lab. Are you interested how Nice provides collaborative and innovative solutions to the challenges of climate change, resilience to environmental and security risks, and healthy ageing, and enhance the wellbeing of citizens and visitors alike? Twitter  youtube

Paris has set up a new urban framework and innovative policies. Learn how every urban stakeholder, from children, inhabitants, companies to NGOs in every part of the city takes part in 'producing the city' and 'producing in the city'. Twitter  youtube

In Tallinn City`s Innovation Philosophy 2.0 creates a True e-Society, aims at a Healthy Lifestyle and United City, and most importantly, leads to a competitive, attractive and happy society. Do you wonder how Tallinn dreams big and lives the future now? Twitter  youtube

Tampere grows smart together. Learn out how Grow.Smart.Together approach enhances the idea of a city where smart city solutions, related jobs and firms, and sustainable and attractive urban environment are co-created together with citizens, communities, universities and companies. Twitter  youtube

Tel Aviv's creative and innovative DNA is rooted in a very young society, an informal business culture and municipal policies that celebrate creativity and make the city a test-bed for experimentation. Examine how one of the most innovative ecosystems worldwide focuses on leveraging technology, promoting collaboration, and encouraging active citizenship participation for constant growth. Twitter  youtube

Toulouse in the European Open Metropolis. Find out how it co-creates innovative projects by participatory governance and collaborative practices in 5 innovation hubs and how it empowers its citizens and local players. Twitter  youtube


32 cities applying for the 2017 European Capital of Innovation

On 21 June 2017 we closed the submission for the third edition of the European Capital of Innovation award. 32 cities applied with their innovative initiatives proving themselves as a 'test-bed' for potential solutions to relevant societal challenges.

The finalists have been selected by an independent panel of experts for using innovative ideas to improve the quality of urban life and for getting citizens more involved in their communities.



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


Learn more on the competition

Who could apply?

The contest was 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 a EU Member State or a country associated to Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.


Award criteria

Applicant cities will be judged on the innovative solutions to their relevant societal challenges, which they started after 1st January 2016. Cities will in particular have to prove how they created the local conditions to innovate by

  • Experimenting innovative concepts, processes, tools, and governance models as a test-bed for innovation
  • Engaging citizens in the innovation process and ensuring the uptake of their ideas
  • Expanding the city's attractiveness to become a role model for other cities
  • Empowering the local ecosystem through the implementation of innovative practices