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The European Capital of Innovation Award - iCapital

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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