The European Capital of Innovation Award - iCapital

The European Capital of Innovation award is presented to Europe's most innovative city in a given year. Read about previous winners, award criteria and who could apply

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 2017 European Capital of Innovation award

32 cities applied for the 2017 European Capital of Innovation award.

Ten cities were shortlisted as candidates.

Read more about the cities


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