The European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Award is an annual cash prize awarded to the European city that is best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its citizens.
In particular cities that
- contribute to open and dynamic innovation ecosystems
- involve citizens in governance and decision-making
- use innovation to improve the resiliency and sustainability of their cities
The finalist cities of this year’s European Capital of Innovation Award are Aarhus, Antwerp, Athens, Bristol, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Leuven, Lisbon, Madrid, Toulouse, Umeå, Vienna.
Prize value- €1 million to the city named European Innovation Capital of the year and €100,000 to each of the five runner-up cities.
Cities are judged on how they implement innovative solutions to societal challenges. These solutions can be completed or ongoing, but must have been implemented in the year prior to the opening of the contest or the contest year itself.
Cities will have to show how they created the conditions for innovation 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 citizens by bringing concrete and measurable added value through the implementation of innovative practices
Applications are judged by a panel of independent experts from across Europe.