Commissioner Moedas launched the 2018 iCapital awards at the EU Covenant of Mayors Ceremony on 22 February 2018.
The European Capital of Innovation Award (iCapital) recognises cities that have built open and dynamic innovation ecosystems connecting citizens, public sector, academia and businesses. It gives particular exposure to those cities that do the most to actively promote innovation within their communities and thereby improve the quality of their citizens' lives. From among 12 finalist cities, an independent jury will select 5 Runner-up cities which will each receive 100,000 €. The winning city will be nominated for the European Capital of Innovation 2018 and will receive 1M € monetary award to enhance its role model position among innovative cities.
Deadline for applications: 21 June 2018
Who can apply?
The contest is open to cities:
- With 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 an EU Member State or a country associated to Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.
Applicant cities will be judged on the innovative solutions to their relevant societal challenges, which they started after 1st January 2017. 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
Jury and Prizes
Applications will be judged by a panel of independent and highly-qualified experts from across Europe, appointed under Horizon 2020 rules.
Three cities will be awarded a prize. The winner of the first prize – the European Capital of Innovation 2018 – will receive €1,000,000. Two runners-up cities will receive €100,000 each.
In 2017, 32 cities applied for the iCapital Award, of which 10 were shortlisted as candidates. Read more about the past editions of the prize.