The 2019 edition of the European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) competition opened for applications on February 20. Eligible cities can apply until June 6. The winner of last year’s competition was Athens, which used innovation to overcome the economic and social crisis of its past years.
The 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.
Cities must show that they contribute to open and dynamic innovation ecosystems, involve citizens in governance and decision-making, and use innovation to improve their resiliency and sustainability.
Prize values are as follows:
- EUR 1 million for the city that wins the title of European Innovation Capital
- EUR 100,000 to each of the five runner-up cities
To be eligible, a city must have at least 100,000 inhabitants, as well as be in an EU country or in a country associated to Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme (Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Tunisia, Georgia, Armenia).
Cities will be judged based on how they implement innovative solutions to social challenges. The solutions can be completed or ongoing but must have been implemented in the year prior to the contest or during the contest year.
Participating cities must show that they created 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.
Applications can be submitted online. More details here: https://bit.ly/2ECaxNn