The European Capital of Innovation Award - iCapital


The European Capital of Innovation Award – iCapital


With this third edition of the award, the European Commission will award the city most willing to experiment with new and innovative citizen-driven initiatives, proving itself as a 'test-bed' for potential solutions to relevant societal challenges.


European Capital of Innovation poster

Participant cities will be judged on the extent to which they allow citizens to experiment and ensure the uptake of their ideas. 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


The winner of the past edition (and current Capital of Innovation) is Amsterdam for embracing a bottom-up approach based on smart growth, startups, livability and digital social innovation


This prize European Capital of Innovation is part of Horizon 2020 and the application follows the usual format (Part A- administrative form + Part B – actual project proposal).

In addition to this, the letter of commitment of the City Major and the Proof of Initiative starting date (documents demonstrating that the initiative subject of the application has not started before 1st January 2012) must be attached.

This means that you truly need to involve the institutions and that you can participate to the competition with ongoing initiatives. 

Quoting from the Work Programme (see attachment for more details) 

As in the first editions, it will aim to provide European recognition to those cities that make the most to promote innovation within their communities and thereby improve the quality of their citizens’ lives. The new award will strengthen its bottom-up approach by turning into a scheme to pilot citizens-led initiatives. It will mainly focus on experimentation, i.e. it will reward a city willing to propose itself as test-bed and run citizens-driven initiatives to find solutions for their relevant societal challenges. Impact will be a leading principle along with citizens' involvement. 

For the purpose of this award, cities are considered as a whole system, including built environment, municipal authorities and citizens, organizations and public structures, as a platform capable of facilitating the growth and development of creativity and innovation in its different meanings. 

The rules for participation will be published at the end of March. Application deadline will be on 21 June 2017.

To know more about the process you can have a look to the documents of the past edition (please consider that there might be differences in the upcoming publications): 

<![i      ·  The rules of the competition



<![i      · The application guide for the past edition



Eva Servoli, SME Contact Point – Euresearch Genève  

Dr Eva Servoli
Adjointe Scientifique


10 mars 2017