08 Mar 2023
EC launches 2023 edition of European Capital of Innovation Awards
The European Commission launched the ninth edition of the European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital) on 7 March 2023.The prize is awarded to European cities that are front-runners of innovations that benefit their citizens.
The European Capital of Innovation Awards are supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC). They recognise those European cities that open their governance practices to experimentation and aim at being role models for other cities, by pushing the boundaries of technology for the benefit of their citizens.
The contest will award a total of six prizes for two categories: the European Capital of Innovation and the Rising Innovative City. The city winning the 2023 European Capital of Innovation title will receive € 1 million. Moreover, the first two runners-up of this category will be rewarded with €100 000 each. In the Rising Innovative City category, the winner will be rewarded with € 500,000 accompanied by two runners-up that will receive € 50,000 each. Moreover, all winners and runners up will be invited to join the EIC Prizes Alumni network, a prestigious group of previous iCapital winners, to exchange knowledge, best practices, and look for solutions to common challenges.
The competition is open to cities with a minimum of 50,000 inhabitants from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe. Two high-level juries of independent experts will evaluate how the applicant cities are pushing the boundaries of innovation by looking at the following criteria:
- Experimenting to make the city a testbed for innovative practices;
- Escalating and accelerating the growth of start-ups and SMEs;
- Ecosystem building and fostering of synergies among the public sector, industry, academia, and the citizens;
- Expanding the city’s innovation capacity to become a role model for other cities;
- City innovative vision that positively transforms the city and develops a sustainable innovation ecosystem.
Further details and exceptions can be consulted in the rules of contest.
The contest is open for applications from 8 March until 29 June 2023 (17:00:00 CET). Links to the Funding & Tenders portal are available on the iCapital webpage.
An online info session for potential applicants is scheduled on 28 March, registrations are open.