The EC has launched iCapital, a competition to award the city with the best innovation ecosystem. The winner will receive a €500,000 award.
The European Commission has launched the first European Capital of Innovation, or iCapital, a competition to award the EU city with the best innovation ecosystem linking citizens, public organizations, academia and business. Since 7 out of 10 Europeans live in urban areas, it is these areas that will contribute the most to making Europe more innovative.
The winning city will receive a €500,000 award towards scaling up its achievement and will be selected by a panel of independent experts in spring 2014.
Cities will be judged both on initiatives and achievements until now, as well as their future ideas to enhance innovation. They will also have to demonstrate that they are following a comprehensive strategy that is innovative (in terms of concepts, processes and tools) , inspiring (proposals should manage to attract talent, funding, investment and inspire citizens' involvement and engagement), integrated (the proposal should target the entire innovation ecosystem and has to clearly highlight its links with the Europe 2020 goals) and interactive (the implemented action and the proposed scale-up should help facilitating the interactions between the different actors in the innovation ecosystem).
The contest is open to cities in any EU Member State or countries associated to the EU’s research framework programme. Cities must have over 100,000 inhabitants, or be the largest city in the country to be eligible to apply. Initiatives must have been running since at least 1 January 2010. Deadline for applications is 3 December 2013.