(24 January 201) – Barcelona, Espoo, Grenoble, Groningen, Malaga and Paris are the six cities shortlisted for the first European Capital of Innovation award, or iCapital.
An independent panel of experts has agreed on the six finalists for the €500000 prize. The money will go to the city building the best “innovation ecosystem” – connecting citizens, public organisations, academia, and business – with a view to helping the city scale up its efforts in this field. The winning city will be announced at the Innovation Convention 2014, Europe’s premier innovation event which will take place in Brussels on 10 and 11 March 2014.
The iCapital Award was launched to encourage cities to stimulate innovation and create a network of cities which can share their best ideas for the future. Cities were judged on the basis of initiatives they have already taken, as well as their future ideas to enhance innovative capacity. Finalists are listed below along with their main achievements:
- BARCELONA, Spain, for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens;
- ESPOO, Finland, for the creation of strategic partnerships uniting science, business and creativity;
- GRENOBLE, France, for investing in scientific and technological breakthroughs through synergies between research, education and industry;
- GRONINGEN, Netherlands, for the use of new concepts, tools and processes to develop a user-centred smart energy ecosystem;
- MALAGA, Spain, for a new urban regeneration model where people and creative industries cooperate and spur growth;
- PARIS, France, for opening up municipally-owned property to experimental innovative solutions, driven by all types of businesses.