European Capital of Innovation Awards: applications are open
European cities can now apply to the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC). The initiative has more than €1.5 million to award different cities that show how innovation can successfully be included in our everyday lives.
Cities are invited to apply here!
The institutions that compose a city's backbone are the best vehicles to bring innovation in a concrete and more impactful way to a citizen's life. A municipality can connect public and private actors, manage infrastructures, and boost local action. Thus, urban areas can substantially enhance innovation in Europe, improve the quality of citizens' lives, and provide ground to experiment with new technologies and products in a natural environment.
With the annual European Capital of Innovation Awards, cities are recognised for their role in best promoting the development of local innovation ecosystems for the benefit of innovators and the wellbeing of their citizens. The awards are aimed at rewarding the most innovative city practices that boost game-changing innovation.
In 2021, the European Capital of Innovation Awards will feature two categories:
- The European Capital of Innovation category addresses cities with a minimum of 250 000 inhabitants and rewards the winner with €1 000 000 and two runners-up with €100 000 each.
- The European Rising Innovative City category targets towns and cities with 50 000 and up to 249 999 inhabitants and rewards the winner with €500 000 and two runners-up with €50 000 each.
Applications to this year's edition are currently open, and the deadline for submissions is 17:00 (CET) on 15 July 2021. All applications must be submitted via the Funding and Tenders Portal.
A city can apply as long as it has at least 50 000 inhabitants (please see all exceptions in the Rules of Contest eligibility criteria) and is in an EU Member State or an Associated Country.
Cities will have to show how they created the conditions for innovation by:
- Experimenting with innovative concepts, processes, tools, and governance models as a testbed for innovation.
- Escalating and accelerating the growth of highly innovative start-ups and SMEs.
- Shaping the local innovation ecosystem through Ecosystem building actions that foster synergies among different innovation ecosystem players ranging from public, industry, civil society, citizens to academia.
- Expanding the city's attractiveness to become a role model for other cities.
- Demonstrating the long-term strategic city innovative vision