The European Commission has yesterday started the search for the first European Capital of Innovation, or iCapital. The prize will reward the city which is building the best “innovation ecosystem”, connecting citizens, public organisations, academia, and business. Given that 68% of the EU population now lives in urban areas, it is these areas that will contribute the most to making Europe more innovative. Cities foster innovation in their own provision of services, but the key is to create the right environment for others to innovate and to allow the public and private spheres to connect. An independent panel of experts will select the winner in spring 2014, with the city chosen receiving €500000 towards scaling up its efforts. The deadline for applications is 3 December 2013.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: “Cities are the engines of the European economy. Seven out of 10 Europeans live in an urban area, and these regions generate two thirds of EU GDP. We want to encourage cities to raise their game when it comes to innovation, and create a network of cities which can share their best ideas for the future.” Continue reading “European Commission seeks “Capital of Innovation””