European Capital Of Innovation Awards Now Open for Applications 2024: Winner to Receive €1 million

The European Commission has launched the 10th edition of the European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital), which recognizes and celebrates European cities that are at the forefront of innovation and have made a positive impact on their citizens.

European Capital Of Innovation Awards

European Capital Of Innovation Awards

The award aims to highlight the achievements of cities that have developed and implemented innovative policies, created frameworks that foster innovation and made themselves more attractive to investors, industries, and talent.

Additionally, the award will recognize cities that have strengthened connections with other cities, promoted the sharing of best practices, and supported citizen involvement in decision-making processes. The award also aims to promote urban resilience.


The contest will award six prizes across two categories: European Capital of Innovation and Rising Innovative City.

  • The winner of the European Capital of Innovation category will receive €1 million and the first two runners-up will receive €100,000 each.
  • The winner of the Rising Innovative City category will receive €500,000 and the two runners-up will receive €50,000 each.
  • All winners and runners-up will be invited to join the EIC Prizes Alumni network, a prestigious group of previous iCapital winners, to share knowledge, discuss challenges, and work together to find solutions.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, applicants must be in a city or town and meet certain requirements. Specifically, they must be located in an EU Member State or Associated Country, and meet the following criteria:

  • For the European Capital of Innovation category, cities must have a minimum population of 250,000 people (or the closest city with a minimum population of 50,000 if there are no cities with 250,000+ inhabitants).
  • For the European Rising Innovative City category, cities must have a population of 50,000 to 249,999 people.
  • Cities that have won previous European Capital of Innovation Awards are not eligible, except for previous finalists. Additionally, cities that have already received an EU or Euratom prize cannot receive another prize for the same activities.
  • Joint applications from multiple cities are not allowed.

Evaluation Criteria

Two expert panels will assess the applicant cities’ innovative efforts by evaluating their performance in the following areas:

  • Using the city as a testbed for new ideas and practices
  • Fostering the growth and development of start-ups and small businesses
  • Building and strengthening relationships between the public sector, industry, academia, and citizens
  • Expanding the city’s innovation capacity to serve as a model for other cities
  • Developing a clear and innovative vision for the city’s future, with a focus on sustainability and creating a positive impact on the community

In addition, the juries will also consider how innovation is used to:

  • Strengthen democracy and protect citizens’ rights
  • Promote social cohesion and integration, with a focus on marginalized groups such as minorities, women, people with disabilities, and individuals from diverse racial backgrounds.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted electronically through the Funding & Tenders Portal’s Electronic Submission System. Hard copy or paper applications will NOT be accepted.

For more information visit the official website of the European Capital Of Innovation Awards.

Application Deadline

June 18, 2024.

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