Will your city be the next capital of innovation?

The 2017 Capital of Innovation will win EUR 1 000 000 to scale up its innovation activities. The two runners-up in second and third place will each receive EUR 100 000. Apply online via the contest website ( by 21 June 2017, 17:00 (Brussels time).

Who can particate?

The contest is open to cities that:

  • are located in an EU Member State or in a country associated to Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme;
  • have over 100 000 inhabitants - in countries where there is no city with more than 100 000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply;
  • are running innovative initiatives which started after 1 January 2016; and
  • did not win first prize in the previous European Capital of Innovation contests. This restriction does not apply to the runners-up of those contests.

For the purposes of this competition, a city is any urban area understood as an administrative unit governed by a city council or another form of democratically elected body. For data about the population, Eurostat will be the official source of reference.

How will the winner be selected?

Applicant cities will be judged on the innovative solutions to their relevant societal challenges reported in their application. Cities will particularly have to prove how they create the local conditions to innovate by:

  • Experimenting – innovative concepts, processes, tools, and governance models your city is implementing as a test-bed for innovation. How is your city mainstreaming these innovative practices into its urban processes?
  • Engaging – how your city offers increased opportunities to citizens to innovate and ensures the uptake of their ideas.
  • Expanding – how is your city attracting new talents, resources, funding, investments through its innovative practices, and how this helps become a role model for other cities.
  • Empowering – concrete and measurable added value directly connected to the implementation of innovative practices. An independent panel of judges from different backgrounds will select the winner and runners-up, who will be announced at the end of 2017
  • For more information: