On January 21 this year, in Brussels, the European Commission announced the list of cities nominated to become the European Capital of Innovation 2016. Thus, the nine nominated cities are:
Amsterdam - for embracing a bottom-up approach based on smart growth, startups, livability and digital social innovation;
Berlin - for performing as an urban living lab where innovative Information and Communication Technology solutions can be tested;
Eindhoven - for combining digital technology with creativity in its world-leading urban smart lighting strategy;
Glasgow - for its replicable innovation model based on partnerships across industry, science and communities;
Milano - for enhancing social inclusion and alternative models in the delivery of public services to create more opportunities for employment;
Oxford - for its vision to openly share the wealth of knowledge within its world-class innovation ecosystem;
Paris - for its strategy based on open innovation, connectivity and ingenuity aiming at becoming a world hub for start-up;
Torino - for its open innovation models supporting social innovation start-ups and creating new market opportunities for urban innovations;
Vienna - for its innovation and ICT strategies based on a citizen-centered approach and long-term developments in economy, education, research and technology
The finalists have been selected by a jury of independent experts on the basis of new initiatives launched since 1 January 2012 and on their ideas for developing innovation capacity in the future.
At the same time, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation rated the applications for this year’s European Capital of Innovation award really inspiring, noting that the achievements of each of the nine shortlisted cities are all outstanding in their own right and will encourage many others to invest in their innovation ecosystems.
It should be noted that the first place prize is of €950,000 and will go to the city building the best “innovation ecosystem”, the winners will be announced in spring 2016. 36 cities from 12 countries applied to this year’s competition.
The first edition of the competition took place in 2014, and the winning city was Barcelona (Spain), being given the first place for introducing new technologies to facilitate citizens’ access to information.