Covenant's members enter final round of the 2017 European Capital of Innovation contest

09/05/2017 - 09:59

Ten cities using the most innovative ideas to improve quality of life and to involve citizens in community life have reached the final stage of the European Capital of Innovation Award 2017. Two members of the Covenant on Demographic Change, Tampere (Finland) and Nice (France), are among them.

The European Capital of Innovation contest, launched in March 2017 by Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, is meant to reward the European city that is building the best 'innovation ecosystem', connecting citizens, public organisations, academia, and business. Barcelona won the first competition in 2014, for its use of new technologies to bring the city closer to people, fostering economic growth and the welfare of its citizens. Amsterdam won in 2016 for creating an innovation ecosystem with four dimensions (smart, start-ups, liveability and digital social innovation) around the traditionally open approach of its citizens.

For the 2017 edition, 10 cities have been selected for the final round:

  • Aarhus (DK) – for giving citizens more responsibilities in creating social welfare and creating physical labs for innovation.
  • Berlin (DE) – for its shared approach to governance, allowing the city boroughs to experiment in several domains, from social innovation to logistics and green supply chains.
  • Copenhagen (DK) – for its "Transformative Living Lab" approach, which encourages citizens and entrepreneurs to take part in a network of experimental laboratories.
  • Helsinki (FI) – for its world-class education and IT culture that fosters innovative collaborations among citizens and institutions to jointly tackle urban challenges such as air quality, maritime technology and health-tech.
  • Nice (FR) – for its Smart City strategy that offers citizens to engage via the city Innovation Centre in decisions on climate change, healthy ageing, environmental risk and security innovation.
  • Paris (FR) – for its mission to turn into a "FabCity" hosting the largest start-up campus in the world, which encourages innovative projects by citizens and entrepreneurs.
  • Tallinn (EE) – for becoming a model of a true "eCity" by digitalising all the city services.
  • Tampere (FI) – for its "Grow.Smart.Together" urban development program, where citizens, universities and businesses are involved in creating smart urban solutions fostering new jobs in the city.
  • Tel Aviv (IL) – for its impressive hi-tech sector programmes and city policies, leading to the highest concentration of accelerator programs in Europe.
  • Toulouse (FR) – for its Open Metropolis strategy, a participatory governance model allowing citizens and business organisations to co-design major urban local initiatives.

We are glad to see Tampere (Finland) and Nice (France), members of the Covenant, listed among the 10 finalists. Nice in particular has showcased its work on healthy ageing. 

The European Capital of Innovation 2017 award and a prize of €1 million to scale up innovation activities will go to the city presenting the best innovation ecosystem, with two runners-up to receive a prize of €100 000 each. The winners will be announced on 7 November at the Lisbon Web Summit.

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