On the occasion of the take place in Brussels European Innovation Council Summit the EU Commission announced the winners of the seventh edition of the European Capital of Innovation Awards announced. The award went this year to the city of Dortmund. The city in the Ruhr area is in line with Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Athens, Nantes and the Belgian town of Leuven (Leuven), who have received the iCapital Award in previous years.
The Finnish city of Vantaa prevailed in the newly introduced “European Rising Innovative City” category. Cascais (Portugal) and Trondheim (Norway) were in the final. Ludwigsburg made it as the best German representative in this competition to the semifinals.
The awards are presented by two expert committees after an extensive evaluation process. Long-term successful efforts by the municipalities to create an environment that promotes innovation and is open to new developments are included in the assessment. This also means that the cities themselves develop and implement innovative concepts. The aim is to make other cities aware of these achievements and encourage them to imitate them.
“The award is a result of teamwork in Dortmund as a city of neighbors”, explains Mayor Thomas Westphal. “Many committed partners from science, business, urban society and administration have built up a sustainable innovation ecosystem in recent years. It has created a breeding ground for start-ups and companies, for research and development, for education and culture. But also for the implementation of good ideas, social projects and creative solutions on site in our neighborhoods. “
Participation in the competition also paid off financially for the winners. In addition to the prestigious recognition, the city of Dortmund receives a check for one million euros. Dublin and Malaga in second place are allowed to share a prize money of 100,000 euros. As the winner of the “European Rising Innovative City” category, Vantaa, which borders the Finnish capital Helsinki to the north, will receive prize money of 500,000 euros. Here, too, the two co-finalists each receive 50,000 euros. Municipalities with 50,000 to 249,999 inhabitants were eligible to participate in this competition.