Three UK cities nominated for EU ‘capital of innovation’

Bristol, London and Glasgow are among 12 cities nominated for the European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Award.

The €1m cash prize is awarded to the European city that is best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its citizens. Five runner ups are awarded €100,000 each.

Cities are judged on how they implement innovative solutions to societal challenges. These solutions can be completed or ongoing, but must have been implemented in the year prior to the opening of the contest or the contest year itself.

Cities must show how they’ve experimented with innovative concepts, engaged and empowered innovation from citizens and ‘expanded the city’s attractiveness’ to become a role model for other cities across Europe.

Last years winner was Athens who used innovation to overcome the economic and social crisis of its past years.

The POLIS² project revitalises abandoned buildings by providing small grants to residents, small enterprises, creative communities and other civil society groups and bring life to all corners of Athens.

This year’s 12 finalists for the European Capital of Innovation are: Antwerp (BE), Bilbao (ES), Bologna (IT), Bristol (UK), Dortmund (DE), Espoo (FI), Glasgow (UK), Hamburg (DE), London (UK), Lyon (FR), Nantes (FR), Rotterdam (NL).

NewStart recently travelled to Bristol to see if the city’s reputation for creativity and innovation can help tackle some of its infamous inequalities. Read our reports into the Bristol Housing Festival here and the We Can Make project here.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: ‘We know where we want to be in 2050, but our path to reaching those goals is evolving all the time.

‘To be shortlisted for a European Capital of Innovation Award is an amazing achievement in itself, but should we be successful in gaining this prize, we’ll be able to make huge strides forward, testing ideas across the whole system which everyone in Bristol will benefit from.’

The 6 winning cities will be announced in September.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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