Meet the European Innovation Capital (iCapital) 2022 finalists | So Good News


Supported by the European Innovation Council at Horizon Europe, the award recognizes the role of cities in shaping the local innovation ecosystem and promoting game-changing innovation.

After a thorough selection process with twelve semi-finalist cities, a high-level jury of independent experts selected six finalists for this year’s iCapital Awards (listed below, by category and in alphabetical order).

European capital of innovation

  • Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropole (France)
  • Espoo (Finland)
  • Valencia (Spain)

Europe’s emerging innovative city

  • Aveiro (Portugal)
  • Haarlem (Netherlands)
  • Mainz (Germany)

Maria Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth:

Every year, the EU recognizes the best cities in creating their innovation ecosystems to positively change people’s lives and stimulate breakthrough innovation. I look forward to honoring this year’s winners at the European Innovation Council Summit on December 7.

What happens next?

One winner and two runners-up will be awarded in each category. They will be announced at the EIC Summit in Brussels on December 7, 2022.

In addition to recognition, European Capital of Innovation category The winner will receive a prize of 1,000,000 euros, and two runners-up in this category will receive 100,000 euros each.

Moreover, Europe’s growing innovation city the category winner will receive €500,000, and the two runner-up cities will receive €50,000 each.

All finalists are invited to join the EIC Forum working group within the EIC Prizes Alumni network, made up of previous finalists of these awards.


Supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC) under Horizon Europe, this is the eighth edition of the prestigious European Innovation Capital Awards, known as iCapital.

Through iCapital, the European Union recognizes cities with inclusive innovation ecosystems. The award recognizes cities that connect the general public with academia, business and the public sector to successfully translate results into improved public well-being, while fostering game-changing innovation.

The award was held for the first time in 2014. Past winners include Barcelona (2014), Amsterdam (2016), Paris (2017), Athens (2018), Nantes (2019), Leuven (2020) and Dortmund (2021) as European Capital of Innovation. .

In 2021, Vantaa received the title of innovative city, which was promoted for the first time through a new category introduced to reward innovative practices introduced by smaller cities with a population of more than 50,000 and 249,999 inhabitants.

iCapital is one of four EIC awards given under Horizon Europe, the European Union’s research and innovation framework program. The award is administered by the European Innovation Council and the SME Executive Agency, and the winners are selected by two high-level juries of independent experts.


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