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European Innovation Council
News article6 October 20232 min read

Discover the European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital) 2023 finalists!

The Commission has announced today the European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital)  six finalists. These cities have now a chance to become the European Capital of Innovation or the European Rising Innovative City 2023.

Supported by the European Innovation Council under Horizon Europe, the prize recognises the role cities play in shaping the local innovation ecosystem and promoting game-changing innovations, in line with the objectives of the New European Innovation Agenda.

After a careful selection process that included remote interviews with twelve semi-finalist cities, the high-level juries of independent experts have selected six finalists for this year's  categories (below, in alphabetical order):

The European Capital of Innovation category

     Lisbon (Portugal)

     Lviv (Ukraine)

     Warsaw (Poland)

The European Rising Innovative city category

    Cork (Ireland)

    Linköping (Sweden)

    Padova (Italy)

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

The iCapital awards recognise those cities that excel in promoting their innovation ecosystems, put the citizens and their wellbeing at the centre of their innovative projects and that, at the end, use innovation to positively transform people’s lives.

What happens next?

One winner and two runners-up will be awarded in each prize category at the award ceremony on 27 November 2023, in Marseille (France). Aix-Marseille-Provence Métropole was the winner of the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2022.

Apart from the prestigious recognition, the European Capital of Innovation category winner will receive a prize of €1 million while the two runners-up of this category will get €100 000 each.

Moreover, the European Rising Innovative City category winner will be awarded €500 000, with two runner-up cities receiving €50 000 each.

All finalists will be invited to join the European Innovation Council Forum working group (EIC Prizes Alumni Network)composed of previous finalists of the iCapital Awards.

Cities play a pivotal role in driving innovation, serving as dynamic hubs where diverse ideas, talents, and resources come together. The role of cities will also be discussed at the Next Generation Innovators Summit organized by the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Madrid, on 10 October, and at the European Innovation Council Forum Plenary, on 11 October.


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

Through iCapital, the European Union recognises cities with inclusive innovation ecosystems. The prize identifies cities connecting citizens with academia, businesses, and the public sector to successfully translate results into improved well-being of society while simultaneously boosting game-changing innovation.

The prize first took place in 2014. Past winners include Barcelona (2014), Amsterdam (2016), Paris (2017), Athens (2018), Nantes (2019), Leuven (2020), Dortmund (2021), and Aix-Marseille Provence Metropole (2022) as European Capitals of Innovation. Past winners in the Rising Innovative city category include Vantaa (2021) and Haarlem (2022).

iCapital is one of the five EIC Prizes granted under Horizon Europe, the EU's research and innovation framework programme. The prize is open to cities from all EU member states and countries associated to Horizon Europe and it is managed by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency, The winners are chosen following an assessment performed by two high-level juries of independent experts.



Publication date
6 October 2023