Espoo among the finalists for the European Capital of Innovation Award 2019

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2019-07-31 11:05

Espoo has been chosen as one of the 12 finalists for the European Capital of Innovation Award (iCapital) by the European Commission. Cities from 16 European countries applied to take part in the competition, and Espoo is the only Finnish and Nordic city chosen to progress to the final.

The prize will be awarded to the European city that is best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its residents. The annual competition allows European cities to showcase their contribution to developing local innovation ecosystems for the benefit of businesses and the wellbeing of their residents.

The other finalists 2019 are: Antwerp (Belgium), Bilbao (Spain), Bologna (Italy), Bristol (United Kingdom), Dortmund (Germany), Glasgow (United Kingdom), Hamburg (Germany), London (United Kingdom), Lyon (France), Nantes (France) and Rotterdam (Netherlands).

Six cities will receive awards

The European Capital of Innovation 2019 will be chosen by an expert jury appointed by the European Commission. The selection will be based on applications submitted in the spring and a presentation that each finalist city will give to the jury in early September.

The European Capital of Innovation 2019 will be revealed on 25 September 2019 during the EU Research and Innovation days event in Brussels.

In particular, cities have to show how they:

  • contribute to open and dynamic innovation ecosystems
  • involve residents in governance and decision-making
  • use innovation to improve the resiliency and sustainability of their cities.

The winner of the competition will receive €1 million to scale up their local innovation activities. Each of the five runner-up cities will also be awarded €100,000.

‘Our position as finalist is a continuation of Espoo's win in the Intelligent Community 2018 competition. It would be great if Finland and Espoo were successful in the competition for the title of European Capital of Innovation during the Finnish Presidency of the EU,’ says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.

The title of the European Capital of Innovation and the cash prize would support both Espoo’s resident and customer-oriented development work and the implementation of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Espoo.

Further information

  • Mayor Jukka Mäkelä, tel. +358 (0)46 877 3953,
  • Director of City as a Service Development Päivi Sutinen, tel. +358 (0)46 8772 871,
  • EU Affairs Coordinator Jasmin Repo, tel. +358 (0)43 826 6886,
  • The European Commission webpage