Each year, the iCapital Award is given to the most innovative city in Europe. Back in 2014 the prize was awarded to Barcelona, in 2016 Amsterdam was the winner and in 2017 Paris took home the iCapital Award. The annual cash prize is part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and awarded to the city best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its citizens.
Experimenting, engaging, expanding and empowering
The award is not given to nominees pointed out by the European Commission. Cities must apply for the prize and demonstrate how they create conditions for innovation by experimenting, engaging, expanding and empowering.
How does the city experiment with innovative concepts, processes, tools, and governance models as a testbed for innovation? How does the city engage citizens in innovation processes and ensures the uptake of their ideas? How does the city expand the city’s attractiveness to become a role model for others? And how does the city empower citizens by implementing innovation practices?
These questions Aarhus had to answer, and a project group within ITK Lab was given the task to write the application. The believe that true innovation is about people and key values such as openness, accessibility and engagement was used to describe the city’s innovation approach. But why send an application at all?
Strengthening innovation in Aarhus
With the iCapital 2018 application Aarhus hope to highlight and collect the innovative initiatives and stories of the city to strengthen awareness of innovation within the city itself and to profile the city as an international innovation partner. By applying for the iCapital Award and becoming one of the ten 2017-finalists, Aarhus placed itself in a distinguished European company and in a position of greater international awareness.
- Aarhus University
- Destination Aarhus