Horizon Europe 2021- Horizon Prize - The European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital) HORIZON-EIC-2021-iCapitalPrize Closed!


Every year, the European Union recognises cities with inclusive innovation ecosystems by awarding the recognition prize European Capital of Innovation Awards. The awards identify urban ecosystems that connect citizens, the public sector, academia, and business, and successfully translate their results into improved wellbeing of their citizens, while boosting game-changing innovation. The award is part of the European Union's efforts to raise awareness about the benefits of urban innovation 'with' and 'for' citizens, supporting cities in addressing relevant societal challenges, and strengthening their urban resilience.


If admissible and eligible, the applications will be evaluated and ranked against the following award criteria:

  • award criterion 1: Experimenting – innovative concepts, processes, tools, and governance models proving the city's commitment to act as a test-bed for innovative practices, while ensuring the mainstreaming of these practices into the ordinary urban development process.
  • award criterion 2: Escalating – accelerating the growth of highly innovative start-ups and SMEs by establishing an innovation friendly legal framework, creating an environment that stimulates growth, private and public investments, resources and talents; and driving innovation demand through efficient innovation public procurement. The city is expected to provide details on concrete results of the showcased initiatives.
  • award criterion 3: Ecosystem building – unlocking the city’s potential as local innovation ecosystem facilitators by fostering synergies among different innovation ecosystem players, from public, industry, civil society, citizens to academia, to contribute to the development of an innovation ecosystem within the city.
  • award criterion 4: Expanding – acting as a role model for other cities by supporting the dissemination and replication of tested solutions that boost the local innovation ecosystem; by promoting mutual learning, knowledge transfer and capacity building; and by enhancing cooperation and synergies between cities that are front-runners in driving the local innovation ecosystem, and those that are still exploring and testing their role as innovation enablers.  
  • award criterion 5: City innovative vision – applicants should demonstrate their long-term strategic vision/plan, highlighting the innovative initiatives that have positively contributed to the transformation of the city and which will further support the development of a robust and sustainable innovation ecosystem.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 1,80 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 15 July 2021 - 3 months ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Rules of contest (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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