The European Commission has awarded this year’s European Capital of Innovation award to Amsterdam. The Dutch city was recognised for embracing a bottom-up approach based on smart growth, start-ups, liveability and digital social innovation.
The winner was announced at a ceremony last week hosted by the European Committee of the Regions. Amsterdam, which beat out eight other finalists, was awarded EUR 950,000 to scale up and expand its efforts on innovation in four basic areas of urban life: governance, economics, social inclusion and quality of life.
“Amsterdam fully deserves to be our European Capital of Innovation for its holistic vision of innovation in and for the city,” said Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. “But the competition was very tough and the outstanding achievements of all nine shortlisted cities are an inspiration to others.”
Turin and Paris were selected as runners-up and will receive prizes of EUR 100,000 and EUR 50,000 respectively.
“This award is all about speeding up change: we must encourage cities and regions to tackle burning societal challenges by jumping on the innovation train and spreading bottom-up experiences,” said Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions. “We need pioneering cities and regions like the winner, Amsterdam, to lead the way.”
The first European Capital of Innovation award was awarded to Barcelona in 2014. This year’s award, which was launched in July 2015, received applications from 36 cities in 12 countries. The nine finalists were Amsterdam, Berlin, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Milan, Oxford, Paris, Turin and Vienna.