Hamburg is one of six finalists in the European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Award contest. The annual European Union Prize is worth EUR 1 million and goes to the city that best uses technological innovation to improve its citizens’ lives. Five runners-up will receive EUR 100,000 each. This year’s finalists are Aarhus, Athens, Hamburg, Leuven, Toulouse and Umea in Sweden. A forum of independent experts from all over Europe decides on the winner. The prize will be presented during the Web Summit in Lisbon on November 6, 2018.
Innovative, sustainable solutions for local and global challenges
Commenting on the achievement, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, said: “The inclusion in the circle of finalists shows that we are on the right track to actively shape the growth of our city through innovation and to combine it with an improvement in economic strength, quality of life and climate friendliness”. Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, CEO of Hamburg Marketing GmbH, added: “Under the motto Future Hamburg we show that innovative, sustainable solutions for local and global challenges are emerging in Hamburg. Thanks to close local and international co-operation, this approach is at the heart of the European idea of networking and further developing cities. We are delighted to be making a significant contribution to this with Hamburg.”
A win would mean yet another accolade for Hamburg. Last week, the Elbe city ranked among the world’s ten most successful cities in terms of promoting companies in the digital economy, according to the Digital Economy of the Future Rankings by the Financial Times publication fDi Magazine, which specialises in foreign direct investments.
Innovative, inspiring, integrated and interactive features required
The European Innovation Capital Prize or iCapital is awarded to a city that builds the best “innovation ecosystem” linking citizens, public authorities, universities and businesses. The EU press release noted: “Given that 68% of the EU population now lives in urban areas, it is these areas that will contribute the most to making Europe more innovative. Cities foster innovation in their own provision of services, but the key is to create the right environment for others to innovate and to allow the public and private spheres to connect.” Last year’s award was presented to Paris for its exemplary support of the start-up scene and the implementation of projects involving citizens.