Paris named as most innovative European city in 2017
The iCapital award, granted under the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, recognises Paris for its inclusive innovation strategy, eureporter reports.
Tallinn (Estonia) and Tel Aviv (Israel) were selected as runners-up, and were both awarded €100,000. The prize money will be used to scale up and further expand the cities’ innovation efforts.
Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas announced the results at the Web Summit in Lisbon. He said: “Cities are not defined by their size and population, but by the breadth of their vision and the power bestowed upon their citizens. Some cities are not afraid to experiment. They are not afraid to involve their citizens in developing and testing out new ideas. These are the cities that empower their citizens. Today we are here to acknowledge these cities.”
Commissioner Moedas added: “This year’s competition has been particularly tough. The outstanding achievements of all competitors are great examples of the vital importance of our innovation ecosystems and participation of citizens in Europe.”
Over the past decade, Paris has built more than 100,000 square metres of incubators, and hosts now the world’s largest start-up campus. In addition, the city spends 5% of its budget on projects proposed and implemented by citizens. Thanks to this strategy, citizens and innovators from the private, non-profit and academic sectors have made Paris become a true FabCity.
Tallinn has been awarded for its initiative to act as a testing ground for potential breakthrough technologies. The municipality fostered the use of self-driving cars, parcel delivery robots and ride-sharing. Tallinn has also implemented an innovative e-Residency system, which enables local citizens and businesses to work closely together with foreign entrepreneurs.
Tel Aviv has set up a Smart City Urban Lab that links up innovative start-ups with leading technology companies in order to facilitate breakthrough innovations for solving urban challenges. Education being among Tel Aviv’s priorities, part of the prize will be dedicated to strengthening the Smart Education Initiative, developed by the municipality in collaboration with teachers, parents, students and local tech start-ups.