14 April 2016, by Thomas Lundberg The European Commission awarded the title of European Capital of Innovation 2016 to Amsterdam for its holistic vision of innovation related to four areas of urban life: governance, economics, social inclusion and quality of life.
Amsterdam was chosen by a panel of independent experts in a close competition with eight more finalists that included much larger cities such as Berlin and Paris. The Netherlands had one more finalist with Eindhoven.
Europe's most innovative city Amsterdam's 950.000 euro prize will be used to scale up and expand the city's efforts on innovation. Turin and Paris were selected as runners-up, winning second and third prizes respectively.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Amsterdam fully deserves to be our European Capital of Innovation for its holistic vision of innovation in and for the city.
But the competition was very tough and the outstanding achievements of the all nine shortlisted cities are an inspiration to others. They are shining examples of how cities can put innovation to work to improve the way people live and businesses work."
Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "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.
I am proud to see that 12 European Committee of the Regions' members represent these nine finalists. We need pioneering cities and regions like the winner, Amsterdam, to lead the way."
The 2016 European Capital of Innovation award was launched in 2015 for cities with more than 100.000 inhabitants from EU member states and countries associated to Horizon 2020. 36 citiesfrom 12 countriesappliedtothisyear'scompetition.
The winner and the finalists were selected by a jury of independent experts on the basis of new initiatives launched since January 1, 2012 and on the cities' ideas for developing innovation capacity in the future.