Barcelona becomes first iCapital

  • knowledge society

Barcelona was selected as the first European Capital for Innovation (iCapital) for its use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens

EUROCITIES member Barcelona was on 11 March announced as the first European Capital of Innovation. The Catalan city is being recognised for its use of new technologies to bring the city closer to its citizens.

In 2011, Barcelona city council launched the ‘Barcelona as a people city’ project to introduce new technologies to promote economic growth and better quality of life for citizens. Measures include:

  • open data initiatives, offering valuable information to individuals and private companies

  • sustainable city growth initiatives on smart lighting, mobility and residual energy

  • social innovation

  • promoting alliances between research centres, universities, and private and public partners

  • providing ‘smart services’ through ICT

Barcelona wins €500,000 to scale up and expand its innovation efforts. The other finalists for the title were fellow EUROCITIES member Grenoble, as well as Groningen in the Netherlands. 

The prize was announced during the European Innovation Convention in Brussels on 10-11 March 2014. Speaking at the event, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European commissioner for research, innovation and science, described Barcelona as a ‘deserving winner of the first iCapital award for its dedication to using new technology for the benefit of its inhabitants”. She also praised the wealth of initiatives and proposals coming from European cities, saying that: “outstanding initiatives at the local level will contribute to turning the European Union into an innovation union”.

Read more in the European Commission press release, here