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Research and innovation

European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) 2017

Full details of the 2017 iCapital contest, the winner, runners-up and links to all finalists

European Capital of Innovation 2017 – Paris

Paris was named the winner of the competition in 2017 for many reasons.

It built more than 100,000 square metres of space for start-up incubators over the last decade. It also hosts the world's largest start-up campus Station F, which has room to house more than 1,000 start-ups.

Through the Arc of Innovation, a network of projects spanning the city, Paris is ensuring that its periphery is benefiting economically and socially from innovation. 

In addition the city spends 5% of its budget on projects proposed and implemented by citizens.

Innovation Arc website

Runners-up – Tallinn, Tel Aviv


In Tallinn, you can find robots delivering parcels and self-driving cars. 

Residents already perform most transactions online, and the city’s focus on digital technologies has extended to offering e-residency of Tallinn.

This means people from all over the world can register in Estonia to start and run a global business in the EU.

The city is also working on plans to enable people to travel to Helsinki, Finland in under 10 minutes thanks to an underwater tube equipped with pods on electromagnets that can travel up to 1,100 kilometres per hour.

Tallinn's iCapital website
Finalist Video

Tel Aviv

There are more than 1,700 start-ups in Tel Aviv.

Part of the reason the city is home to so many small businesses is that 

  • it has a very high concentration of accelerator programmes for start-ups
  • a tenth of city dwellers work in technology

The city has also created a DigiTel portal so that its residents can get personalised information through text message, email, post or website. So for example, they can find out if a bridge they usually take is undergoing repairs or if kindergarten registration is opening soon. 

Tel Aviv Innovation Festival

Finalist Video

The award ceremony

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, announced the results at the Lisbon Web Summit in November 2017. 

The announcement took place on the main stage of the world's largest annual tech conference.

The jury was composed of leading experts with a variety of professional experience in smart innovation, start-up ecosystem development as well as civic engagement and participation.

List of other finalists and websites