Jessica Brodén at the spin-off company and growing scale-up Omnio is part of the biotech cluster in Umeå
Jessica Brodén at the spin-off company and growing scale-up Omnio is part of the biotech cluster in Umeå

Umeå is nominated to become the European Capital of Innovation 2018. With a population of 120 000 people, the city just passes the minimum requirements to enter the competition – now the city brings up their viking heritage to boost their chances on winning the iCapital Award in November 2018.

The iCapital award is established by the European Commission and constitutes an annual cash prize awarded to one European city that can demonstrate their ability to “harness innovation to improve the lives of its citizens”.

The criteria for selection include a number of areas. But are described as follow; A candidate for the iCapital award – getting the title “European Innovation Capital” should:

  • contribute to open and dynamic innovation ecosystems
  • involve citizens in governance and decision-making
  • use innovation to improve the resiliency and sustainability of their cities

Umeå is nominated together with 11 other contestants. Two of the 12 finalists are Swedish. The contestants are:

  • Aarhus
  • Antwerp
  • Athens
  • Bristol
  • Gothenburg
  • Hamburg
  • Leuven
  • Lisbon
  • Madrid
  • Toulouse
  • Umeå
  • Vienna

Representatives from the finalist cities presented their innovation strategies at a special ‘iCapital Stories’ session in Brussels on 10 October. The city to win the title “European Capital of Innovation 2018” will be announced by Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation during the Web summit in Lisbon on 6 November 2018.

Link to Umeå’s finalist video above

No matter the turnout – we are pretty convinced that Umeå, and the buzzing startup-community here is a great example of how a diverse, multi-cultural city with a global population can really stand out with innovation and produce solutions to some of the greatest issues humankind faces today.

Good luck Umeå!

Read more about the two Swedish cities competing for the title as European Innovation Capital 2018 here:

12 cities in the final to be European Capital of Innovation