Cork shortlisted for European innovative city award

20 Sep 2023

Image: © Cristi/

Cork has a chance to win a €500,000 prize and be recognised for its role in creating an innovation ecosystem.

Cork is among six cities to be nominated as the potential European Rising Innovative City for 2023.

The city was listed among 12 cities from 10 countries in this year’s European Capital of Innovation Awards, which is also know as iCapital. These awards aim to recognise the role certain cities play in shaping their local innovation ecosystems.

Six cities are listed in the European Capital of Innovation category, which are Başakşehir, Istanbul, Kyiv, Lisbon, Lviv and Warsaw. Meanwhile, Cork is competing against Bruges, Leiden, Linköping, Linz and Padova in the European Rising Innovative City category.

Each city will have a private hearing with a judging jury between September and October, before the winner and two runners-up of each category is announced on 27 November this year.

The winner of the European Rising Innovative City category will win €500,000, while the two runners-up will receive €50,000 each.

In 2021, Dublin was selected as joint runner-up at that year’s European Capital of Innovation Awards, receiving a €100,000 prize along with Malaga, while overall winner Dortmund received €1m. Dublin was one of four finalists in that category in 2021.

The iCapital award is now in its ninth year and is one of the five EIC Prizes granted under Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme. This programme has a budget of more than €95bn to fund scientific endeavours across EU member states and other countries.

Earlier this month, the UK government secured a bespoke deal that will enable the country to rejoin Horizon Europe, following years of uncertainty and failed negotiations in the aftermath of Brexit.

Past winners of the top award include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Athens, Nantes, Leuven, Dortmund and Aix-Marseille Provence Metropole. Meanwhile, previous Rising Innovative City award winners include Vantaa in 2021 and Haarlem last year.

Last year, Cork-headquartered cybersecurity start-up Vaultree was the only Irish company among 80 high-potential start-ups and SMEs that were selected for that year’s EIC accelerator. This followed a “highly competitive” selection process that saw more than 1,000 companies apply.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic