Helsinki qualifies as an innovation capital for its innovation platforms such as Smart Kalasatama and intelligent transport pilots.
Also, Helsinki’s collaboration networks and projects, including Smart & Clean, City Academia, Helsinki Think Company, Health Capital Helsinki and the Merit –project are examples of the city’s strong innovation ecosystem. Helsinki also uses design in a cross-cutting and effective way, and the city has a strong open data and start-up culture.
Helsinki is one of ten finalists of the Innovation Capital (iCapital) competition. The iCapital competition, which is organised every second year by the European Commission, looks for the best European city-innovation ecosystem.
Innovations are technology and inclusion
Innovations are not solely technology but they also have social aspects. Participation and civil collaboration play an important part. These are also central themes of Helsinki’s City Strategy.
Other iCapital finalists are Aarhus, Berlin, Copenhagen, Nice, Paris, Tallinn, Tampere, Tel Aviv, and Toulouse. The winning city will be announced in Lisbon this November and the winner will receive a one million euro prize to boost its innovation ecosystem. Previous iCapital winners are Amsterdam (2015) and Barcelona (2014).