Oxford was one of nine cities represented as finalists at the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2016, held on April 8 2016.
The title of European Capital of Innovation 2016 and a prize of €950,000 was at stake for the city judged to have the best track record in supporting and promoting innovation, right across the community.
At the ceremony held by the European Commission in Brussels, Oxford was the smallest city represented, and up against a shortlist consisting of many capital cities, having already been selected from a field of 36 applicant cities.
The shortlist included Amsterdam; Berlin; Eindhoven; Glasgow; Milan; Paris; Turin, and Vienna.
The winner was Amsterdam recognised for its outstanding track record in supporting innovation and specifically for embracing a bottom-up approach based on smart growth, start-ups, livability and digital social innovation
Oxford’s bid was developed by the City Council with a team of partners from the County Council, the two universities, the Low Carbon Hub, the Student Hub, the Hospital Trust, local businesses and other community organisations.
Peter Sloman, Chief Executive of Oxford City Council, said:
We are delighted to have reached the finals and to have been recognised alongside such a competitive field. The fact that Oxford is in the mix with major cities like Paris and Berlin, demonstrates the strength of the bid, our local economy, and our local partnerships. We will continue to work to realise the benefits of innovation in and around Oxford, and aim to deliver on spirit of the bid, which is to make Oxford a place where anyone, regardless of background, has the opportunity to bring their ideas to life. We will work with partners and the community to build on this achievement and punch above our weight as a city.
Commenting on Venturefest's involvement, Executive Chair, Lynn Shepherd said:
Venturefest Oxford was delighted to be part of the bid team - Innovation lies at the heart of entrepreneurship and successful business so it was very important to ensure they were given a voice in our bid. Congratulations Oxford - we made it to a short list of much larger cities and we won’t stop now, watch out next year!.
In addition to the City Council, Oxford’s iCapital 2016 bid was funded by Oxford University; Oxford Brookes University; Oxfordshire County Council; Venturefest Oxford; Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership; InOxford, and The Oxford Trust.