Brussels, 6 June 2013
EU rewards 9 innovative public initiatives in Europe
The European Commission today announced the winners of the European Prize for Innovation in Public Administration. This prize celebrates the most innovative, forward-looking public initiatives which benefit citizens, firms, or the education and research sector. Nine initiatives from Croatia, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain (two winners), Sweden and the UK were awarded EUR 100 000 each (MEMO/13/503). Winning initiatives included integrated healthcare information accessible on a phone, a web-based platform for funding opportunities for firms, and a nationwide plagiarism detection system for higher education institutions. The awards were made by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn during the Week of Innovative Regions Europe IV (WIRE IV) Conference in Cork, Ireland.
Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Innovation is not just something for business. The public sector makes up half of EU gross domestic product, so it must also embrace change. The winners today show that by harnessing new ideas and technology we can improve people's lives and help modernise our economies. We need more initiatives like these."
There were 203 entries to the competition coming from all corners of the European Union. The nine winners were selected by an independent jury on the basis of four criteria: the economic impact of their initiative; its relevance to challenges facing society; how original and easy to replicate the idea is; and how they plan to use the prize money.
The expert jury was Ann Mettler, Lisbon Council; Carlos Brazao, Cisco; Margot Pröhl, European Institute for Public Administration; Sasha Bezuhanova, HP; and Andreas Schleicher, OECD.
The prize money will serve to expand the initiatives. The winners will present their actions to replicate and scale up the initiatives at the next Innovation Convention in 2014 in Brussels.
2013 Award winners
"Education and research" category
The competition was launched in September 2012 and was open to public authorities established in any EU Member state or a country associated to the EU's research framework programme. Submitted initiatives had to be on-going for between one and four years. For more information see: www.ec.europa.eu/admin-innovators
The WIRE IV conference is bringing together regional, national and European stakeholders to address, develop and explore key topics of regional innovation relevant to Horizon 2020, the European Union's seven-year funding programme for research and innovation that is due to start in 2014.