Métropole Nice Cote d'Azur Candidate au prix de la capitale européenne de l'innovation
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The Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur finalist of the European Capital of Innovation awards


What is iCapital ?

This award is launched annually by the European Commission through its Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding program. The last two winners are the cities of Barcelona and Amsterdam.

Date of application: June 21st, 2017

No French city has been awarded to date!

What are the selection criteria?

Field of experimentation: The community offers its territory (living lab or open lab) to conduct experiments with an operational purpose, that is to say, to be part of a planned process of development of the territory.

Citizen Engagement: Concerns citizen participation at all levels of the process (design -> exploitation), as well as the actions and solutions put in place to take into account the needs and expectations of all categories of citizens (Nb. Broader range expresses a desire to not limit to an "elitist" approach that would exclude segments of the population such as the elderly, people with low levels of education).

Serve as a model Demonstrate concretely the effort of communication, of information, of dissemination around the projects, of results, of methodology.

Highlight attention to follow a non-exclusive approach allowing replication.

Two objectives are thus set:

  • Attractiveness for the "model" territory (benefits for oneself).
  • Replication capacity to other territories (benefits for others).

Impact In other words, the return on investment of innovation. This necessarily involves performance criteria (KPIs) and targets (thresholds).

The use of the term empowerment emphasizes the importance attached to the leverage effect of the innovations put in place. For example, positive externalities should be highlighted beyond operational efficiency gains.

What are the advantages with this label?

The prize is intended to reward the efforts of European cities (of more than 100 000 inhabitants) to promote innovation in their communities and thus improve the quality of life of their citizens. It will strengthen a bottom-up approach through the implementation of pilot initiatives led by citizens. It will reward a city or metropolis ready to offer itself as an experimental territory for citizen-centered initiatives to find solutions to their daily needs. For this award, cities and metropolises are considered as a platform able to facilitate the growth and development of creativity and innovation.

The winner of this prize will illustrate at a European scale commitment to innovation and serve as a model to inspire and identify best practices that can be replicated in other cities in Europe.

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Why Nice is Innovative?


Since 2008, Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur has transformed itself from a tourism-based economy to an undisputed European Smart City leader.

Nice Côte d’Azur then developed these first successes thanks to a strong cooperation with large multinationals but also local companies (IBM, Cisco, Schneider) and with university and research institutes embedded in the local digital ecosystem.

Download iCapital history (pdf)

NICE Flagship Demonstration Projects

To be effective, a public policy needs flagship projects and buildings/urban areas, especially when the policy is dealing with new services focused on meeting citizens needs and improving quality of life. Nice Côte d’Azur has developed at 6 major flagship demonstration projects, that are helping implement the three priorities themes, they include:

  • IMREDD: an education and research centre located in the Plaine du Var Eco-Valley area, within the technology park Nice Meridia and neighbours with the CEEI. It is the result of a cooperation between the University and NCA. It represents the first step in developing a smart city campus. Its Smart City Innovation Centre (SCIC) brings together research organisations, universities and companies of the smart city ecosystem. It has notably focused on creating smart transport solutions.
  • Nice Meridia, a mixed use development, hosts the CEEI (city leading incubator), the accelerator ALLIANZ (provides funds and coaching to promising start-ups) and the French Tech delegation (representative body for French start-ups in the world) and several high tech companies.
  • 27 DELVALLE: it is located close to the health campus and is a living lab for health projects. It provides space for training, research, development, exchange, notably with citizens.
  • Centre For Urban Supervision: it provides in real time data to enhance the monitoring of the city.
  • Victims Assistance Centre: it was of great help during the terrorist attack on Promenade des Anglais 14/7/16.

Totem sites
Map of the emblematic NICE flagship locations


Nice Côte d’Azur has been recognized by its peers and awarded many international awards for its smart city strategy and project implementation including citizen engagement.

Download Awards & Prizes (pdf)

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Nice iCapital 2017 application

Three strategic priorities

The Smart City strategy is focused on three domains which match the characteristics of the territory and also the assets already in place (businesses, research institutes) and reflecting citizens’ needs and are clearly aligned with major European societal challenges.

Hypervision of the territory

Nice prepares for your Future

The energy dimension is particularly important as the territory is an energy peninsula with a high risk of energy shortage. Moreover, the hinterland can produce renewable energy from wood, solar panels or hydraulic turbines.

Besides the production of energy, awareness of the impact of energy consumption practices needs to be raised and consumption made more efficient and sustainable.

Several European projects linked to smart grids have been deployed on the territory and the process is still on-going. Implementation of the energy transition induces a community of citizens and organisations to participate actively, thus becoming active "consumer-producers (prosumers)"

Nice care for your Health

Health issues are important due to the climate (UV, pollution), the natural environment (allergies and pollen), the demography (large percentage of seniors) and the presence of vulnerable persons in the hinterland (senior and young).

The health infrastructures and human resources available to combat these challenges are contributing, with state of the art tools, like proton therapy, a national centre of reference for aging, several modern hospitals and the 27 Delvalle innovation health lab. Ten ongoing projects dedicated to the health ecosystem will further stimulate innovation and develop the economic value chain of e-health.

Nice cares for your Safety

The natural risks are also difficult challenges facing the citizens of both the capital city and the hinterland, requiring new and innovative approaches, fully justifying the “Nice Cares for your Safety” policy agenda: floods, forest fires (50% of the territory is exposed), earthquakes (level 4 on a scale up to 5), ground movements, meteorological phenomena ... synonymous with marine submersion, snow, winds above 100 km/h, very strong heat waves etc. Faced with the additional challenge of climate change, aggravating all natural risks, NCA has been very active in innovating to fight these risks since 2008. The topic of risk is not solely of an environmental nature, NCA has also considered risk scenarios linked to terrorism incidents. The European project Practicies aims at preventing the violent radicalisation of individuals and raising awareness in the community at large.

The three pillars of the smart city strategy are linked through the open data portal and the Centre of Excellence of the Smart City, moreover the governance is based on the quadruple helix (citizens, higher education institutes, research centers, companies) and the coordinating role of the Métropole. Indeed this governance model and team spirit developed between all the iCapital bid partners is helping lay the foundations of a strong organisational implementation team for the future of the NCA Smart City Strategy.

Impact and added value for citizens :
Impact and added value for citizen

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Communication campaign

NICE iCapital 2017 Press Release

The communication campaign lead by Nice Métropole involved and brought together elected officials, citizens, associations, large companies, SMEs, startups experts and even ancient contestants of the European Capital of Innovation.

Download press release (pdf)

NICE iCapital 2017 TV Reports

NICE iCapital 2017 Twitter campaign

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NICE iCapital 2017 Youtube Channel

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Support network

NCA has developed the iCapital 2017 application through a range of events, delivered with the support of the bid partners that have allowed citizens and other stakeholders to actively contribute, with a strong team spirit, to its construction and put forward concrete project proposals that will deliver enhanced citizen wellbeing.

I support !

NICE iCapital 2017 Ambassadors

iCapital Ambassadors

NICE iCapital 2017 Citizen network

Support with them !

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NICE iCapital Videos

Innovation is a NICE experience. Discover the Nice Côte d’Azur iCapital 2017 application

The Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur an Interconnected and sustainable city where innovation is in the heart of the ecosystem

Citizens engagement to the NICE iCapital 2017 application

See our NICE iCapital Youtube Channel

NICE iCapital Events

March 2, 2017 – NICE iCapital 2017 Conference on Smart Citizens

Nice Métropole decided to organise the symposium « Citizens in the Smart City ». The themes focused on citizenship in digital globalization, participatory democracy in the digital era, administration at the heart of the digital transformation of territories and organizations, citizens in the digital city.

Learn more

June 15, 2017 – NICE iCapital 2017 Event on European fundings opportunities

The event organized by Nice Métropole aimed at providing information to local companies on European funding opportunities to boost their participation on various programmes: EIB funds; Community action, ERDF and Financial Instruments PACA.

Learn more

July 5, 2017 – NICE iCapital 2017 at Innovative City

On the 5th and 6th of July, Nice Métropole organized a specific session at Innovative City dedicated to NICE iCapital 2017 application entitled Europe, Citzens and Innovation. A set of representatives from the European Commission (DG GROW, DG REGIO, DG HOME) and the Economic Board of Amsterdam winner of iCapital 2016 awards.

Learn more

NICE iCapital 2017 at Innovative City

As part of the 6th edition of Innovative City Conference - a major international event on innovative, sustainable and innovative territories - which took place from 5 to 6 July 2017, the Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur held a session dedicated to the iCapital 2017 Award.

Since 2010, Nice and its Métropole have shown a "revolutionary spirit" by making its digital revolution the fuel of their economic and urban development. The Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur, in its application to the iCapital 2017 awards, hopes to succeed to Barcelona and Amsterdam in becoming the next European Capital of Innovation.

Several speakers of the European Commission from the DG GROW, DG HOME and DG REGIO were invited to exchange on the future prospects offered by innovation within the European Union. Two representatives of Innovative Cities were also invited to share their Innovation strategy: the former iCapital 2016 winner, Amsterdam, and the city of San Sebastian.

These exchanges focused on good practices and examples to involve citizens in innovation strategies and the new means to carry out this digital transition.

In addition, the European representatives present in Nice, were able to benefit from a detailed presentation of the various innovations currently running at the Métropole with a specific visit of IMREDD (Mediterranean Institute for Environmental and Sustainable Development Risks).

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NICE iCapital Events

Listing of main NICE iCapital events

Event name Date Place Topic Link
Innovative City 17-juin-16 Nice Smart City More
European Innovation Academy 22-juil-16   Entrepreneurship More
European days for the transnational cooperation 21-sept-16 Nice Innovation More
Connected Health Hackathon 08-oct-16 Nice Health More
Trophy of Economy 13-déc-16 Nice Entrepreneurship More
Civocracy 14-déc-16 Nice Participatory Democracy More
NICE iCapital 2017 Conference on Smart Citizens 02-mars-17 Nice iCapital Awards 2017 More
Safe and Smart City Event 23-mars-17 Nice Safe City More
Smart City Conference 26-avr-17 Nice Smart City More
TM Forum 18-mai-17 Nice Innovation More
NICE iCapital 2017 Events on European fundings opportunities 15-juin-17 Nice iCapital Awards 2017 More
NICE iCapital 2017 at Innovative City 06-juil-17 Nice Innovation More
AlpSib Forum 2017 01-sept-17 Nice Social Innovation  More
Hackaton Santé Connectée 09-nov-17 Nice eHealth More
European days for  transnational cooperation 21-sept-17 Nice Innovation More
Euro-Mediterranean cities Conference on radicalisation 29-sept-17 Nice Security More