Linköping has become the first Swedish city to win the iCapital Awards in the European Rising Innovative City category. The city will receive a cash prize of €500,000 to invest in and develop its innovative solutions to societal and sustainability challenges. Linköping has a strong history of collaboration between the public sector, business, academia, and civil society, enabling it to successfully address issues such as climate change, segregation, and an ageing population.

The iCapital Awards, organized by the European Commission, highlight European cities that exemplify how innovation and development can solve social and sustainability challenges. While several Swedish cities have previously done well in the competition, this is the first win for a Swedish city. Linköping competed against 12 European cities in the category for cities with up to 249,999 inhabitants and was ultimately chosen as the winner.

– Several Swedish cities have previously placed high in the competition, but this is the first time a Swedish city has won. We are proud and happy to be highlighted as a European role model. We will continue to develop our work to create the best possible city for our residents, says Mikael Sanfridson (S), Mayor of Linköping Municipality.

The award provides financial support to Linköping and puts the city in the international spotlight, expecting an increase in interested visitors. Linköping’s innovative work, which has translated research and knowledge into groundbreaking innovations and successful businesses, will continue to develop and attract collaborations at national and international levels.

– A prize shared among many, and the Science Park has played a significant role in positioning Linköping,” says Lena Miranda, CEO of Linköping Science Park. It is an acknowledgement of the long-term work carried out in Linköping, where many people and organisations have helped pave the way for Linköping to position itself as the innovative city it is today. It is a tremendous achievement to be the first Swedish city to win this attractive prize in tough competition with other future-oriented and innovative European cities. Linköping stands out!.

– Linköping’s attractiveness will increase enormously, and we will become considered an interesting part of collaborations in entirely new contexts – national and not least international. This also means a great responsibility to keep up the momentum, increase the level of ambition further and accelerate into the future. As a tech industry, I hope we take advantage of this fantastic opportunity that this award represents. Not only does it increase Linköping’s brightness, it opens up more opportunities. We hope to attract more talent, establishments and investments. And we see a vast potential to secure essential collaborations that will continue to help future-proof Linköping as a city.

Louise Felldin, Director of Economic Development at Linköping Municipality, agrees.
– “It’s proof that the city is on the right track and that the strong spirit of collaboration exists, which we often highlight for real. The award gives both courage and strength to continue to innovate and collaborate for a sustainable city.

Do you want to read more about Linköping’s application and some examples of solutions presented? You can find it on

Text: Malin Wictorén / Linköping kommun