Leuven, Belgium, has been named the 2020 European Capital of Innovation for its use of innovation to improve residents’ lives.
The €1 million cash prize, which every year recognises cities’ innovative solutions to social challenges that empower its citizenswas awarded to Leuven in a ceremony with EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel during the EU Research and Innovation Days in Brussels, Belgium, on 24 September.
Speaking remotely at the digital awards ceremony, Mohamed Ridouani, the mayor of Leuven said he was pleased to receive the prize and that he sees the city as a model that shows ‘the way forward for Europe.’
‘We try to have just communities. We try to have a just transition (towards climate neutrality),’ he said.
A panel of independent experts named five runners-up: Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Espoo, Finland; Helsingborg, Sweden; València, Spain; and Vienna, Austria. Each of these cities received a cash prize of €100,000