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The city of Leuven in Belgium is the European Capital of Innovation 2020, the Commission announced today at the European Research and Innovation Days.

The award recognises Leuven’s excellent innovation concepts as well as processes and governance models creating a framework that brings ideas to life. The municipality will receive a €1,000,000 prize funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. The five runner-up cities – Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Espoo (Finland), Helsingborg (Sweden), Valencia (Spain) and Vienna (Austria) – will receive €100,000 each.

Leuven is the sixth city to win the European Capital of Innovation award, and the third non-capital city after Barcelona and Nantes. The city aims to become one of Europe’s Labs of the Future through a mission-oriented model that facilitates collaborative innovation. Different groups of stakeholders come together, with the common purpose of innovating around complex challenges from climate change and the shift to a circular economy to ensuring high-quality education and care. Leuven is not only providing increased opportunities for innovating to its citizens, but also actively involving them in testing their ideas in the city.

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