European Capital of Innovation 2020 finalists revealed

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 11 August 2020

Twelve cities from nine countries have reached the final stage of the contest to become the European Capital of Innovation 2020.

Funded by Horizon 2020, the European Union’s (EU) research and innovation programme, the prize recognises the European cities that develop vibrant innovation ecosystems to address public challenges and improve the lives of the people.

The finalists of this year’s competition are (in alphabetical order):

  • Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
  • Espoo  (Finland)
  • Ghent (Belgium)
  • Groningen (The Netherlands)
  • Helsingborg (Sweden)
  • Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
  • Leuven (Belgium)
  • Linz (Austria)
  • Milano (Italy)
  • Reykjavik (Iceland)
  • Valencia (Spain)
  • Vienna (Austria)

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Innovation is key for cities to ensure a sustainable recovery after challenging times. When cities nurture innovation ecosystems so that innovation actors and citizens meet and collaborate, they boost their development and resilience.

"The sixth edition of the European Capital of Innovation Award is set to be another strong contest and will showcase the best innovative practices that drive European cities forward.”

A high-level jury of independent experts selected the 12 finalists by analysing how cities use innovative solutions to respond to societal challenges, how they use such practices in the urban development process and how they engage broad local communities in decision-making.

The winning city will receive the title of European Capital of Innovation 2020 as well as €1 million to support its innovation activities and to enhance its capacity to connect individuals, public sector, academia, and businesses to deliver societal benefits for its communities. Five runners-up will get €100,000 each.

The European Commission will announce the winner and the runners-up of the European Capital of Innovation 2020 contest at the European Research and Innovation Days taking place on 22-24 September 2020. 

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