Leuven is the European Capital of Innovation 2020

POLIS member Leuven has been nominated European Capital of Innovation 2020. The honour, announced today at the European Research and Innovation Days, recognises Leuven’s excellent innovation in processes and governance.   

Leuven is the sixth city to win the European Capital of Innovation award, and the third non-capital city after Barcelona and Nantes. 

On receiving the award, Mohamed Ridouani, the Mayor of Leuven, said: 

“Innovation for the better and for all is Leuven’s motto. Collaboration and empathetic leadership, translated systematically into an engaging governance model, is our way of getting it done.” 

This accolade is much deserved. As a critical member of the POLIS network, Leuven has been intimately involved with a range of projects which are changing the face of sustainable and smart mobility in cities and regions.  

Leuven has been a pilot city for MOMENTUM and eHUBS, two EU projects advancing sustainable mobility solutions. Indeed, earlier this month, speakers joined our Secretary General for a discussion on how the Belgian City was delivering these agendas.  

Mayor Ridouni has previously spoken to POLIS’s Thinking Cities magazine- a publication showcasing inspiring urban transport innovation from cities across Europe and beyond- about the mobility challenges Leuven faces and the solutions the city has crafted.

The city has also played an important role in shaping “WeCount”, a project putting citizens at the heart of research and policy-making on urban mobility. In a recent edition of Thinking Cities Leuven’s Kris Vanherle and Wouter Florizoone shared insights into the city’s pioneering use of citizen science.  

The municipality will receive a €1,000,000 prize funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.  

Leuven’s success is a shining example of the capacity for innovation in Small Medium-Sized Cities- proving, you don’t have to be big to be brilliant 

There is much more to come from Leuven - watch this space!