Three Polis members among the finalists of the 2018 European Capital of Innovation contest

Aarhus, Denmark

The Danish city is a pioneer of smart city technologies such as using cutting-edge sensor technology to tackle peak traffic and reduce fuel consumption. It has a long tradition of open data, accessible and usable by everyone, and it has made engagement a policy matter. With almost 2700 active volunteering clubs, this is a place where every other citizen volunteers. All city departments have resources dedicated to foster dialogue and contact with citizens and make the most out of such civic spirit.

Leuven, Belgium

Hosting one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious universities, Leuven is working hard to transfer its wealth of knowledge and talent to all corners of society through collaborative governance. Leuven MidGate, a network organisation, stimulates cross-pollination and closer ties between its members. Leuven 2030 brings together 100 organisations and private members committed to climate-oriented measures that will make the city carbon neutral by the end of the next decade.

Toulouse, France

The strategy of ‘Open Metropolis’ involves citizens as innovation players and mobilises them to back innovation processes (they were even consulted about the city’s application to become European Capital of Innovation). The Laboratory of Usages is one of the locations bringing together start-ups, citizens, business and administration to propose and experiment ideas, such as the "artificially intelligent" chatbot Violette, who assists citizens in public administration matters 24/7.


The European Capital of Innovation contest rewards the European city demonstrating the best “innovation ecosystem” with a prize of EUR 1 million. Five runners-up will receive EUR 100 000 each. Barcelona, Amsterdam and Paris won the competition in 2014, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Read the full press release by the European Commission here.