Cluj-Napoca, in western Romania, made it to the final round of the European Capital of Innovation 2020 competition.
Funded by the EU's research and innovation program Horizon 2020, the competition recognizes the European cities that develop innovation ecosystems to address public challenges and improve people's lives.
Twelve cities from nine countries are in the final stage of the contest. Cluj-Napoca is in the final round alongside Espoo (Finland), Ghent (Belgium), Groningen (The Netherlands), Helsingborg (Sweden), Leeuwarden (The Netherlands), Leuven (Belgium), Linz (Austria), Milano (Italy), Reykjavik (Iceland), Valencia (Spain), and Vienna (Austria).
A jury of independent experts selected the 12 finalists by analyzing 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 winner city will receive the title of European Capital of Innovation 2020 and EUR 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 EUR 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, set to take place on September 22-24.
"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," Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, said in a press release announcing the finalists to the title.
(Photo: Adobe Stock)