After almost two decades of actively promoting innovative approaches of Cluj-Napoca’s cityscape, we salute the city’s nomination for the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2020.

Cluj-Napoca from Romania along with eleven cities from Europe are on the final stage of this annual contest: 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 high-level jury of independent experts selected the 12 finalists by inspecting the way in which candidate cities make use of innovative solutions to respond to societal challenges, the way they use innovative practices in the urban development process and how they engage broad local communities in decision-making.

We are glad that Cluj-Napoca scored so well this year and we congratulate Cluj-Napoca Municipality and the ecosystem partners for being shortlisted in the competition.

The European Commission announcement reconfirms Cluj-Napoca as a city of innovation, focused on Research & Development, IT and on the use of smart city technology to increase the quality of life of all its citizens. You are not innovative, if you are not inclusive.”, said mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Emil Boc, upon the announcement.

Cluj-Napoca’s key strengths are those we have been showcasing for a long time: the city’s ecosystem and its active partners. Definitely, the IT companies play a leading role in the development of the city, but it is the vision and leadership of the local public administration, reinforced by the team work of the local elite universities and research institutes that really makes the difference now. About 5 years ago we have initiated the development of several target projects designed to foster innovation in all existing sectors. For 2021-2027, we aim to develop Transilvania Digital Innovation Hub, where members of the Cluster Consortium of Northern Transylvania and the universities of Cluj-Napoca will have an active part. From a cross-sectoral approach, technology is one of the key enablers, the element that supports innovation in all the other fields of our city and region”, declares Bianca Muntean, Cluster Manager of Transilvania IT Cluster, one of the anchor players of Cluj-Napoca’s innovation ecosystem.

About The European Capital of Innovation Awards

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

The 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. At the same event, the Commission will award the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020, the EIC Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid, and the Horizon Impact Award 2020.