Nantes named 2019 European capital of innovation

Nantes, France, has been named the 2019 European Capital of Innovation award for its ability to improve the lives of its residents through innovation.

The €1 million prize, which is designed to recognise the most innovative cities in the EU and Horizon 2020 countries was presented to Johanna Rolland, mayor of Nantes, by Carlos Moedas, the EU’s Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation during the EU Research and Innovation Days in Brussels, Belgium on 25 September.

Rolland, speaking to Horizon after the award ceremony, said that the prize belongs to Nantes’ citizens and that it recognises their efforts to shape their city’s future through local level dialogue. ‘For example, about the question of climate, it is very, very important to associate citizens to the elaboration of public policies so it is this question that I think has made the difference,’ she said.

The prize, said Rolland, has encouraged them to do more. ‘Because I think that we have the responsibility to continue to invent the cities of tomorrow,’ she said.

Glasgow, Espoo, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Bristol will each receive runner-up prizes of €100,000 to expand their innovation activities.

Half of Nantes’ public policies are developed in collaboration with its residents using citizen dialogues. Credit: Régis Routier, Ville de Nantes

The smart canal scheme aims to turn North Glasgow into a ‘sponge city’, meaning it can respond flexibly to surface water flooding. Credit: Rosser1954 under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.


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