#iCapital #ClujInnovation 

The European Commission announced on the 5th of August that 12 cities made it into the final round for the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2020 and among these cities we count Cluj-Napoca too.

As all Transylvania Mountain Festival friends know it, we are actively promoting innovation via our TMF Mountain Innovation Awards, therefore we salute the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca and its ecosystem partners to have made it to the finals of this interesting European Competition.

The finalists of this year European Capital of Innovation Awards are:

  • Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
  • Espoo  (Finland)
  • Ghent (Belgium)
  • Groningen (The Netherlands)
  • Helsingborg (Sweden)
  • Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
  • Leuven (Belgium)
  • Linz (Austria)
  • Milano (Italy)
  • Reykjavik (Iceland)
  • Valencia (Spain)
  • Vienna (Austria)

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.

Transylvania IT Cluster and Transylvania Digital Innovation Hub as partners of our Transylvania Mountain Festival Innovation competition, actively promote the spread of innovative technologies across sectors and industries. We asked the managing director what were the key points for which Cluj- Napoca was selected among the finalist candidates for the European Capital of Innovation Award.

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.

The Municipality of Cluj-Napoca fosters innovative approaches for the city’s citizens in order to improve their lifestyle. “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.

In respect of this principle, the local municipality has actively promoted our TMF festival’s activities: films, photography, technology, sports, workshops as we consider they should be a great part of any active family.

Cluj-Napoca during the Open Innovation Conference 2.0 in 2017 / photo by Gabriel Roșca

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.