Linz gears up for tough fight in European Capital of Innovation 2020 finals

Linz gears up for tough fight in European Capital of Innovation 2020 finals

The winner of the competition will be announced during the European Research and Innovation Days in September

The annual European Capital of Innovation 2020 competition is heating up with many strong candidate cities getting through into the finals. Among them is the Upper Austrian capital of Linz that has, over the last few years, quickly managed to gain steam in terms of becoming smarter and more innovative.

Tough competition from old champions

The application for becoming European Capital of Innovation 2020 was submitted by Linz’s authorities earlier in June and the news for the city’s admission into the finals was greeted with delight by mayor Klaus Luger as he pointed out the strengths of Upper Austria’s capital.

“If you look at the other competitors, it is already a great honour that Linz is in the finals. Viewed objectively, other large cities have a sometimes longer tradition in innovation projects. We have apparently convinced the jury that we take the path of modernization as a social process seriously.

Because we are not only a city with one of the highest patent application rates and a high proportion of IT jobs but also have urban figureheads such as the Ars Electronica Center and the tobacco factory as an experimental field for innovation. Local projects such as ScienCity, Hello World, Jugend hackt or TIM can make a difference when evaluating Linz. The innovative attractiveness of the city also comes from the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) and from numerous companies in the creative industries that have made a name for themselves with digital technologies and art forms.”

He further exclaimed that "Even reaching the finals is recognition for our innovation strategy".

Over the last few months, Linz has put on display its innovative practices and its ability to incorporate modern and high-tech solutions into everyday life. During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, the local government quickly went about implementing several innovative measures that were meant to make life easier for locals and to eliminate the need for unnecessary social contact.

The winner of the European Capital of Innovation 2020 competition will be announced at the European Research and Innovation Days that will take place in Brussels between 22 and 24 September.



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