Grenoble is one of the three most innovative cities in Europe
In September 2013, the European Commission launched a competition to find the European Capital of Innovation. This competition sought to discover the European city with the best “innovation ecosystem”, bringing together citizens, businesses, research and education institutes and public organisations.
Entries were received from 58 different cities. In January 2014, six cities were shortlisted: Paris, Barcelona, Espoo, Groningen, Malaga and Grenoble. This list was narrowed down further when the three finalists – Barcelona, Groningen and Grenoble- were invited to the closing ceremony of the European Innovation Convention on March 11th 2014 to present their cities’ applications.
Grenoble, cluster partner of “Silicon Europe”, was recognised principally for its “triad of innovation”, through fostering close relations between research, education and industry which have led to numerous scientific and technological breakthroughs. Grenoble’s entry focused on the development of the Presqu’ile district of the city. This project is currently one of biggest investment programmes for urban development in Europe and aims to develop the whole district around a global innovation campus named GIANT (Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies), bringing together research institutes, universities and businesses but also citizens, through new housing developments. The goal is to make the whole district energy self-sufficient and to provide a multitude of environmentally-friendly transport solutions.
This recognition follows Grenoble being designated one of the fifth most inventive cities in the world by Forbes magazine in 2013 (based on the number of patents filed related to the size of the population) as Michel Destot, Mayor of Grenoble states “this acknowledgment truly confirms that Grenoble has innovation in its DNA”.
Finally, the City of Barcelona was named the European Capital of Innovation 2014 but this competition has undoubtedly put Grenoble on the map as a global leader in terms of innovation based notably on its excellent abilities in enabling close relations between industry, research institutes and universities.