This year, the European capital of innovation is Nantes. This has just been announced by European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, who has innovation in his portfolio. He mentioned qualities such as diversity, multiculturalism, sustainability and innovation as the qualities of this winning city.

Nantes is known for its innovative industry in numerous fields and as such attracts large industrial companies. In the media, the city is called a green oasis and an open-air museum for diverse cultures. In France, the city has made an impressive comeback as the ‘second city.’

1 million euros

The mayor of Nantes, Johanna Rolland, was delighted and accepted a cheque of 1 million euros which will be used for projects in her city. The other nominated cities were Bristol, Glasgow, Espoo, Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Mayor Johanna Rolland of the winning city of Nantes with the million euro cheque.

Previous cities that have won the award include Amsterdam, Paris and Athens.

This is the last time that Moedas will be awarding the prize. He talked about how he grew up in the countryside in Portugal and how the energy of the cities where he later moved had a major influence on him. “The way we live together in a city is very important for the way people are formed,” he said.

The other five cities received a cheque for 100,000 euros each.

The (deputy) mayors of the other nominated cities with their €100,000 cheques.