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Why is Leuven so special?

When Leuven innovates, we innovate for the better. We're a leading region in the creation of start-ups, research centers and numerous applications in the fields of health and climate. That's also why Leuven was awarded the title 'European Capital of Innovation 2020'.

Why was Leuven elected as European Capital of Innovation?

In 2020, the iCapital jury unanimously chose Leuven as European Innovation Capital. The European Commission praised the way in which residents, companies, organizations and knowledge institutions are committed to help shape the future.

The prestigious award rewards the city that makes the best use of innovation to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. Together with Leuven 2030 and the city of Leuven, Leuven MindGate submitted the winning dossier.

"We are known as a city and a region of innovation, at home and abroad... the award of European Capital of Innovation is a reward for all stakeholders involved."


Mohamed Ridouani, mayor of Leuven

Leuven, where history meets the future

Steeped in centuries of culture and history, the Leuven Innovation Region quickly captures your heart. It is an internationally oriented city and region, accustomed to welcoming companies and their employees.

Combined with an excellent education system and high standards of medical care, the Leuven Innovation Region has all the ingredients to be a great place to invest in, to study, to work and to live.

A dense ecosystem, based on collaboration

Pandemics, economic turmoil, disruptive climate events: if we continue down our current path, these may soon become a fixed feature of our lives. Fortunately, there is a growing sense that we can do things differently – and better.

The Leuven Innovation Region is at the forefront of putting this new kind of innovation into practice. A model based on mission-oriented, collaborative innovation: different groups of stakeholders coming together, with common purpose, to innovate around the complex challenges we face, from the shift to a circular economy to ensuring high-quality education and care.

It’s innovation not for innovation’s sake, but with a clear direction: for the benefit of all.

Open to international talent

The Leuven Innovation Region is a melting pot of nationalities and cultural backgrounds, giving you a wider perspective of the world. Our companies and knowledge institutions need the best employees with the greatest talent and the most precise skills to keep the many innovations at the highest level.

That is why the Leuven Innovation Region has international schools, various training courses and guidance programs for those who want to come and work and live here. We do not only guide the professionals, but also their families. We make sure that those who come to work here can live according to the best standards the Leuven region has to offer.

Striving to become climate neutral by 2050

Leuven strives to become a climate neutral city by 2050. Becoming a climate neutral city is a joint effort of all societal actors : government, companies, knowledge institutions, citizens and investors.

Companies play an important role on the road to climate neutrality. Therefore, we want to give you an overview of organizations, people, initiatives, … that can support you in integrating sustainability in your company.

International House Leuven leads the way

International House Leuven is the information, knowledge and service center for internationals and their families, and for organizations in the Leuven region employing international talent. It provides support relative to relocation, social integration, living and working in the Leuven region, as well as regular information sessions and social activities.

International House Leuven was founded by many Leuven partners, including Leuven MindGate, and focuses entirely on the integration of foreign professionals in the Leuven Innovation Region. In addition, Leuven companies can also seek advice on talent attraction and retention.

The and& festival as the pinnacle of innovation

Bright and visionary minds all over the world are trying to look beyond the big issues of our times.

For these thinkers, creatives and entrepreneurs, the current global crises are opportunities. And innovation is their tool. They innovate for the better.

At the and& festival those minds can meet, the experts as well as the curious. During a five day pinnacle of innovation, we invite both speakers and public to step outside their field of expertise, and enter the fertile ground of common sense, of new synergies. And& is an initiative of Leuven MindGate.

Leuven proves why it is special, day in, day out...

Septentrio's GPS/GNSS technology helps adventurers collect data for climate research in Greenland

25 May 2022
Two Belgian adventurers are currently crossing Greenland on a triathlon including ski, kayak and a vertical rock climb. They have…

International School of Leuven's class gets climate-inspired by Mayor Ridouani

20 May 2022
Sharing a vision for sustainability, Leuven’s Mayor Mohamed Ridouani and Deputy Mayor, Lalynn Wadera, visited the International School of…

KU Leuven opens TRANSfarm: test center for development of sustainable, circular innovations

19 May 2022
Three years after its official opening, TRANSfarm is ready for use. KU Leuven's farm complex in Lovenjoel (Bierbeek) has been transformed…

Engineering company Comate joins forces with electronics specialist Zenso

17 May 2022
Comate, the Leuven-based engineering and design company has acquired fellow city neighbour Zenso. Comate thus continues to build on its…

Knowliah sets up partnership with IBJ-IJE

16 May 2022
Software company Knowliah from Boortmeerbeek is officially the legal tech partner of the Institute for Company Lawyers (IBJ).

Rein4ced receives 12 mio euros funding to expand production of innovative bike frames

12 May 2022
Leuven-based bicycle frame manufacturer REIN4CED is getting Flemish investment company PMV and Invest for Jobs on board in a new capital…

How can we help?

The Leuven MindGate team is at your disposal for any questions about the Leuven Innovation Region. Do you want to invest, work or study in the region? We can help you find your way.

We also facilitate collaboration and innovation between companies, knowledge institutes and government within the Leuven Innovation Region, and we are happy to guide any of these stakeholders towards innovation.