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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...

Leuven MindGate, Leuven 2030, KU Leuven, imec and LEUC join forces towards a climate-neutral city by 2030

26 January 2023
With the selection for the '100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030' mission by the European Commission, the city of Leuven and…

Cumul.io raises 10 million euros to grow internationally and develop its dashboard platform

17 January 2023
Leuven-based data dashboard specialist Cumul.io has raised 10 million euros. The company wants to further develop its platform and grow…

KU Leuven and OH Leuven enter into structural cooperation

12 January 2023
KU Leuven and OH Leuven signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement formalizes the existing cooperation and provides the…

Talan acquires Dataroots consulting & tech specialist in AI and next-gen data platforms

22 December 2022
The Talan Group announces the acquisition of Dataroots, a Belgian company, recognized for its expertise in artificial intelligence, data…

Leuven ranks among the world’s best startup cities

8 December 2022
A new report by global data platform Dealroom has uncovered the world’s next generation of startup cities. The study identifies 201 tech…

Imec and Rapidus sign Memorandum of Cooperation to collaborate on advanced semiconductor technologies

8 December 2022
The newly founded Japanese semiconductor company Rapidus, aiming to revive Japan’s chip industry, signed an agreement to collaborate with a…

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.