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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...

Innovative breakthrough: first hearing implant patients followed up digitally in UZ Leuven

29 September 2022
For the first time, doctors and audiologists at UZ Leuven are testing telemonitoring on patients who received a cochlear implant to treat…

InvestSuite secures €6 million in Series A funding round

14 September 2022
InvestSuite, an international B2B InvestTech/WealthTech company based in Leuven, announced today the completion of a €6 million Series A…

Materialise acquires Identify3D to enhance security of CO-AM distributed manufacturing platform

14 September 2022
Materialise NV, Leuven, Belgium, has acquired the software company Identify3D, headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA, which…

KU Leuven spin-off AstriVax raises €30M for vaccine platform – first stop, yellow fever

1 September 2022
Closing with €30 million ($30 million), AstriVax will draw on technology developed at the KU Leuven Rega Institute to develop novel…

Mechanism behind deadly fungal infection on top of influenza or Covid-19 deciphered

26 August 2022
Over 15 per cent of all critically ill patients who end up in intensive care with severe influenza or Covid-19 additionally develop…

Leuven researchers identify new pathway to stop rare lymphoma cancer

23 August 2022
Researchers at KU Leuven, UZ Leuven and the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) have found a new way to abort the growth of a rare…

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.