08 NOVEMBER 2018 / Athens Wins 2018 European Capital of Innovation Award

Athens was named European Capital of Innovation of the year! The results were announced on November 6th, at the Web Summit in Lisbon. The cities competing for the €1 million prize, in addition to Athens, were Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany), Leuven (Belgium), Umeå (Sweden) and Aarhus (Denmark).

The “European Capital of Innovation” award recognizes European cities, which implement innovative solutions to improve the lives of their citizens. Specifically, it is awarded to cities that use innovation to enhance their sustainability, offer opportunities for the active involvement of their citizens and contribute to open and dynamic innovation ecosystems, collaborating with citizens in the decision-making process.

As part of its Initiative against the Greek Crisis, the SNF has supported the Municipality of Athens, through a €10 million grant, for the implementation of a series of innovative projects, which aim to improve the quality of life in the city for its citizens and visitors, empower local schools and neighborhoods, upgrade school facilities and support the integration of refugees. These projects played an instrumental role in Athens’ win.

More specifically, the SNF has supported a number of projects taking place at the city of Athens such as the transformation of the city’s Commercial Triangle, the establishment of Athens Culture Net, the educational programs Open Schools and Design for Better Learning as well as the programming for Athens 2018 World Book Capital. In addition, the SNF has supported the implementation of Athens Digital Lab, an innovative venture supporting youth entrepreneurship.

On Thursday, November 8th, the SNF attended the event the Municipality of Athens held to celebrate Athens’ important distinction. In his remarks during the event, the Mayor of Athens, Mr. G. Kaminis, thanked the SNF for its instrumental support and collaboration.