28 November 2023

Linköping is the first Swedish city to win one of the European Commission’s European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital). Linköping University has played an important part in this success in many ways.  

Vallastaden in Linkoping Vallastaden in Linköping, an innovative district that has attracted a lot of attention.

“This award is shared by many, and LiU has played a major and important part in this work,” says Lena Miranda, CEO of Linköping Science Park and honorary doctor at LiU.

Linköping was one of three finalists (together with Cork in Ireland and Padova in Italy) for the European Commission’s iCapital Award in the category European Rising Innovative City. The award highlights European cities showcasing good examples of addressing social and sustainability changes through innovation and development.Lena MirandaLena Miranda Photo credit Magnus Johansson

First Swedish city to win the award

Out of the three, in the category for cities under 250,000 inhabitants, Linköping was chosen as the winner – as the first Swedish city ever to win this award. Linköping has a strong tradition of innovation and collaboration between the public sector, industry, academia and civil society. LiU’s more than 50-year-long history weighed heavily into this, according to Lena Miranda.

“Research and knowledge have not only been turned into an array of groundbreaking innovations that have reached the world market, but have also been involved in the development of companies and initiatives in the region. Our ability to create future innovation spin-offs is evident from our success stories.”

Highly competitive

Linköping University’s interdisciplinary approach is something that Lena Miranda believes will be a strong competitive advantage in the quest to keep developing sustainable solutions in the future.

“LiU’s excellence in many forward-looking areas makes Linköping an interesting place to establish companies and strategic research collaborations.”

Louise Felldin, director of economic development at Linköping Municipality, also highlights the major role the university played in the city winning this award.

“From the very beginning, LiU has been driven by collaboration and innovation, in both education and in research. The university has been a hotbed for new talents and new solutions for commercialisation and valorisation. But it has also been an active partner in local and regional initiatives and collaboration projects for innovation and growth.”

Increased visibility

The award money is EUR 500,000. But what will this award mean to the city of Linköping? According to Lena Miranda, it will mean a lot. A portrait of a person.Louise Felldin. Photo credit Christian Ekstrand

“Increased visibility for Linköping, and we’ll be seen as potential collaboration partners in completely new contexts – nationally and not least internationally. This also comes with great responsibility, to press on forward on the chosen path, increase our ambitions further and accelerate into the future.”

Louise Felldin agrees.

“This is proof that the city is going in the right direction and that the strong spirit of collaboration, which we often highlight, is there. For real. This award gives us the courage and strength to keep innovating and collaborating for a sustainable city.”

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