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Italian innovation cities: Padova

Padova got the second place in the European Rising Innovative City category of the European Capital of Innovation Awards

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The European Commission announced the winners of the ninth edition of the European Capital of Innovation Awards. As the Commission explains, the award was established in 2014 to reward European cities "courageous enough" to open their governance practices to experimentation, to boost innovation, to be a role model for other cities, and to push the boundaries of technology for the benefit of their citizens.

In 2023, the European Capital of Innovation Awards features two categories: the European Capital of Innovation category, that addresses cities with a population of minimum 250,000 inhabitants, and the European Rising Innovative City, category that targets towns and cities with a smaller population.

The Italian city of Padova reached the second place in the European Rising Innovative City category. Padova has been workshop of innovation through the centuries and nowadays it is living a new Renaissance age, thanks to ambitious investments, and that let the city get quite close to win the EC award.

The city's great strength is its ecosystem of innovation, growing around the Municipality, the University and the Chamber of Commerce. The ecosystem is powered by the Innovation Council, a permanent round table representing public and private stakeholders and the academia, most of which are located in the Boulevard of Innovation, an open-air experimental area, where rising innovations are tested, implemented, and enriched.

Despite being relatively small, Padova is one of the capitals of innovation in Italy. In 2022, it counted 342 startups and 34% of patents filed in the Veneto Region. Also, the local concentration of ICT business companies, catalysts of new technologies and know-how development, is the highest in the north-east of Italy. As one of the European Mission Cities, Padova is focusing on sustainable innovation to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 and being city enabler to transfer best practices and solutions to other cities.

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