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What a nice honor! Barcelona was recently voted the European Capital of Innovation, an award given for the very first time. During the 2014 Innovation Convention organized by the European Commission and held in Brussel, Barcelona was chosen over five other contestants such as Grenoble and Paris (France), Malaga (Spain), Groningen (the Netherlands), Espoo (Finland). Distinguishing the city’s great progress in many different urban ways this award is endowed with a trophy money of 500.000€ which is meant to be used to expand Barcelona's innovative developments and was already presented to the mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias.
The winning project Barcelona handed in was launched under the name “Barcelona com a ciutat de les persones” which means “Barcelona as city of people” and highlights the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens. To sum it up, this project was all about how peoples’ needs can be filtered out much better via advanced information and communication techniques. Pointing out Barcelona’s dominate role in this regard, the city was honoured for its leading position in uniting government bodies and citizens in order to enhance economic growth and additionally raise people’s welfare. "Barcelona is a deserving winner of the first iCapital award, for its dedication to using new technology for the benefit of its inhabitants", Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, justified the Catalan Capital's great succes.
Based on its main goals “Open Government”, “Smart Citizens” and advanced mobility Barcelona plans on creating a transparent, modern-technology-equipped and –friendly Spanish metropolis. Among these innovations Barcelona has also promoted sustainable growth using intelligent lightning or ecological vehicles. The award “Capital of Innovation” was started to be part of the European commission’s superior strategy to become an “Innovative Union” by the time of 2020.
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