Oxford shortlisted in bid to be Europe’s ‘Learning City’

Monday, 01 February 2016

Oxford

Oxford is one of nine major cities named as the finalists for the European Capital of Innovation Award 2016, the European Commission announced last week.

Oxford will compete with a shortlist of large cities, many of which are also capital cities, for a prize of 950,000 EURO which will go to the city that is judged to be creating the best ‘innovation ecosystem’, connecting citizens, public organisations, academia and business. The shortlist was selected from nearly 40 bids, by a panel of independent experts, for outstanding track records in innovation. 

Oxford’s bid for the prize was developed by a team of partners including Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Brookes University, University of Oxford, the Low Carbon Hub, the Student Hub, the Hospital Trust, local businesses and other community organisations. 

Oxford Brookes has a growing reputation for research and well-established links with businesses and entrepreneurs across the city, nationally and globally. We are very proud of our role within these partnerships which the European Capital of Innovation award shortlisting has recognised.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University

The other shortlisted cities include Amsterdam, Berlin, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Milan, Paris, Turin and Vienna.

Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council said: “We are delighted to have reached the shortlist in this very competitive field. The fact that Oxford is up against major cities like Paris and Berlin demonstrates the strength of the bid, our local economy and our local partnerships.

“We are aiming to be Europe’s ‘Learning City’, for a year, and to fund over 100 young people from Oxford to work with colleagues for other countries on innovative projects that will benefit our community and our economy.”

The winning city is expected to build on its success by scaling up its most successful projects that support innovation. If successful, the Oxford partnership will focus its activity in developing a new generation of science and technology talent from all backgrounds, helping more people to become civic/social entrepreneurs who will improve lives in the city and society as a whole and mainstreaming ultra-low carbon technology across the entire community. 

Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University Professor Alistair Fitt said: “Oxford has an international reputation for innovation due largely to its high-tech businesses, social enterprises, pioneering research and partnership working.

“Oxford Brookes has a growing reputation for research and well-established links with businesses and entrepreneurs across the city, nationally and globally. We are very proud of our role within these partnerships which the European Capital of Innovation award shortlisting has recognised. It is further proof of Oxfordshire's position as a vibrant, sustainable, inclusive, world leading economy."

The winner and two-runners-up will be announced in April 2016.