The Department of Economic Development, through Fomento San Sebastián, has been working on the development of skills and new scientific-technological vocations since 2012, with the participation of more than 10,000 schoolchildren.
The jury has valued San Sebastian's proposal, which has beaten its main rivals: Oulu (Finland) and Kharkov (Ukraine).
The Eurocities Awards are European prizes awarded annually to recognise outstanding initiatives carried out by municipal entities that improve the quality of life of their citizens. In this 2022 edition, Fomento San Sebastian presented the Donostia Innovation Challenge programme. The aim of the programme is to develop and train the innovation-related skills of the city's young people. In the last edition 20-21 nearly 400 students participated and developed more than 60 innovative projects that could contribute to alleviate the situation caused by the pandemic in different areas. Robots to avoid Covid-19 infections in healthcare, solutions to avoid crowds in commerce, air regeneration in restaurants, etc. are some examples of the projects proposed.
In this regard, the councillor, Marisol Garmendia, stresses that "this award recognises the commitment that we at Fomento San Sebastián have been making in recent years working in the field of education, by raising awareness and training young people to strengthen their innovative capacities, proposing challenges for the city. It is also a way of awakening their technological and scientific vocations, which will contribute so much to the city of the future".
This year, the Eurocities awards recognised initiatives in three different categories. Dream Together, "Future Generations Transforming Cities" - in which Fomento San Sebastián was the winner - Act Together, "Skills and Competences for the Future" and Lead Together, "Scalable Solutions for Positive Climate Impact". The category in which San Sebastian was awarded sought to bring to the fore innovative initiatives co-created by a young audience that would have had a significant impact during the height of the pandemic.
"We would like to share this award with the participating educational centres as well as the more than 40 local entities that since 2012 have collaborated in this project in an invaluable way. Companies, technology centres, universities, etc. have joined this initiative in a clear example of making a city with the people of San Sebastian of the future in mind," said Marisol Garmendia.
The Eurocities network, founded in 1986, is the main network of European cities. It has more than 200 cities in 38 countries and represents 130 million inhabitants. It works with the European institutions to respond to common issues that affect the day-to-day lives of its citizens.