Leuven intends to become a “city of the future” thanks to its new “and&” festival
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    Leuven intends to become a “city of the future” thanks to its new “and&” festival

    © Belga
    Mohamed Ridouani is full of enthusiasm for the implications of “Leuven Mindgate ‘and&’”.
    © Belga

    From May 2nd to May 5th, 2018, Leuven will host the “Leuven Mindgate ‘and&’”. This is a four-day festival around health, high technology and creativity. The city thus hopes to carve out a role on the international stage as a “city of the future.” On Monday evening, the city council made available a budget of €500,000 for the event. The event also has support from the University of Leuven, the IMEC institute (specialising in nanotechnologies and digital) and KBC (from the banking and insurance sphere). These last three organisations will inject a combined total of more than €700,000 into the project.

    Mohamed Ridouani (sp.a)., the Deputy Burgomaster for Economic affairs in Leuven, set out, “Thanks to the presence of all of these institutions and international companies, Leuven will become a pearl of innovation. With Leuven Mindgate, we are using all kinds of initiatives to strengthen our competitiveness globally, and attract the best talent and investors for our numerous start-ups.” He went on, “The ‘city of the future’ is the fundamental theme of the programme. Leuven wishes to adopt a leading role in researching solutions to problems posed in this ever-changing world. We are thinking particularly of the current climate and optimising young talent, in this ever more diversified world.”

    Spread over four days and nights, “and&” will present an international programme of more than 100 thinkers, inventors, businesspeople and artists from various backgrounds. Moreover, access to the festival will be free on the last day. Avant-garde musicians such as Jordan Rakei, Le Motel and Dengue Dengue Dengue will perform on that day, and brainstorming sessions will be organised for the general public. Moreover, the city centre will accommodate high-technology installations during the festival.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times