Riga, Latvia, 28 March 2019 – Promoting innovation, showcasing cooperation opportunities and inviting Latvian innovators to join Europe’s largest innovation network. This is what the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) offers during its Awareness Day in Riga today. The event is co-organised with the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science.
Europe’s future is connected to its power to innovate. Competitiveness is high on the agenda for Latvia, with the birth of new enterprises lying at two percent compared to 1.5 percent in the EU and the ease of starting a business is 79.3 points compared to an average of 76.9 in the EU according to the European Innovation Scoreboard. The scoreboard defines Latvia as a moderate innovator with great potential to expand its ability to innovate.
The EIT stands ready to support Latvian innovators with different entrepreneurial activities run across Latvia to tackle some of our most pressing global challenges from climate change and sustainable energy to healthy living and raw materials dependency. We empowers students, researchers and entrepreneurs to grow their entrepreneurial skills and turn their best ideas into products and services for Europe, creating jobs and improving the lives of citizens across Europe.
Ilga Šuplinska, Minister of Education & Science, said: ‘I am pleased to support the EIT’s unique innovation opportunities. We are working closely together and the hubs for EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Health and EIT InnoEnergy here empower Latvian innovators. Hygen, Alina and PVStream are just three of examples of successful start-ups supported by the EIT Community who all showcase the potential for innovation in Latvia. May they be an inspiration for many more!’
Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director, commented: ‘The EIT is a key driver for innovation in Europe, delivering through our unique model that finds innovative solutions to global challenges facing our society. From entrepreneurial education courses to business creation and acceleration services, the EIT’s long-term approach covers the entire innovation value chain, creating jobs and growth. Today, we are calling on Latvian innovators to join our activities, bring their ideas and let them flourish in the fertile ground of the EIT ecosystem.’
The EIT Awareness Day in Riga will showcase the EIT’s unique innovation model that sets up dynamic pan-European partnerships between leading companies, universities and research centres (programme of the day). It will present how organisations and innovators in Latvia can join their wide range of activities to drive innovation.
The event will be opened with a press point featuring Ilga Šuplinska, Minister of Education & Science, and Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director; as well as introductory messages from Andris KuÅ¾nieks, Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia, Laima Kauspadiene, Member of the EIT Governing Board and CEO of the Sunrise Valley Science & Technology Park in Lithuania; and Andris Ozols, Director of the Investment & Development Agency of Latvia. Members of the EIT Community, together with innovators that work with the EIT, will then present their wide range of innovation support activities. During the afternoon, a panel discussion will explore ‘Experiences and future perspectives– how the EIT Community can assist in enhancing innovation capacity in Latvia?’. A networking coffee will close the discussions.
EIT COMMUNITY IN LATVIA
EIT Innovation Communities are thriving in Latvia with all of them running activities across the country, including three (soon to be four) hubs. Four million Euro in EIT grants have been allocated to Latvian projects between 2014 and 2017, which means the country is among the top 6 beneficiaries relative to population size in 2017. Find out more in this factsheet about our activities in Latvia.