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The European Institute of Innovation and Technology launches new hub to unite the Latvian Innovation Ecosystem

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, is opening a new chapter in its support of innovation in Latvia. 

Its newest joint hub is set to take regional innovation to the next level and provide a one-stop shop for local talent and entrepreneurs for EIT Community opportunities in education, business creation and innovation.

On 1 March 2024, the special event: “Uniting the Latvian Innovation Ecosystem. 2024 Kick-off event by EIT Community RIS Hub Latvia'', held in Riga, at the Latvian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, gathered key stakeholders, opinion leaders, investors, partners and potential future beneficiaries.

EIT Governing Board Member Janis Grevins opened the event with an address on behalf of the EIT expressing his support towards the initiative. The Latvian Ministry of Education and Sciences also offered a warm welcome to the new hub. The event garnered attendance from representatives of the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), key stakeholders from Innovation ecosystem of Latvia, as well as delegates from the European Union.

It is imperative to integrate visionary approaches that not only exemplify the best practices locally in Latvia and across the Baltics but also extend to a pan-European level. This underscores the strategic significance of our collaboration with EIT

Ilze Lore, Director of the Business Support Department at the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia

EIT Community RIS Hub in Latvia: Plans for the Future.

Anton Adamovitch, the EIT Community Officer (ECO) of the new EIT Community RIS Hub in Latvia, presented the EIT Community’s plans for 2024 and its vision for how the EIT will support initiatives that foster the development of innovators in Latvia, including entrepreneurs, scientists, VCs, start-ups, private ecosystem builders, public organisations and academia.

We have kick-started a groundbreaking effort to develop a gravity centre and align all the ecosystem around importance of developing knowledge-based economy as a strategy for Latvia. With the support of the EIT, we will put energy into developing approaches and propose instruments and other tools (both financial and non-financial) to improve the ecosystem while continuously caring about quality of opportunities for the individuals that are entering the innovation ecosystem and ensuring it provides the necessary tools at various stages of development of businesses.

Anton Adamovitch, EIT Community Officer for the EIT Community RIS Hub Latvia

The contract to host EIT Community RIS Hub Latvia has been awarded to Commercialization Reactor via open procurement procedure and the activities have started in the end of 2023. The EIT Community RIS Hub plans to bridge Latvian businesses, educational institutions and opportunities offered by EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). The ones interested can already reach the hub by joining online ‘Friday Coffee sessions with the EIT ECO’. To receive guidance on applying for open calls from the EIT KICs, the Hub will closely work with National Contact Point (NCP).

The EIT Community operates in nine key areas addressing global challenges. Each of these areas is addressed by a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), forming a pan-European network dedicated to addressing specific societal issues. These communities bring together the expertise of higher education institutions, research centres, enterprises, investors, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

The event saw the participation of representatives from those EIT KICs, which cover the cultural and creative sectors and industry, climate innovation, digitisation, the future of food, innovations in healthcare, sustainable energy, industry, raw materials, and urban mobility.

Uniting the Latvian Ecosystem

During the event, representatives from the KICs elaborated on the focus and initiatives within each community, shedding light on the work being done and presenting opportunities for projects and businesses from Latvia.

Mr Adamovitch has hosted three insightful discussions, including a fireside chat with the EIT Community Officer in Ukraine, Ihor Markevych. Ihor joined a conversation to discuss improvements that can be made in ecosystem building in Ukraine and Latvia as well as highlighting the similarities and differences. Anton invited Ihor to unite their efforts in enhancing communities with qualitative visionary opportunities. “We can start engaging in collaboration by working together via international consortiums bringing best practice cases from both parties on a level that would benefit both ecosystems,” said Anton.

The other two panels addressed the challenges, rewards, risks and opportunities faced by science commercialization stakeholders, Venture Capital and industry - all three working as an economic movement across Europe to decide what actions should be taken in Latvia.

All the speakers concurred on the importance of systematic financial and non-financial support for the development of science and technology, involving stakeholders from the public sector, grant aid, and business support.

'This is a challenging road with many things being done for the first time; that’s why we are excited to welcome Anton Adamovitch as EIT Community Officer in Latvia. His plan and passion are very well perceived. We are looking forward to an exciting period,' said Luke Incorvaja, EIT Innovation Officer.

The inaugural EIT Community gathering in Latvia successfully brought together key players from the innovation community of Latvia. It worked to stimulate innovation by offering support to promising startups, as well as advanced programs for talent training and transformation. Both were linked to supporting synergies and industry development for the advancement of Latvia’s economy.

Read the full press release