Latvian Cabinet of Ministers has approved the new EU-funded competence centre support program developed by Ministry of Economics. The program's main goal is raising the competitiveness of Latvian businesses by fostering cooperation between research and manufacturing sectors in developing new products until year 2021.
Latvian Minister of Economics Dana Reizniece-Ozola notes: “This is an important program to develop new products and technologies in 8 industries that are improtant to our economy. Until now, 180 new products have been developed in Latvian competence centres. Collaboration between businesses and researchers has yielded new products in medicine, food, 3D screens, radiation monitors, electronic motor controllers and automatic translators.”
Competence centre program for years 2007-2013 has supported 180 companies. Many of them have already received international recognition. For example, a car with “Drive eO” electronic motor technology won the prestigious Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. „Baltic Scientific Instruments” Ltd has developed a portable analyser which is now used at UN International Atomic Energy agency. “EUROLCDS” Ltd. has developed a unique volumetric 3D monitor that does not require the user to install special glasses or any other additional supplies.
Total funding for the new programme is €65,125,000, including ERDF and private co-financing. Support will be provided to competence centres for industrial research, experimental development, preliminary technologically-economic research, as well as administrative expenses of the centres.
One competence centre will receive up to €3 206 250. The program will support eligible projects carried out until Dec 21, 2021. The application process for competence centres is expected to commence in March 2016. Application is open to competence centres that unite at least 5 businesses, have received a support letter from industry's association and have prepared a competence centre development strategy. The strategy must include a description of respective industry delopment trends in Latvia and worldwide, collaboration with research institutes and higher education institutions, expected results, risk analysis and other relevant aspects.
The selection of competence centres will happen via an open procurement process, supporting at least one competence centre in each of the 8 Smart specialization areas:
- innovative solutions for forestry and woodworking;
- innovative solutions for agriculture and food production;
- biomedicine, medical technologies, biopharmacy and biotechnologies;
- smart materials;
- contemporary production technology and engineering systems;
- mechanical engineering (electronics);
- information and communication technologies;
- smart energy.
Details on the program are available here.
PR department at Ministry of Economics