Riga Technical University (RTU) has become a full member of the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT Climate-KIC) after implementing several large-scale projects within a year. RTU Vice-Rector for Research, Professor Tālis Juhna says, «Riga Technical University is the first in Latvia and one of the few in the Baltics that has acquired the status of a full member of globally important European Union (EU) institution and Climate Community».
T. Juhna says, «The EIT operates as a great business incubator for technology-intensive start-ups, bringing together a lot of different competences at the European level. Being a member means to have access both to support mechanisms for students and their mentors’ training and partner contacts.»
Last year, RTU became an associate partner of the EIT Climate-KIC, which is one of the six KIC communities created by the EIT. During the year, a number of major projects were implemented, for example, participation in the methodological evaluation of circular economy business game, conducting market research on climate policy in Latvia.
RTU also organized the international conference and workshop «HOW TO: Commercialize» as well as the hackathon «Climathon» aimed at bringing together stakeholders and finding solutions to the problem of street flooding in Riga within 24 hours. Among other activities, the rapid business growth and enterprise value maximization program «EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator» was implemented, within which four Latvian start-up projects – «Dragon» water purification system, «RMR» electric scooter, «Recolo» biotechnological solutions for efficient production of biogas from municipal organic waste and «Stercus» green waste composting reactor for heat generation, climate-neutral oxygen production and green waste management – received co-financing up to 15,000 EUR.
In the near future, it is planned to become a partner of digital community (EIT Digital), promoting the development of digital technology innovation and entrepreneurial talents in order to stimulate economic growth and increase the quality of life in Europe.
At the beginning of April, RTU as the first and so far the only higher education institution joined the Latvian Startup Association, thus once again attesting RTU interest, opportunities and the role in the development of start-ups and commercialization of ideas or valorization.
Since 2008, the EIT is an independent EU institution whose objective is to promote innovation and business development across Europe. The EIT Community has more than 800 partners – almost 200 higher education institutions and 125 research organizations, as well as nearly 500 companies and 60 cities, regions and non-governmental organizations.