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Liene Briede, Director of the Science and Innovation Center of Riga Technical University (RTU), has been approved as the first representative of Latvia in the Board of the European Innovation Council. The council, established this year, is the most ambitious innovation initiative in Europe. Its goal is to boost research, innovation and development of start-ups in order to bring a technological breakthrough to Europe.
The European Commission has appointed 20 leading researchers to the Board of the European Innovation Council (EIC), including entrepreneurs, business leaders, innovation ecosystems developers and innovation experts competent in Europe’s future innovations, including digital technologies, healthcare and green transformation. For more information see.
L. Briede is the only representative of Latvia in the newly established council, to which more than 430 specialists applied. The European Commission has assessed her ten years of experience in improving the Latvian and Baltic innovation ecosystem by implementing and improving various business developments and support programs at RTU, such as pre-incubation, incubation and acceleration activities for students, researchers and start-ups.
Under her leadership, the activities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) knowledge communities «EIT Climate-KIC», «EIT Food», and «EIT RawMaterials» have been implemented in Latvia, increasing the innovation capacity in various sectors of the economy.
«Following the development of the innovation ecosystem in Latvia and Europe, I see the need to change the focus from technology-based processes to human resource development processes. Scientists and innovators create many technologies, but not all of them enter the market. An essential precondition for the commercialization of science-intensive solutions is the cooperation of specialists from different fields and levels, a unified motivation and value system, as well as a systemic approach to the implementation of support processes,» emphasizes L. Briede.
She said that the new Board would review the European innovation policy, evaluate the functioning of EIC instruments and, if necessary, propose new solutions that would ensure a more efficient exchange of knowledge and the development and implementation of innovative solutions. "Membership in the Board will ensure Latvia’s representation and more active involvement in the global innovation ecosystem. Latvia ranks one of the last places in the use of EIC tools. Participation in the Board opens up an opportunity to become a ‘conduit’, in other words it gives a chance to explain the needs of Latvia and other small countries to the European innovation policy makers, and it gives members of the Latvian ecosystem the benefits of EIC”, continues L. Briede.
RTU has a developed innovation environment that offers knowledge, support in product development, as well as various tools for the development of ideas from the early stage to
the global conquest. With the continuous improvement of this system, the newly established Science and Innovation Center of RTU will promote the involvement of students and academic staff in the transfer of knowledge and the creation of innovations, as well as encourage cooperation with the industry in the creation of high value-added products.
The European Commission announced the establishment of the Council this spring. The EIC has a budget of more than ten billion euros for 2021-2027.