For a significant contribution to the development of ideas and innovation management, the government awards the Letter of Appreciation of the Cabinet of Ministers to Elīna Miķelsone, Doctor of Management Sciences, and head of the Design Factory at the RTU Science and Innovation Center. The Minister of Education and Science, Anda Čakša, presented her with the Certificate of Appreciation from the Cabinet of Ministers during a solemn ceremony on November 17.
Dr. Miķelsone is a researcher, entrepreneur, and innovation and idea management expert with vast experience working both with Latvian university students and with professionals in various fields who want to train creativity and entrepreneurship, to be more successful in creating innovations. The active innovation training «Ideju fitness», created by Dr. Miķelsone, has been used by employees of many Latvian companies. She has created several games for generating and developing ideas, provides free mentor support and advice to young people who want to start a business, and runs the virtual incubator «Business Greenhouse», and educational sessions for people with mobility and visual impairments.
At RTU, she manages the Design Factory - a platform for students that promotes the development of innovative ideas, mutual cooperation, the establishment of professional contacts with industry representatives, and builds entrepreneurial competences.
By participating in «RTU Student Innovation Grants» (ERAF co-financed project No. 220.127.116.11/21/A/005), students of all levels, through the support of various activities, grants, and scholarships, can improve their creative skills and develop early scientifically-sound business ideas. About 2,000 students take advantage of this opportunity every year. Meanwhile, not only students, but also scientists and RTU employees can turn their inventions into prototypes using 3D printing, laser cutting and engraving, plotting, large-format printing, and other technological possibilities in the Design Factory’s open-type workshop.
And under Dr. Miķelsone’s leadership, RTU and its partners organized the Guinness record «Biggest Brainstorm in the World» earlier this fall to promote innovative thinking and the development of science-intensive start-ups in Latvia. The event was attended by 1217 participants, who generated and registered new product and service ideas at the International Exhibition Center in Ķīpsala under the guidance of innovation coaches, using five different creativity simulation methods. The event surpassed the previous Guinness record number of participants. This was also the first time that the Guinness World Record for idea generation was held in Europe.
The order of the Cabinet of Ministers of November 14 envisages awarded the Letter of Appreciation to 41 persons, including ten employees in education and science.
The Letter of Appreciation of the Cabinet of Ministers is presented to express the government's appreciation to private individuals, including foreigners, for outstanding achievements in the fields of economy, science, education, health, environmental protection, public administration, culture, sports, and national defense.