Vice-Rector for Research of Riga Technical University (RTU) Tālis Juhna, as Ambassador of the most influential European Innovation Council, helps popularize and promote innovations in Europe and beyond.
The European Innovation Council (EIC) is the largest innovation initiative in Europe, aiming to foster research, innovation and the development of start-ups to achieve Europe’s technological breakthrough. The European Commission set up the Council last year.
To promote the activities, programs and a variety of support tools of the EIC, 33 outstanding innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers and leaders of innovation support organizations from Europe act as the EIC ambassadors. RTU Vice-Rector for Research is the only representative of Latvia in the first group of the EIC ambassadors. T. Juhna has become an ambassador on a competitive basis. He will hold this position until 2027.
The ambassadors’ work is voluntary, they promote the EIC activities at various events and inform about its opportunities the participants of local and international innovation ecosystems, national and local government organizations, the media and the general public. Through their expertise, they also contribute to the development of the EIC by promoting European innovation policy and tailoring it to the needs of different innovation ecosystems.
T. Juhna points out that the EIC offers new, necessary, but unprecedented financing instruments for the faster growth of science-intensive companies. With the support of the EIC, in the coming years science-intensive start-ups in Europe will develop in a wide range of healthcare, digital transformation and green technologies.
The European Commission set up the EIC last year with a budget of more than ten billion euros a year for the period of 2021–2027, making it the most important and influential innovation council in Europe.
Last year, the Director of RTU Science and Innovation Center Liene Briede became the first and only Latvian member of the EIC Board.