During the practical digitisation workshop, VPR met with the representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Vidzeme to discuss an Action Plan which would help regarding the creation of innovative products and positively affect the development of numerous fields in the region.
To understand the problems faced by entrepreneurs in Vidzeme, the information technology’s and the wood industry’s representatives, as well as food producers, were invited to the meeting. These are one of the region's so-called smart specialisation areas, which has all the necessary conditions and resources to grow in the region and, to be successful, a targeted effort is necessary.
As part of the workshop, one of the trends discussed was the future of technological developments, focusing on the digitization of production. Entrepreneurs discussed the possibility of introducing digital solutions in their companies and emphasized the need for digital tools that can help, for example, to analyse company downtime and to communicate with end-users. It was discussed that the help is also needed to perform different daily calculations (prices, cost calculations, etc.) so that a more accurate and efficient way to handle customers’ orders would be possible.
Image: Digitalisation workshop – discussions with entrepreneurs
VPR also organised discussions with representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia (VARAM), the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, Institute Of Agricultural Resources And Economics (Latvia), the Institute for Environmental Solutions and other relevant players to discuss proposals for the development of smart specialisation areas in the region. The outcome of this meeting was that great support mechanisms already exist in Latvia on a national scale. But regional development also requires a closer regional view on support mechanisms. In particular, it was highlighted that the creation of high added value in the region should focus on the bioeconomy and on the use of biological resources to create innovative products.
Now VPR has finished the work on Action Plan that will include activities to improve support tools for promoting innovation in Vidzeme’s smart specialization areas and next steps are starting to organise activities planned. One of the activities suggested offers that the entrepreneurs have access to specialist advice (Innovation Project Manager) to help to move through the various stages of implementation of the innovation projects. It is also planned to organise an Innovation Laboratory to bring the industry and researchers together to an open dialogue to define business challenges and find researchers help.
Activities took place within the Interreg Europe programme project “Policies & Measures to Support Local & Regional Innovation Ecosystems (EcoRIS3)”. It aims to promote better policies and measures to generate solid interactions between key stakeholders to orchestrate sustainable innovation ecosystems within RIS3 strategies responding to the challenges and gaps identified.
Image: Meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, Institute Of Agricultural Resources And Economics (Latvia), the Institute for Environmental Solutions (Latvia).