Published on 04 September 2018
Director, Project Manager
About this good practice
The DEMOLA project in Latvia was launched in 2014 by the Latvian IT Cluster with the support of the Ministry of Economics and Investment and the Development Agency of Latvia as one of activities to promote innovation, because Latvia run low on the EU Innovation Scoreboard. Since 2016 the DEMOLA is run by the two largest universities of Latvia – University of Latvia and Riga Technical University, which are particularly interested to teach students how to innovation and provide hands-on experience working with real business cases. The main task of the Demola is to organize and work with multidisciplinary teams of students and develop innovative applicable project cases and real solutions for businesses. It facilitates creation of new products and services in the following categories: business&concepts; coding; design & art; education; engineering; environment; governance; healthcare; media & communications; social science. ICT skills are an important part of the DEMOLA innovation work. Since 2014 there have been around 70 successful applied projects implemented by the Demola Latvia annually in co-operation with Latvian Universities, business support institutions and enterprises. http://latvia.demola.net/projects. Businesses have a charge for using the DEMOLA services only if the result is applicable and satisfies them. Otherwise, the DEMOLA works free of charge as a learning platform for students and a cooperation place for universities, businesses and regional authorities.
DEMOLA was implemented by the support of the Latvian Investment and Development action "Activities for promoting motivation for starting entrepreneurship and creating innovation" supported by the National OP funding. Since 2016 DEMOLA is run by University of Latvia and Riga Technical University.
Evidence of success
Since 2014 DEMOLA platform has involved in its activities 15 universities, 32 enterprises, 5 clusters and business associations, and around 200 students. In result, 32 innovative applicable solutions for businesses were developed. The largest Latvian companies have become cooperation partners of DEMOLA Latvia in implementing successful projects and developing innovative business solutions.
Potential for learning or transfer
DEMOLA as the open innovation platform is designed and used for fostering innovation by applying multidisciplinary approach, and can be used by any country, region or city. The concept of "Demola Latvia" is borrowed from Tampere, Finland, and at the moment it is successfully implemented in 24 cities or regions around the World, including Riga. Therefore, costs of running DEMOLA also include the franchising fee. Also, other European countries, cities and/or regions, which need to foster innovation and develop new approaches, could greatly benefit from taking over the Demola concept and experience of others.