On 18 of June representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia (https://izm.gov.lv/en/ ) in cooperation with RTU Water research laboratory (http://wrl.rtu.lv/ ) members organised iWatermap stakeholder meeting.
The meeting was moderated by Dāvids Štēbelis and stakeholders was introduced with iWatermap project, e.g., project vision, and results. The second part of the meeting was dedicated for development of Critical Mass Development, Human Capital and Internationalization Roadmap for water sector in Latvia.
In the meeting was invited representatives from Triple helix, e.g., Latvia water and waste water works association (https://lwwwwa.lv/), The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (http://varam.gov.lv/eng/par_ministriju/), Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre (https://www.meteo.lv/en/), University of Latvia (several research institutes, www.lu.lv/en/), Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (https://www.llu.lv/en), Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava" (http://www.silava.lv/mainen/aboutus.aspx).
The main conclusions from workshop:
What are the Latvia needs concerning Interregional Collaboration?
Compulsory knowledge exchange at least 1 in a year in abroad for Industry members (for both, municipalities as water suppliers and companies producing technologies). Example countries – Finland, Germany, Poland. Example events: Wetsus congress, Climate KIC programm “Pioner in to Practice”.
Promotion of cooperation with the countries of Southern Europe through joint implementation of different types of projects (research / innovation). This allows Latvian stakeholders to see the potential challenges facing in Latvia in near future more quickly (droughts, floods, water scarcity).
Regular student / teacher meetings with water entrepreneurs and policy makers. Student practice in local and abroad companies.
What should be done to align and improve cooperation between industry and academia in Latvia?
Academia prepare catalog of research topics, which are predefined by industry (example - www.wetsus.nl/research) and do promotion of it
Development of an organization (cluster) that promotes understanding and exchange of information between Triple helix players.
Is it possible to formalize cooperation between innovation ecosystems, to support start-ups, students, researchers or research projects? What should be done to stimulate such cooperation?
Informal round-tables between Triple helix players.
Student placements abroad (in the Wetsus ecosystem or in other countries with similar ecosystems).
Academia prepare catalog of research topics, which are predefined by industry (example - www.wetsus.nl/research)
Feedback from Industry. Companies defines topical research topics.
Test bed development for both research and demonstration for public
Boosting Industry motivation (carrot / whip)
Steps to establish an integrated network in Latvia where research and innovation efforts are commonly shared between knowledge institutions, local stakeholders and policy makers
Creation of a catalog/platform
Social activities to popularize science activities
Communication intermediaries between Academia and Industry
Establishment of thematic working groups.