Research institute, based in the rural area, with unique nature and environment related technological and know-how capacities in the Baltic countries
IES was established as a result of private initiative with the goal to create a multi-disciplinary, independent environmental research institute beyond academic structures to answer a growing need for more innovative approaches to researching the nature and environment, development of creative solutions for safeguarding and sustainable use of natural resources and generation of entrepreneurial bio-economy based business ideas. IES has developed unique technological and know-how capacities in the Baltic countries. The staff of IES is an international network of scientists, artists, engineers and practitioners.
IES has built and operates a unique airborne hyperspectral remote sensing laboratory ARSENAL - a set of integrated sensor solutions that allows collecting unprecedented quality data about land, freshwater and marine ecosystems. IES is developing the abandoned brewery complex into the science and art center and is building modern chemical laboratory facilities.
IES addresses complex environmental challenges. For each project an ad-hoc multidisciplinary team of specialists is created. The problem analysis is based on the data collected on the ground, from the air (using airborne remote sensing, drone technologies) and space (using satellite capabilities) and through close engagement with end-users. The main stakeholders and beneficiaries of IES activities are public sector institutions environmental NGOs, educational establishments, SMEs, research community, young people.
IES has invested 3,5 million EUR to set up the airborne hyper spectra laboratory, the chemical laboratory and to purchase the former Brewery complex. Close to 5 million EUR are required to set-up the Science and Art Center. Approx. 50 highly-qualified specialists are needed to run these facilities.
Evidence of success
The institute is an example, how world class science, skilled international expertise, technological know-how and services can be developed in the rural area utilizing the technological core of the institute such as state-of-the-art Airborne Surveillance and Environmental Monitoring System ARSENAL. IES has been engaged in more than 30 different projects in the areas of forestry, water management, Earth observation, biodiversity and nature restoration, medicinal and aromatic plants.
One of the greatest challenges has been to manage the technology push to facilitate market readiness. It has been addressed by intensive customer education, practical demonstrations, innovative communication activities, customer participation in product testing.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice may be interesting both from the technological point of view as well as innovation development process. Technologically, IES is one of the most advanced institutes in the Baltic region in the field of nature research and environmental solution development. The innovation process wise, it is a real case of research – business collaboration, multidisciplinary working and use of co-creation and open innovation principles for the development of customized environmental solutions.
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