Innovation and R&D Opportunities

Latvia continues to build on its traditions of innovation and product development. Innovation is recognized as crucial for the country’s development of a knowledge-based and sustainable economy, as well as Latvia’s overall national and social development. In order to foster research and development (R&D) in private and academic sectors, the national government provides funding and administers EU Structure Funds, offering grants and providing leadership especially through LIAA.

Government priority and funding
Latvia’s adoption of the Law on Scientific Activity (2005) and the receipt of EU Structural Funds have spurred investment in R&D. Specific priorities of R&D policy include:

  • Development of national R&D strengths in priority research fields: Improvement of research-centre infrastructure; attraction of new and qualified human resources to centres; and support for eligible research projects.
  • Promotion of science-industry cooperation: Technology transfer between academics and entrepreneurs; support for commercial entities’ investments in innovations and development of high value added products.
  • Promotion of new businesses and competitiveness of existing commercial entities: Support for starting new businesses; promoting competitiveness of existing commercial entities; development of infrastructure necessary for entrepreneurship; access to finance.

Research competencies and institutes
Latvia’s academic institutions build on their strengths and focus on specific fields of research. They work with research institutions around the world, as well as domestic and international entrepreneurs, cultivating their areas of competence and enabling new product development. Areas of competence and associated research institutes (centers of scientific excellence) include:

LIAA support
LIAA provides support to innovation by administering a range of programs nationally, which assist scientists and companies to share ideas and develop partnerships, as well as helping entrepreneurs get their start. For example, LIAA manages 13 incubators located in cities around the country, providing new businesses with infrastructure and services to grow into self-sustaining enterprises. The agency also administers activities that stimulate innovation and entrepreneurialship, including training and information sessions, consultations for new entrepreneurs and an annual competition of business plans.