On April 1, the Latvian office for Innovation and Technology in Brussels starts working as part of the network of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA). The office will bring together Latvian entrepreneurs willing to invest in research and European institutions administering various support programmes. It is headed by Egita Aizsilniece-Ibema, who previously worked in the LIAA representative office in the Netherlands. 

In Latvia, the gross domestic spending on R&D amounts to 0.64 %. This is one of the lowest rates in the EU, where on average, the R&D intensity, i.e. R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, stood at 2.19%. “We need to triple investment in R&D to achieve a structural change of economy and fuel such smart specialisation industries as bioeconomy, photonics, smart materials, or biomedicine. We are aware that more resources are required for that hence the decision to focus on the Horizon Europe funding programme for research and innovation. We also wish to encourage Latvian companies to take a more active part in initiatives of the European Space Agency and CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research,” says LIAA Director General Kaspars Rožkalns. 

The new office in Brussels will promote Latvia’s offer in technology and scientific research and provide support for tech and R&D institutions. This is its main difference from other LIAA representation offices. Egita Aizsilniece-Ibema will also work together with the Embassy of Latvia in Brussels and support bilateral economic relations.