Green Technology Incubator launched in Latvia
“The Green Technology Incubator is a great opportunity for prospective and existing entrepreneurs working with green technologies to receive support for the development of new ideas,” Oskars Priede, Director of the Green Technology Incubator, Riga.
Launched 9 October, the Green Technology Incubator, based in Riga, brings together eco-minded entrepreneurs and scientists. The incubator is a joint project of Riga Technical University, the University of Latvia and the Norwegian Industrial Development Corporation SIVA. The project focuses on inter-institutional collaboration and knowledge flows between universities, research institutions and green-manufacturing businesses to provide support for new green-manufacturing technologies.
To promote bilateral cooperation, the opening ceremony of the incubator was followed by a green innovation seminar and matchmaking event for Latvian and Norwegian entrepreneurs who are working in the field of green technologies, in everything from recycling technologies to smart grid technologies.
"This is one of the most interesting Norway Grants projects in Latvia. The Incubator will not only help green innovation ideas to enter the market, but it will also promote co-operation between the private and academic sectors as well as the exchange of experience and knowledge in the area of green technology between Latvia and Norway," said Steinar Egil Hagen, Norwegian Ambassador to Latvia.
The incubator has received 200 applications. Already, 21 projects are up and running. Innovators include experienced entrepreneurs who want to develop leading technologies and academics who want to become entrepreneurs.
The event highlighted three of the projects that the incubator is supporting. One project is developing a technique to make road asphalt 100% recyclable, another is focused on improving the performance of wind energy through a 'Wind Speed Enhancher'. A project that is developing a greener electricity socket, has already attracted interest from the Netherlands McDonalds chain:
“Conventional wall adapters consume electricity all the time. However, this product reduces power consumption when not in use. This kind of socket has managed to attract the Netherlands' McDonald's' chain interest - but the current model has a problem - it is too big to be inserted into conventional sockets. The Green Technology Incubator in collaboration with engineers from Riga Technical University helped us to develop a product which would fit into smaller conventional sockets," explained James Berdigans, the owner of the idea and the representative of company AC2USB.
The event was attended by Minister for Economic Affairs, Secretary of State Andris Liepins, the Director of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIDA), Andris Ozols, the Vice-Rector for Science, at Riga Technical University, Talis Juhna and two representatives from Innovation Norway.
About the project
Norway Grants contribute € 3.3 million to the Incubator project and its associated small-grant scheme.