Becoming a partner of EIT Food, a European Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Riga Technical University (RTU) is going to promote innovation in the food industry, from agriculture and production to supply and customer service. Currently, application for participation in several programs is open, offering both growth opportunities for students and industry experts, and support for innovators and companies in developing business ideas.

For four years now, RTU has been a full member of EIT Climate-KIC, a European climate Knowledge and Innovation Community, providing opportunities for Latvian students, scientists, start-ups and professionals from various fields to develop entrepreneurial skills while developing solutions to reduce climate change. RTU’s participation in EIT Climate-KIC has made it possible to invest approximately half a million euros in the development of environmentally friendly business and green technologies.

Recently RTU has become a partner of the EIT Food community and acquired the right to form a contact point or hub in Latvia. Building close links between consumers, businesses, start-ups, researchers and students from all over Europe, EIT Food supports innovation and sustainable economic initiatives that increase access to quality food, improve the environment and health, create new jobs and enhance European competitiveness. At a time when part of the world is focussed on eliminating food waste but the other part – on trying to reduce famine, innovations and smart resource use policy are important.

In the EIT Food program, the RTU Design Factory is planning to implement various support activities in cooperation with the Riga Stradiņš University (RSU), the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU), the Food and Veterinary Service and the Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment «BIOR».

Activities are focussed on supporting the commercialization of new ideas by providing training, mentoring, coaching, early incubation, acceleration and prototyping. Strengthening cooperation and networking between the industry, start-ups and scientists is also essential.

More information: https://timo.wz.uw.edu.pl/risfellowships/

The interest of RTU to become a national partner and contact point of EIT Food in Latvia is to a large extent attributable to previous experience in implementing Climate-KIC programs. Namely, a number of climate-friendly business ideas announced and developed with the support of Climate-KIC programs are linked to green technology solutions in the food sector. The synergy between Climate-KIC and EIT Food support tools could provide additional opportunities for business ideas and innovative solutions related to nutrition, food availability and resource-efficient food systems. In addition, the food industry plays an important role in the development of the Latvian economy, it employs a large number of inhabitants, and there is also active scientific research in the sector.

EIT Climate-KIC programs in Latvia are organized by EIT Climate-KIC Hub Latvia at the RTU Design Factory. These programs are implemented in two directions – business support and educational programs. EIT Climate-KIC Hub Latvia at the RTU Design Factory also organizes various activities aimed at strengthening the innovation community and networking.