The available funding for national industrial policy initiatives will amount to 800 million euros in the next planning period (2014-2020), including 430.3 million euros for small and medium-sized companies, Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts told reporters on Dec. 19, reports Nozare.lv. Most of this money will be allocated for “innovations.” 128.7 million euros will be allotted for competence centers and technology transfer systems; 97.4 million euros for business incubators, loans, micro-loans and guarantees; 64.8 million euros for technology incubators, early stage venture capital and innovation motivation programs. Fifty-eight million euros will be allocated for cluster initiatives, expanding on external markets, international competitiveness and tourism marketing, with 51.8 million euros for developing industrial zones and premises, and 29.9 million euros for employment courses organized in partnership.
The ELMO electric car rental service that passed a test period last summer was to be fully launched on Jan. 1, reports Public Broadcasting. The Estonian state-owned Kredex foundation launched an electric car speed rental service in Tallinn and Tartu last summer, in the framework of the electric mobility program (ELMO). The service that advocates the use of electric cars has been used on more than 1,500 occasions in five months and the rental cars have been driven more than 250,000 km. Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiEV cars are used in the service. The cars can be rented either by the hour or day. To use the rental service, one has to conclude a usage contract at ELMO page and then can open the doors using a smartphone or ordinary cell phone. Similar electric car speed rental services operate in Paris, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.