Economic transformation will not happen without research and innovations - Levits

  • 2023-02-04
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvian President Egils Levits met with Economy Minister Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance) at Riga Castle on Thursday to discuss transformation of the national economy through more successful transfer of scientific achievements into the economy and reskilling of the labor force to meet future labor market needs. 

The meeting also focused on a special innovation testbed framework to speed up development of technologies and applications, LETA was informed by the Presidential Press Service.

One of the key topics of the meeting was the weak technology transfer ecosystem. Research, development and innovation investments remain low in Latvia, especially in the private sector. According to the President, cooperation between researchers and industries must become closer. The Economy Minister agreed that this is an area where a lot needs to be done.

President Levits also mentioned the open letter of the Latvian Startup Association calling for additional funding for development of the startup sector. Current funding levels are disproportionate to the investments that have been attracted and overall impact on Latvia’s international reputation. Minister Indriksone promised to raise the issue during budget negotiations.

The President and Economy Minister discussed skills and employment policies. These policies lack clear coordination and are fragmented. The officials talked about future labor market trends in connection with negative demographics. Minister Indriksone talked about plans to strengthen cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Human Capital Development Council under the Ministry of Welfare in scope of defined priorities. One of such priorities is more successful integration of people with disabilities on the labor market. An issue recently emphasized by the Apeirons Organization of people with disabilities and their friends during a meeting with Egils Levits.

Energy efficiency of residential houses was the main topic of the previous meeting between the President and the Minister. According to Minister Indriksone, the President’s suggestion to prepare legal amendments to encourage households to apply for re-insulation of homes has been implemented.