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Ex-prime minister: education and science should be budget priorities for 2019

Laimdota Straujuma/flickr.com.
«Latvia’s competitiveness in the world can only be based on education, science and innovations. These fields should be budget priorities in 2019,» says chairperson of Saeima’s Sustainable Development Committee Laimdota Straujuma.

On 6 December, the committee discussed Latvia’s innovations ecosystem and agreed that structural reforms are needed in this field, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

In cooperation with professionals, the committee plans to prepare a concept for a unified innovation platform to ensure better cooperation between scientists and businessmen. Members of the committee and other participants of the discussion agreed that the platform would work successfully if politicians, scientists and businessmen all agree on it.

Indriķis Muižnieks, rector of the University of Latvia, said that compared with other European countries and Baltic member states, Latvia has had good accomplishments in financing and human resource attraction in the field of innovations. However, cooperation between business and science remains insufficient to realize state-level strategies and use allocated funding appropriately.

Reinis Bērziņš, chairman of Altum, informed deputies that Latvia is currently one of the most active users of finances from EU funds. So far, Latvia has signed contracts on attraction of additional funding worth more than EUR 250 million. In addition, it is planned to form a special guarantee portfolio with approximately EUR 30 million to support innovative businesses in acquisition of funding from banks.

Altum predicts that state guarantees may be provided to more than 100 Latvian businesses.


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