27.02.2020. - THURSDAY

Vidzeme Innovation conference "Responsible innovation"

09:00 - 18:30
Vidzemes koncertzāle Cēsis, Raunas iela 12, Cēsis
Event Coordinator:
Ineta Tauriņa
Phone:  2638 28 20

Innovation possesses "doing good" character. By applying innovations wisely, you can create products, services, and technologies that not only solve but that also spare and improve.

Innovation can help to correct existing products and services, it can create alternative solutions or prevent adverse effects on nature, health and long-term wellbeing. Innovation can be both a final product and a tool.

Innovation can help address a variety of challenges, including those currently associated with the existence of planet Earth. Action to stop climate change is a priority across Europe, in every country, in every community - you can't put off! This should be kept in mind for everyone – the consumer, the producer, and the scientist.

For the second year already, Vidzeme Planning Region organizes an innovation conference within the framework of Vidzeme Innovation Week. We will continue to encourage the Vidzeme people to strengthen the spirit of innovation in 2020, but we want an innovation-rich environment where our innovators will create new products and services, filled with smart decisions, responsible behavior, and sustainable solutions.

That's why this year's Innovation Conference is called "Responsible Innovation".

How do Vidzeme people go about innovation? What do we already know that has surprised the world?


The conference topics include:



Three parallel sessions will also be organized as part of the conference. Listeners are offered a free choice to select topics of interest during each of the three sessions - after each expert presentation, time will be given to change sessions and select the most interesting topics.

09:00 - 09:30
Registration, Coffee

Moderator of the conference: Ms Lilita Sparāne

Experience and knowledge shared by:
09:30 - 09:40
Welcome remarks by Head of VPR Development Council Hardijs Vents

Welcome to Vidzeme Innovation Week, which is taking place for the second time to strengthen Vidzeme's spirit of innovation!

09:45 - 10:05
Keynote. Innovation statistics in Latvia. Zane Vītola. Innovation Center, SEB Latvia

Zane will share his experience on the situation in the Latvian market with regard to companies' ability to "innovate", and explain the reasons why this is happening and what are the key principles to make it happen.

Experience and knowledge shared by:
10:10 - 10:30
Keynote. Gastronomy across borders.

Gastronomy across borders.

Experience and knowledge shared by:
10:35 - 10:55
Keynote. Creating new products from production residues. "Labas saknes" Ltd. good example.

Daina Eglīte-Antona, a taste-maker.

Experience and knowledge shared by:
11:00 - 11:20
Keynote. Energy efficient building management: good practice

Presented by Sendija Ikere, Building management company Termex

Experience and knowledge shared by:
11:25 - 11:40
Coffee break

Time for small talk and coffee.

11:40 - 15:40
PARALLEL SESSIONS (Lunch break from 12:40 to 13:40)

Three parallel sessions will be organized as part of the conference. Listeners are offered a free choice to select topics of interest during each of the three sessions - after each expert presentation, time will be given to change sessions and select the most interesting topics.

11:40 - 15:40
Parallel session #1 "Bioeconomy Innovations in Food Production and Gastronomy"

The aim of the session “Bioeconomy Innovations in Food Production and Gastronomy” is to promote the exchange of ideas and experience on innovation opportunities in food, circular economy, bioeconomy, gastronomy. Domestic and foreign experts will present their vision, discuss and answer questions. Small and medium-sized enterprises and organizations representing the food industry are invited to attend.

Moderator: Kristaps Ročāns, Vidzeme Planning Region






Key-note: Biomass conversion to high added value products - Biorefinery innovation. Johannes Kisser, Managing Director, Alchemia-Nova (AT)



Food and bioeconomy innovation in Gastronomy. Māris Jansons, Chef, KEST (LV)





Circular bioeconomy innovation cases and business model examples in the Baltic Sea Region. Ants-Hannes Viira, Estonian University of Life Sciences (EE)


14:10-14:40 Wild innovations and wild forest berries: R&D together with SMEs and larger companies. 

Dr. Pekka Kilpeläinen, Oulu University (FI) 



Panel discussion. Food Innovation - Opportunities and Challenges.

Participants: Dr.Pekka Kilpeläine (Oulu University, Finland), Māris Jansons, Chef (KEST, Latvia), Gundars Skudriņš (Institute for Environmental Solutions, Latvia), Jānis Garančs (Aloja-Starkelsen Ltd., Latvia), Johannes Kisser (Alchemia Nova, Austria)


Estonia-Latvia program project "Design and promotion of tourism product based on Livonian culinary heritage (LIVONIAN CULINARY ROUTE)": Regional networking and new contact event.

11:40 - 15:40
Parallel session #2 "Sustainable use of resources. Principles of circular economy and design"

Session “Sustainable use of resources. Circular Economics and Design Principles ”aims to introduce participants to the circular economics and design principles as well as practical examples to promote the sustainable use of resources, including the wise use of logging surplus. Representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises, public sector organizations working in the field of management, processing, and marketing of natural resources are especially invited.


Moderator: Jana Simanovska (Ecodesign Competence Center, Latvia)









The circular economy as a necessity and a driver of innovation. Jana Simanovska, project expert at Ecodesign Competence Center, researcher at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (LV)



Principles of circulation in the forest ecosystem. Research in the field of bioeconomy at the Latvian State Forestry Institute. Dagnija Lazdiņa, Senior researcher, Latvian State Forest Research institute "SILAVA" (LV)


BE-RURAL bioeconomy solutions for rural areas. Holger Gerdes, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, Berlin (DE)









Responsibility, design and capabilities. Aija Freimane, Postdoctoral research fellow in design, Associate professor, Academy of Art of Latvia (LV)



Using forestry residues to create high value-added products. Ojārs Polis, Researcher, Latvian State Forest Research institute "SILAVA" (LV)



From idea to product. Experience story of using logging scraps for business development. Ernests Moisejs, Chairman of the Board, Biolat JSC (LV)






New business models in the circular economy. Jana Simanovska, project expert at Ecodesign Competence Center, researcher at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (LV)


11:40 - 15:40
Parallel session #3 "Development of innovative services for public administration”

The range of challenges the public sector is facing today remains increasingly complex; therefore it is important that the institutions have the knowledge and skills to deal with them. The challenges are like elephants that look huge and unconquerable, and the only way to “eat” them is to do it purposefully – piece by piece. In order to make public services as modern and qualitative as those offered by the private sector, the authorities should learn to think and act differently.


What to start with?

What is needed for the authority to become user-focused and capable of innovating?

What is the role of managers in the development of innovation environment?


These and other important issues will be addressed in this workshop, e.g. the ways to develop an innovation environment within your institution; what is important and what needs to be changed.


The aim of the session is to promote the development of smart services and solutions by municipalities and other public organizations. 






Energy consumption data monitoring - a tool for efficient building management. Mārtiņš Kaļva, Expert, Project LowTEMP (LV)



Towards smarter Cēsis. Kārlis Pots, Head of Communication and Customer service Administration, Cēsis municipality (LV)



The role of open data in business and municipalities. Einārs Garoza, Valsts#196 (LV)



Regional innovation systems. Varis Putniņš, project manager of the LARS project and senior consultant at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (LV)






How to develop innovative environment in your institution? Laura Dimitrijeva, Consultant in State Chancellery, #GovLabLatvia Innovation Laboratory Manager, The State Chancellery of Latvia (LV)


14:45-15:40 Road map for municipalities in providing smart services. 

Margarita Krišlauka, senior expert, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (LV)


15:40 - 16:00
A short coffee break

A short break to rearrange the room.

16:00 - 17:00
Panel discussion

What are the things and solutions that can be useful for further day-to-day work in both SME development and the public sector. Reflections on what was heard at the conference and parallel sessions.

Representatives from Vidzeme Planning Region, several ministries and other state-level organizations, as well as businessmen participate in the panel discussion.

17:00 - 18:30
Networking and conversations (Coffee and snacks)

Time to get to know, discuss and agree.