Leading the New Wave of Deep Tech Innovation
Leading the New Wave of Deep Tech Innovation 1 1 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

The European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) programme, which is part of Horizon Europe, seeks to foster more connected, inclusive, and efficient innovation ecosystems and promote the growth of companies, as outlined in the New European Innovation Agenda. The primary aim of the EIE programme is to bring together individuals and organizations focused on innovation and to facilitate connections between various resources, such as funds, equipment, and facilities, as well as organizations, such as higher education institutions, research and technology organizations, companies, venture capitalists, and financial intermediaries, investors, and policymakers.

The New European Innovation Agenda, adopted on July 5, 2022, aims to establish Europe as a leader in the new era of deep tech innovation and startups. Building on Europeans’ entrepreneurial spirit, scientific excellence, the strength of the single market, and democratic societies, the NEIA aims to improve access to funding and innovation framework conditions, strengthen and better connect innovation players across Europe, attract and retain talent in Europe, and develop policymaking tools.

This document showcases the projects funded under the European Innovation Ecosystems work programme, which support the implementation of the New European Innovation Agenda objectives and, more specifically, its flagship initiatives related to “Funding for deep-tech scale-ups,” “Enabling deep tech innovation through experimentation spaces and public procurement,” and “Accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems across the EU and addressing the innovation divide.”

On January 26, 2023, project coordinators and their partners presented their initiatives in a workshop titled “Projects under the European Innovation Ecosystems Work Programme in support of the New European Innovation Agenda.” The project coordinators provided an overview of their activities and connected them to the objectives of the relevant NEIA flagships, namely Flagship 1 on “Funding for deep-tech scale-ups,” Flagship 2 on “Enabling deep tech innovation through experimentation spaces and public procurement,” and Flagship 3 on “Accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems across the EU and addressing the innovation divide.”

The New European Innovation Agenda Flagship 1 seeks to improve access to finance for European startups and scale-ups by mobilizing untapped sources of private capital and simplifying listing rules. The European Innovation Ecosystems Work Programme of Horizon Europe and the Startup Europe initiative, supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC), contribute to the Agenda by facilitating the adoption of deep tech innovations and supporting the next generation of innovative companies whose solutions will lead to a more competitive EU and a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient world.

European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Leading the new wave of deep tech innovation : projects under the European innovation ecosystems work programme in support of the new European innovation agenda, Publications Office of the European Union, 2023,

Latvian Startup Ecosystem
Latvian Startup Ecosystem 150 150 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

So you’ve got your idea, a business plan and an ambitious startup team. Is there anything you’re still missing? Well, in Latvia it sure won’t be the case, as you’ll have the support of a compact yet dynamic startup ecosystem that has everything you need to succeed. It’s where state, industry and academia work hand in hand to achieve the best result and it’s what will help you meet all the right people (and have fun) at exciting tech events or get funding for your R&D projects.

Overview of Latvian Startup Ecosystem

Latvian ecosystem is small, yet vibrant, it consists of highly motivated multilingual (often with at least 3 languages or more) talented people of various age and backgrounds. The startup environment is dynamic and rapidly growing. To nurture this growth, all important stakeholders have joined hands together.

Latvian startup infrastructure consists of 400+ registered startups, a pool of institutional investors and business angels, a diverse range of modern co-working spaces, dozens of business incubators fuelled by the government, academia and private individuals, as well as full of exciting gatherings, productive conferences, hackathons and meetups. The capital city Riga hosts numerous annual Tech & Innovation conferences: the iNovussDeep Tech AtelierRiga Tech GirlsTechChill and others. Moreover, a unique Startup Law has been passed and Startup Visa, officially – temporary residence permit, has been created in order to make Latvian startup ecosystem even more vibrant and productive.

Government support

Latvian government has particular interest and determination in boosting the development of startup environment, therefore, the support is provided at various stages: ideation & conceptualization, initiation, development and expansion. No matter what stage you have reached – there is a support mechanism just for you! And it is implemented and delivered through Magnetic Latvia Startup (also known as StartupLatvia), which represents a brand under Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA).

Startup Law

The Law creates a favorable tax regime for startups. The law foresees two benefit scenarios: 1) a special flat tax regime, currently 340,90 euros/month per employee, regardless of salary paid, combined with the 0% individual income tax rate, or 2) 45% co-financing for the highly qualified specialists. Read more on StartupLatvia – Law Benefits website.

Startup Visa

Startup visa, officially – a temporary residence permit, is offered to all non-EU startup founders who are willing to come and develop their startup ideas in Latvia. One startup can have up to 5 founders with a startup visa. The application process takes one month. The visa is given for the period of maximum 3 years and it is also issued to the spouse and children. Read more on StartupLatvia – Startup Visa website.

Innovation Vouchers

Innovation voucher program is aimed for any-size businesses that develop new products or technologies. The R&D actions supported by the program are the development of a new product or technology, the strengthening of industrial property rights and the certification and testing of new product or technology. Innovation vouchers are up to 85% co-financed in the amount of 25 000 EUR. Read more on StartupLatvia – Innovation Vouchers website.

Science Commercialization

The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia provides support to public research organizations for commercialization of research results. Among supported activities are: carrying out a feasibility study, preparation of a commercialization strategy, industrial research, experimental development, participation in international exhibitions, contact exchanges, conferences (seminars) abroad, individual visits and participation in national booths and trade missions, preparation of commercialization offers, attraction of experts and other activities. Read more on StartupLatvia – Science Commercialization website.

Business Travels

Visibility for startups and the ability to build and expand their business network are of high importance. Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) is offering an opportunity to reach out to investors, clients, and partners. Startup representatives can attend various events all over the globe, conferences, go on trade missions and get co-financed by the government..

Business Incubators

There are 13 LIAA incubators throughout the whole Latvia that support the necessary environment for the set up and development of business by offering training, mentor support and grants, and organizing events on general business issues. Read more on StartupLatvia – Incubators website.

Acceleration Funds

In 2017, the government made a special EUR 15 million acceleration fund (allocated by the European Regional Development Fund during the planning period of EU structural funds 2014-2020) available through ALTUM to support Latvia-based early-stage startups. The fund was then equally divided after a public procurement between three professional funds: Buildit focusing on hardware and the internet of things startups, Commercialization Reactor focusing on deep-tech startups, Overkill Ventures focusing on B2B software startups. There is one more acceleration fund in Latvia – Startup Wise Guys, focusing on B2B Fintech startups. More on StartupLatvia – Acceleration funds website.


The RAISE Project launched
The RAISE Project launched 1024 683 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In June 2022, SERN kicked off another project – RAISE: The Regions Alliance for Interconnected Startup Ecosystems!

The main goal of the project is to contribute to the development of a new, sustainable, and integrated framework of support that fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe in all its dimensions: from initial funding and research support to public incentives and internationalization.

To meet this ambitious goal, SERN is leading a consortium composed of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN), the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA), the Foundation FUNDECYT Scientific and Technological Park of Extremadura (FUNDECYT-PCTEX), and International Consortium of Research Staff Associations (ICoRSA). All organisations are active at the European level spanning the whole spectrum of startup support and growth: access to public funding, business angels, research & innovation.

The consortium is starting by setting up the Open Startup Forum to connect the stakeholders in a common space and start creating the conditions for further exchanges and cooperation.
The idea is to build on that platform to create links between the different stakeholders, and then design, implement and track pilot Actions for the promotion of startups and scaleups in the EU.

We keep you posted about RAISE impacts!

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