To identify potential co-operation models and contacts for strengthening support opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises also outside current Transnational Innovation Brokerage System (TIBS) working area, GoSmart BSR team from Vidzeme Planning Region participated in the World Latvian Economic and Innovation Forum, that took place in Valmiera, Latvia.
The event, which has presented itself as an essence of unique experience, was aimed at developing and supporting the business potential of the country. As TIBS also has a similar concept, to strive and to create an attractive business environment based on competitiveness, internationalisation and innovation, it was valuable to hear entrepreneurial experiences on heading towards global markets and towards innovation.
Ilona Platonova, Innovation Broker in Vidzeme, comments: “Events such as the forum are a great opportunity to network, expanding the boundaries of possible cooperation. As you may know, today, when national borders are not a barrier but rather an endless opportunity, any new acquaintance is a valuable asset. I took the opportunity to listen to new potential collaboration opportunities, meanwhile it was important to spread the word on TIBS. The offer of the brokerage network is definitely already competitive and attractive for start-ups and business players who have been in the market for some time, as well as for the potential investors and cooperation partners.”
The TIBS network created by the project GoSmart BSR is currently based in a specific number of European countries, but its concept allows to cover a much larger area in the future. During the networking part in the forum it was suggested to extend the innovation brokerage network beyond already existing regions and include Scandinavian countries – Norway and Sweden –, as the cooperation between research and businesses are foreseen as highly developed there. It should be noted that the TIBS network could extend also beyond the borders of the European Union. Valuable contacts were established for future cooperation in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Singapore.
The forum also made some valuable observations from experts, revealing some of the peculiarities that are essential for the successful development of internationalization initiatives, such as branding, communication with the business partner, logistics, culture differences etc.
Informal networking has been identified as the most effective part of getting to know and create new synergies and initiate new ideas. During the event, several valuable talks were held with local brand executives, and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency was also interested in the support provided by the innovation broker in Vidzeme.
Successful talks also took place with individual foreign investors and experts who are deeply interested in internationalization and innovation projects and are ready to work on new projects.
Photos from VPR archive and from U.Brālēns