Vidzeme proves to be the place to invest in bioeconomy innovations

Dec. 7, 2020 | Latvian Food Bioeconomy cluster

The Vidzeme region in Latvia is one of the most progressive regions of Northern Europe, developing and implementing smart, knowledge-, and technology-based solutions for the sustainable use of forest, agricultural and water resources. Innovation in Vidzeme has a special role, and with a recently made video story Vidzeme demonstrates to be a unique place to invest in bioeconomy innovations. The possibility to develop bioeconomy businesses as well as the products and services is where the biomass is located, and in that sense Vidzeme region is abundant with forest resources, agricultural land and fresh water. By organizing different activities and gathering national and international experts from different bioeconomy sectors – forestry, food processing, agriculture and various fields of activity – business, research, education and other, we create a region that is appealing for work and living, and attractive to investors.

The benefits and resources that the Vidzeme region offers as well as the success stories of companies established and/or developed within the region are the best evidence of vast opportunities. Organisations such as Field and Forest Ltd., one of the largest organic chamomile producers in the Eastern Europe, Stora Enso Latvija, JSC, significant timber producer, the Institute for Environmental Solutions, designers and developers of customized innovative environmental solutions, and other players of the bioeconomy have already proven that region's natural resources can be used in many innovative ways. Because of the Vidzeme region location and the excellent raw material base, many entrepreneurs have chosen it as a perfect place for production, as “it is in the centre of an area of high-quality forest resources and the availability of the skilled workforce,” reveals Uldis Deisons, Chair of the Board at Stora Enso Latvija, JSC. He also highlights that regions’ companies and researchers have joint objectives – efficient management of forests, innovative use of wood, other forest resources and production side streams.

Significant achievements have been made by Vidzeme food industry – products, originating and produced in the region, are recognised not only in Europe, but also in the United States, South America and Asia. Such as organic potato starch and brown pea protein, produced by Aloja Starkelsen, Ltd. Jānis Garančs, company's Board Member, emphasizes “if you’re looking for new developments in organic or vegan product production, there are huge advantages and possibilities in Vidzeme”. By choosing to work and develop the business in the region, the entrepreneurs can provide full value chains rather than importing raw material from other locations in Latvia or from other countries. The abundance of clean natural resources, close cooperation with other European regions, the presence of universities and modern research institutes, and growing cooperation between companies and scientists, are the main development drivers of Vidzeme region.

Vidzeme’s natural resources are also used to produce high added value, export-oriented products for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. To gather more information on fields and plants, surpassing the human senses, innovative technology has been developed. “We focus a lot on understanding the needs of the companies [..], applying modern technology and invest heavily in building research infrastructure,” adds Inese Suija-Markova, Managing Director of the Institute for Environmental Solutions.

Vidzeme region has put the bioeconomy in its agenda and works in the field for more than three years. Various activities, promoting development of know-how, exchange of knowledge and experience regionally and internationally, increase of business and research capacities, are organised. All of those actions are reinforced by the action plan created for the region and aimed to develop regional bioeconomy ecosystem. By developing and applying new approaches for sustainable management of natural resources, Vidzeme supports the achievements of the European Green Deal objectives and inspires other European regions to follow. One of the most significant strength of Vidzeme is its collaboration-oriented people with great ideas. The region is open to anyone who wants to invest in existing businesses, develop new ones, and work and live in a harmonious and safe environment – welcome to Vidzeme!

To find more information on the investment possibilities, visit http://invest.vidzeme.lv/en and http://innovation.vidzeme.lv/en.

This video is developed in the framework of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programmes 2014-2020 project “Rural RDI milieus in transition towards smart Bioeconomy Clusters and Innovation Ecosystems” (RDI2CluB) with the support of the European Regional Development Fund and Norwegian Financial Mechanism and project partners.

Prepared by: Marta Riekstiņa, Public Relations Specialist in Vidzeme Planning Region, marta.riekstina@vidzeme.lv; +371 25865495