Dear SKILLS+ Project partners, Stakeholders, Ladies and Gentleman! I have a great honour to Welcome all of you here – in the seminar, in Riga – the capital of Latvia! The digital sector has grown rapidly and continues to develop and gives us a variety of facilities and services, but also creates challenges. We have to be skilled to use the opportunities created by digitization at work, in business as well as in everyday life. We all are here with the common purpose – to do our job, to make world better, to make our countries better – better and easier life for our citizens, for businesses by using digital tools. All we need for that – is correct politics, skills, tools, environment and desire. Nothing much So, we are here by acting together in the framework of the project: - exploring the positive experience; - see the challenges and deal with each individual countries issues on SMEs growth and competitiveness, as well as to learn from each other by sharing best practices and examples. Concluding the speech I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Lead partner for the confidence to organize events in Riga and; our project partner – University of Latvia for kind support and cooperation to make this event happen!! And thank you all for coming and working together in project – working in such wide - international cooperation to make our life&apos;s better!! I wish you to enjoy the seminar and work for two days and, of course, hope you will also have a great opportunity to get to know better Latvia, Riga, people and culture!! I wont be too long as we all having a long and, hope, interesting day ahead. Lets allow me to continue with the presentation. I will be representing the project partner - The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) which is in charge of Information Society development, as well as our Stakeholder - The Ministry of Economics, as a responsible body for SMEs development, in short, to introduce you with the situation in Digital Latvia.
As you can see, Latvia has the necessary preconditions of digital opportunities. - Residents assess one of the fastest internet in the world and widely available free internet coverage according to the latest data 6. fastest Internet in the world (the fourth fastest in the EU); At the same time, we have the fourth lowest prices in the EU high-speed Internet (thanks to an open telecommunications market and competition) - A wide range of free internet corner planking (&gt; 870 public libraries throughout the Latvia, Riga nominated as European Capital of WiFi, including taxis, trains) - this opportunity appreciated by both Latvian representatives of the EU presidency, as well as our neighbors Estonians. Our people are among the most active e-facility for everyday services Residents not only actively use entertainment and communication services (video call and a message reading are active in the EU Six). &gt; 81% of internet users bank online daily, which we rank 6th in the EU Digital communication also at the national level has been identified as a resident of one of the fundamental rights: Citizens have a right in every state and local authority to address and receive a reply electronically Since 2015, this obligation also applies to public service providers (Telecom operators, couriers, energy service providers, etc.). Private e-services used more than the EU average - 86% read news online (EU 67%), 75% used online banking (EU 57%), but 70% of social networks (EU 58%). In addition, every other public service was made available electronically.
The Information Society Development Guidelines for 2014 – 2020: Aim is to provide the opportunity for anyone to use ICT, to create a knowledge-based economy and to improve the overall quality of life by contributing to the national competitiveness, and increasing an economic growth and job creation. By reducing administrative burden it is expected to increase the number of those entrepreneurs (especially SMEs), which until now have been deterred from commencing their businesses or official registration due to the complexity and unwieldiness of bureaucratic procedures. Concept for the development of the next generation broadband electronic communications network - to achieve the objective laid down in the strategy Europe 2020 – to improve access to fast and ultra-fast internet for European citizens. Next generation broadband electronic communications networks ensure high data transmission speed, therefore, their expansion is the basis for further economic and life quality development of the modern society. Nowadays a large number of public, informative and State administration services are accessible more easily and conveniently in the digital environment rather than in the physical environment. National Industrial Policy of Latvia for 2014-2020: Main directions: Availability of labour force and adequate education policy for economic development needs; Development of industrial zones; Access to finance; Increase of innovation capacity; Promotion of export; Diminish of energy costs. Annual Business Environment Improvement Action Plan aims to &quot;simple and qualitative services in entrepreneurship: more e-services&quot; and includes 47 actions. The main focus in Latvia: to support SMEs in the digital field; to support their employees in ICT and digital skills development, which is being implemented by the EU structural funds. Cyber Security Strategy of Latvia 2014 - 2018 the aim of the cyber security policy is a secure and reliable; cyber space, which ensures a safe, reliable, and continuous; supply of services essential for the state and society.
Guideline’s Action lines covers all the areas, including e-skills, internet access, efficient public administration , e-services development and covers interests of all the target groups, including SMEs. 7 action directions for policy planning period 2014-2020: * ICT education and e-skills; * widely available access to the internet; * advanced and effective public administration; * e-services and digital content for public; * cross-border cooperation for Digital Single Market; * ICT research and innovation; * trust and security.
Open Data - The public funds created resources - available to the public; Rational use of ICT management - shared platforms and components; Interoperability with the EU solutions; Product standardization; transparent maintenance; Effective operational processes - Process Improvement; The process of transformation of co-ordination; Business Intelligence; Data and quality management; Communicating only electronically; E-government quality - usability testing, availability requirements, data security management and training, quality criteria, accountability and control
ICT architecture: Ieguldījumi IKT attīstībā šajā plānošanas periodā 130 miljoni eiro. VARAM atbildībā gan koordinācija, pamatpricipu ievērošana, gan arī projekta, kas veido pamata platformas, attīstība: Project No. 22.214.171.124/16/I/001 &quot;public administration information and communication technology architecture management system&quot; is to ensure the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014 2020th co-funded information and communication technology (ICT) projects of mutual coherence of the major centralized platform for the design and implementation as well as to promote public interest in and ability to effectively use ICT solutions generated. State IS integrator Latvian National Information System (VIS) is creating an accounting of State Information Systems Register (VISR), in which are stored data on the state of information systems, the use of technical resources, managers, etc. VISR provides a broad and comprehensive national information systems co-ordinate the development of the VIS and improve public access to information. VISR provide information to individuals and legal entities on the data entered, as well as system developers and organizations that aligns the VIS. VISR registered around 170 national information systems.
E-service development, State portal www.Latvia.lv Nowadays ICT become increasingly important for the state and municipal institutions, creating opportunities to automate many manual operations. ICT have an important role in both improvement of services as well as internal and inter-institutional cooperation processes promoting availability and quality of services, facilitating administrative processes for people and entrepreneurs, as well as information availability. In order to improve services for people and entrepreneurs as well as provide the participation in decision making process, additionally to presence services more and more opportunities are created to claim for and receive services electronically. State portal www.Latvia.lv The Latvian State portal provides a single access point for state and municipal services. Citizens are able to get the necessary information on state and local government services through one entry point and find out which of the services can be received electronically. Citizens setting up their own profile in the portal, request and start e-services, follow the e-service performance, receive e-service results, see the message archive, if necessary, take the e-service payments. eAddress: Official electronic address or eAdrese will be the digital mailbox in the ww.Latvija.lv portal, which will allow easier correspondence between public bodies, private individuals (companies, associations, etc.) and the general public. Activating eAdress, resident will tell authorities that he wants to receive further correspondence electronically to eAddress. It will become an obligation for authorities, except if the addressee can not be identified.
In Latvia just as elsewhere across the Europe, e-skills have become an essential part of life and inability to access or use ICT is a significant obstacle for social integration and personal development. Insufficient level of e-skills among entrepreneurs and inhabitants works as an obstacle for economic growth, competitiveness and employment in Latvia and in the EU in general. One of the activities is public awareness and readiness to use e-Opportunities. During 2015, a comprehensive communication campaign “The State is on the Internet” was implemented. The goals of the campaign are to encourage society to use government e-services and to ensure that maximum wide population is informed about online services offered by the government and the benefits of eID. The campaign involved the development of “Digital friendly” visual identity, involvement of public and private intermediaries to assist citizens in usage of e-services, the development of an internationally unique solution for automatic Social networking profile verification using the national eID card, etc. The campaign involved communication on more than 250 e-services and orchestrated cooperation of more than 30 government institutions VARAM arī plāno aktivitātes vairāk kā 2 miljonu apmērā digitāļo prasmju attīstībai. (Project &quot;public administration information and communication technology architecture management system»). Promote digital media creating solutions and their benefits, as well as inform the public about the state of e-opportunities; The training of public administration employees, so that they provide the public with advice on aspects of the use of the digital environment; Develop training materials and programs for e-management tools, and to develop information materials. Target audience: ALL economically active Latvian residents. When planning communication and training activities, they focused on the following target groups: In the Communication activities: Entrepreneurs, including farmers, pupils from the age of 15 and students, households government officials, non-governmental organizations, Another tender participant offered the target group, as well as throughout the project identified target groups.
Network of State and Municipal Unified Customer Service Centres - there will be more information later this day!! In 2015 has started state and municipal unified customer service centers and the launch of regional importance development centers. Service centers operating in the municipal center customer base in accordance with the uniform principles, ensuring: Notification service onsite. Opportunity in person to apply for the State Revenue Service and the State Social Insurance Agency&apos;s services, as well as receive their municipal services. Advice on e-services Advice on 7 public authorities e-services and practical assistance in dealing with the computer, the Internet and eID card reader. Information and advice Information on the nearest public authorities of regional unit, its opening times and application procedures. Service applications and e-services consultancy in obtaining local government will provide customer service specialists. Solution: In accordance with Regulations of Cabinet of Ministers State and Local government Unified Customer Services Centres, in addition to local government services have to be provided certain number of most popular «physical» services of state institution and assist to use all e-services: Following agencies taking a share in:1) State Social Insurance Agency; 2) State Employment Agency; 3) State Revenue Service; 4) Register of Enterprises; 5) State Rural Support Service; 6) State Land Service; 7) Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs ; 8) State Labour Inspectorate.
With e-opportunities are not enough, you need to promote skills and to inform about the opportunities to promote positive competition authorities in order to motivate advancement - to identify and learn from the best. Latvian eIndekss - Annual motivating e-environmental assessment in public institutions and local governments. It is carried out in cooperation between the public and private sector. The aim is to encourage citizens and businesses in municipalities and public institutions services get more comfortable and more efficient. The initiative not only contribute to the development of Latvian digital environment, but will also support the Digital Agenda for Europe to achieve the objectives of e-government opportunities. The challenge is to enable each to be treated and mutually comparable manner to see the progress of the implementation of an e-opportunity, identify their strengths and also - improvement of other things. Winners - Ministries - Ministry of Finance. Authorities - CSDD It will also take place this year.
Mērķus nosaka gan EK + IKT nozares. EK plānotie attīstības virzieni ir arī aktuāli LV un tos mēs ieviesām savā nacionālajā memorandā. Memorandum of cooperation for “eSkills Partnership” development - was signed on 18th March 2013 by government, non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs. During the eSkills week 2017 there will be updated Memorandum with new activities. In the Memorandum participants agreed to cooperate in four main areas: Digital skills for the labour force – developing digital skills for the digital economy, e.g. upskilling and reskilling workers, jobseekers; actions on career advice and guidance More and better trained ICT professionals in Europe – developing high level digital skills for ICT professionals in all industry sectors Digital skills in education – transforming teaching and learning of digital skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including the training of teachers Digital skills for all – developing digital skills to enable all citizens to be active in our digital society EU Information Campaign “eSKills Week” . The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness of the need for citizens to improve their command of ICT skills for work. In result of cooperation between industries, educational bodies and public authorities deliver a large and diverse programme of events and activities throughout the year for people at all levels of education and skills. The campaign targets different groups, including SMEs, informing them about the vast range of opportunities that ICT - related jobs present. One day of the week informing entrepreneurs about opportunities to raise their level of knowledge and competitiveness on the ICT issues and all opportunities offered by the governmental institutions (e-services, use of e-signature etc.), NGOs (new ICT solutions in e-commerce, cloud computing business opportunities, social networking etc.) and IT associations (training&apos;s, practical use of ICT, integrating new programmes etc.). This year the Campaign will be organized for 8th year.
Regards to the proportion of SMEs in Latvia various activities to promote particularly SME’s innovation capacity (including ICT skills development) are implemented by EU structural funds 2014.-2020. funding: Innovation motivation programme, Support for training of employees, Business incubators, Clusters. Total EU financing 38,4 mEUR. Focus on innovation capacity, regional, ICT skills development.
Innovation motivation programme (Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIDA)) Aim: increase the proportion of innovative companies in the Latvian economy and encourage to start entrepreneurship in RIS3 priorities (including ICT skills development) in regional dimensions. EU funds: 4,8 mEUR. Duration: November 2016- December 2023. Activities: Ideju kauss- competition for Latvian innovative business ideas. Started in scope of 2007.-2013. EU funds innovation motivation programme and is to be continuing in 2014.-2020. EU funds innovation motivation programme. Competition is very popular for potential entreprenuers, self-employed persons. Previous it was organised 4 times. Individuals from all Latvian regions are involved in competition. Best ideas gets financial awards. One of the best innovative business ideas- game development platform „Mighty Engine”, universal latch „HugLock”. It is planned to organise 6 competitions (1 per year). Demola Latvia- DEMOLA project in Latvia was launched in 2014 by Latvian IT Cluster with the support of Ministry of Economics and LIDA. Demola Latvia is located at TechHub Riga premises in the centre of the Old Town of Riga. TechHub Riga is a co-working space for new technology startups that can meet, work, learn and collaborate. Both for Demola and TechHub it’s a unique chance to work together and interact in a mutually benefiting ecosystem since Techhub Riga represents the best of the Latvian startup scene and Demola prepares ground for the future generation of startups and innovators. In scope of innovation motivation programme it is planned to train potential entrepreneurs in innovative solutions in technological developments accordance with market demand. Networking- mutual social communication between target groups of innovation motivation programme (mentors and potential entreprenuers, self-employed persons). Performance indicators by 31.12.2023.: un-financial support given at least to 10 000 persons Each year LIDA organises seminars for enterprises, youth, on e-commerce. Project «Support for small and micro ICT skills development and implementation» (Latvian Information and Communications Technology Associations (LICTA)) EU funds: 2,0 mEUR Duration: December 2016-December 2020. Results: trainings to be organised from March 2017. Performance indicators by 31.12.2020.: training given at least to 6500 employees and self-employed persons In 2007.-2013. EU funds period LICTA implemented project «ICT training for small and micro businesses to promote competitiveness and productivity» in 3 ICT building blocks: 1.Strategy (ICT for innovations; Market analysis; Management of changes; Management of processes and products) 2.Technologies (Infrastructure; Security; Multimedia and graphical design; Office software) 3.Business processes (Client and partner management; Finance management, accounting; E-commerce) EU funds: 1,95 mEUR. Duration: April 2012-October 2015. Results: In total 6784 training courses were held, 1446 SMEs were involved in the project and 3249 employees of enterprises trained.
Business incubators EU funds: 27,9 mEUR. Duration: January 2017-December 2023. Aim: Business incubation in Latvia is a key part of the entrepreneurial, start-up, regional development and investment ecosystems. In LIDA work with regional incubators, LIDA emphasizes the use of business development techniques that help the specific business and also lead to creation of a stronger group of entrepreneurs in the local ecosystem. Business incubators promotes SMEs to develop new services, products and take use of modern ICT tools. Results: At the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 15 business incubators (14 regional incubators in Liepaja, Ventspils, Kuldiga, Talsi, Jurmala, Jelgava, Bauska, Ogre, Sigulda, Valmiera, Madona, Jekabpils, Rezekne, Daugavpils and 1 creative industries incubator in Riga) were opened and they started receiving applications for incubation and pre-incubation support. Admission takes place 4 times a year and until now there is a high activity of entrepreneurs ~270 application requests. Each business incubator has its own evaluation commissions (composed of representatives of local governments, social partners, region’s entrepreneurs etc.). Clusters EU funds: 6,2 mEUR. Duration: January 2017-December 2020. Aim: to encourage businesses, research, education and knowledge transfer organizations and other institutions for cooperation at local and international levels, thus contributing to the competitiveness of economic operators, by increasing export volumes and the share of high value added products and services in export, as well as innovation and new product development. Results: 14 clusters selected- Sectoral clusters: Gauja National Park tourism cluster; Latvian Information Technology Cluster; Latvian Electronics and electrical engineering cluster; Latvian food quality cluster; Latvian wood construction cluster; Metalworking cluster; Latvian Chemical and Pharmaceutical Cluster; Latvian print and media technology cluster. Cross-sectoral clusters: CleanTech Cluster; Green and smart technology cluster; Latvian Health Tourism Cluster; Smart City cluster; Export cluster, Latvian security and defense cluster. Latvian ICT cluster is the one of the biggest and oldest cluster in Latvia, also first and only cluster who has received Silver Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative. This is a second Cluster program within Latvian ICT cluster is developing and a lot of success has been achieved, but one of the most remarkable cluster activity is the Riga’s IT Demo Centre- the uniting force for the Latvian IT sector which represents not just a few selected companies but the entire Latvian IT industry.
General overview of Digital Latvia
General overview of situation in
Deputy State Secretary
SKILLS+ Third Capacity Building Seminar
« Supporting change management in companies»
Facts about Digital Latvia
Fast and accessible internet
• 6th the fastest internet in the world
• 4th lower priced high-speed internet in the EU
• Wide covering of free WiFi network
Active users of e-opportunities
• 75% use internet at least once a week
• 5th place in the EU – news reading
• 6th place in the EU – internet banking users (81%)
Digital access right
• State, municipa and public utility services
Responsible authorities for
e-governance of SMEs
The Information Society
2014 - 2020
Key principles for
ICT architecture, IS integration
Unified Information and Data Platform
Cultural heritage digitalization
ICT Infrastructure – Unified Data Centre, eiD, eSignature infrastructures
~130 millions for ICT development
Government services –
digital by default (1)
● Digital Tax and Customs procedures
- Tax declaration in 5 minutes
- Verify tax paid by your employer
- Property tax, customs fees, etc
● Apply for most of social benefits via internet
- Family, child birth, unemployment, disability, etc.
● Register your business via internet
● 100% digital tax administration
Government services –
digital by default (2)
● Apply to one of 11 universities digitally
● Car owners
- Verify vehicle data, apply for driving exams, pay fines,
initiate change of vehicle owner
● Cultural heritage collections
- 900’000 museum items; books, newspapers, maps, etc.
- Initiation of legislation initiatives
- Online streaming of Government and Parliament sittings
eService Awareness campaign
Unified and coordinated
Public and private cooperation
30+ institutions involved
Promote digital media creating solutions and their
benefits, as well as inform the public about the state of
The training of public administration employees, so
that they provide the public with advice on aspects of
the use of the digital environment;
Develop training materials and programs for
e-management tools, and to develop information
Investment ~2 millions EUR
Network of State and Municipal
Unified Customer Service
Motivation program for institutions
Support initiatives for SMEs
Digital skills for ICT
Digital skills in
Digital skills for all
Security issues for
activities for young
Information on e-
services for citizens
Digital skills for the
Support programs co-financed
from EU funds 2014.-2020
Support initiatives for SMEs
Project «Support for small and micro ICT skills development and implementation»
Training on 3 ICT building blocks:
1.Digital technology (cloud computing, online cooperation, infrastructure and security)
2.Business processes digitization (business, financial management, marketing and document
3.Digital tools for manufacturing and service development (digital design tools, customer relationship
management and communication tools, production and process management tools and digital