University of Latvia teams up with Microsoft to deliver innovations

On September 13 the Innovation Center of the University of Latvia and Microsoft was opened, the first center of its kind in Northern Europe, the university said.

Its goal is promoting cooperation between IT industry bodies, NGOs and bodies dedicated to research and science to promote IT solutions and digital transformations in Latvia.

It is understood developers will be able to access Microsoft's products on-site, as well as receive help in accessing marketing channels for their ideas.

The center will promote interdisciplinary IT projects with a focus on cloud tech, the internet of things, and AI, as well as offer IT education and support for young professionals. 

"The innovation center in Riga is unique among other countries, as it sets up a joint innovation ecosystem, starting from educating IT specialists to implementing digital transformation projects. We were inspired by the strategic vision of the Latvian government over a data-based state and social development as well as the capacity of the IT industry," said Anke den Ouden, head of Microsoft's Eastern European division.

The opening event was attended by an impressive list of high-ranking Latvian officials including PM Māris Kučinskis, president Raimonds Vējonis and Environment Minister Kaspars Gerhards. 

The center is located on Kapaka bulvāris 4 in Riga and open to everyone who wants to visit.  

The Latvian government and Microsoft had agreed to establish the Innovation Center in Riga in June this year in Seattle.

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