The Latvian RIS3 was developed in 2014 to concentrate public R&D investment in programmes that create future domestic capability and interregional comparative advantage. It aims to introduce change and growth in the production and export structure of traditional industries, in sectors which show the potential for products and services of high added value, and in activities with significant horizontal impact and which contribute to transforming the national economy.
The strategy has two main elements: Investment priorities build our innovation capabilities from a productive innovation system to modern education and polycentric spatial development; and five specialisation areas have been selected in specific knowledge domains, including knowledge-intensive bio-economics, biomedicine, medical technologies, bio-pharmacy and biotechnologies, smart materials, technologies and engineering systems; smart energetics; and Information and communication technologies.
For implementation we have defined three core criteria for the allocation of public resources: Growth of R&I human capital (knowledge and networks), expressed as increased competence of individuals; Scientific excellence, characterised by the level of usefulness of new knowledge for future or present economic and societal challenges; and Net economic value, financial opportunities and social benefits.
In 2015 descriptions of the ecosystems surrounding each specialisation were elaborated, to introduce actors in the quadruple helix to the context in which knowledge is created including the scale of each area, core challenges, public funds and regulations. In 2016 a three-level monitoring system was launched to monitor the impact of public investment through RIS3, which by 2020 will amount to more than a billion euros.