Short description
The evaluation of project applications of the innovation support programme ACORN (ZĪLE in Latvian) took place last June. From a total of 12 applications received, the jury decided to support six business innovation projects.

ACORN is a joint innovation support programme by four local authorities of the Greater Valmiera that provides support to innovative entrepreneurs and business projects. The Financial Scheme is being co-financed within the project “Next Generation Micro Cities of Europe” (NextGen Microcities) by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. The total Financial Scheme budget for 2019 is 37,008.00 EUR.

The aim of the ACORN is to promote the implementation of new products and innovations, to strengthen the existing enterprises and to promote the establishment of new technological enterprises in Valmiera city. In addition, the programme foresees that the Valmiera city becomes an innovation and new product test bed, namely a favourable place for companies to develop, grow and mature.

This year 12 projects have been submitted to the ACORN. Projects represent various innovative directions and activities that will enable entrepreneurs to develop and improve their business. The total budget of the innovation projects is 90,292.79 EUR (including 63,342.52 EUR requested as the support funding).

Within the projects, the entrepreneurs have planned to implement innovative management and sales promotion systems, to introduce digital solutions for optimizing production processes, to introduce innovative marketing approaches for product promotion in the global market, to develop a design for a system and equipment, to create a prototype, and to introduce a new multimedia service into the market. Entrepreneurs also plan to create new jobs in Valmiera city and to cooperate with the public sector during project implementation.

The jury expressed appreciation to all the submitted ideas; the applications were truly high quality, ensuring tense competition among the business innovation projects. Financial support in total of 37,008.00 EUR was given to the following six projects:
•    Development of strategic design for “EchoSports”, the athlete monitoring system (EchoTech Ltd.);
•    Development of computerized system of management and sales processes (Daupro Ltd.);
•    Digitalization solution for manufacturing companies (Baltijas industriālais Serviss Ltd.);
•    Sales promotion of the Maple CO2 Monitor (GDOG Ltd.);
•    Development of an innovative supplement for 2nd generation peat harvesters (Sniega Tehnika Ltd.);
•    Modernization of Valmiera TV studio and introduction of new service into the market (valmieras TV Ltd.).

Valmiera Development Agency will provide consultancy to all 12 submitted projects on successful project implementation and/or funding opportunities from other sources.

In July the cooperation agreements defining terms of using the funding between entrepreneurs and Valmiera City Council will be signed. After signing the contracts, the companies will be able to start the active phase of the projects by implementing the planned activities. All supported projects are expected to be completed by 30 November this year.

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