Latvian-American Innovation Award

The Latvian-American Innovation Award is organized the Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF), AmCham Latvia, and the U.S. Embassy in Riga, together with TechHub Riga and the Latvian Startup Association to promote entrepreneurship, research-driven innovation, and closer economic ties between Latvia and the United States.

With this award, we seek to inspire and recognize innovation across business and commerce, academic and scientific research, medicine and health, the environment, energy, and education. We invite a large pool of candidates to apply and make the case for why their innovation deserves recognition in accordance with the selection criteria below.

The winner will receive 10,000 Euro (gross) and a runner-up 5,000 Euro (gross). The award is intended to recognize innovative thinking and project design, as well as strong collaboration between Latvian and U.S. developers; it is not intended as seed money for start-up companies or to support specific organizational plans or models.

To be eligible, applicants must be Latvian residents or organizations registered in Latvia. Submitted projects must demonstrate a clear Latvian-American link according to a combination of at least two of the following factors:

  • The development and implementation of the innovation has taken place in Latvia.
  • The project is the result of work conducted in the framework of U.S.-Latvia academic, commercial, professional, or artistic partnership or clear collaborative effort.
  • The Latvian initiator and responsible person/entity has strong ties with the United States.
  • The project has been funded or sponsored by a U.S. source.

Although projects that already have U.S.-Latvian collaboration are preferred, projects are also eligible if they show how the funds are used to create deeper collaboration or to build relationships with U.S. partners.

Selection Criteria
Innovations are evaluated on their:

  • Innovativeness
  • Impact
  • Applicability
  • Collaboration
  • Project maturity
  • Value Creation

The applicants are evaluated by the professional jury including:

  • Andris Bērziņš, Co-Founder of TechHub Riga;
  • Tālis Juhna, Vice-Rector of RTU;
  • Gunita Kuļikovska, CEO of Vividly;
  • Diāna Lāce, CEO of the Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV;
  • Peter Ragauss, Board Member of BAFF;
  • Michael K. Ritchie, Political & Economic Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Riga;
  • Renāte Strazdiņa, Country Manager of Microsoft Baltics and Board Member of AmCham Latvia

Past winners

AERONES, winner of the 1st Latvian-American Innovation Award for their newly developed heavy-lift drones designed to help clean and de-ice wind turbines. Find out more about the 2018 year's Award HERE 

Trauma Simulator, winner of the 2nd Latvian-American Innovation Award developed a virtual reality training system that allows medical students to practice and improve their performance in emergency situations. More about the 2019 year's Award HERE

HackMotion , winner of the 3rd Latvian-American Innovation Award for their innovative tool for learning new movements. More about the 2020 year's Award HERE





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