Upcoming events

Latvian-American Innovation Award Ceremony

Mar 07 from 11:30 till 14:00
LUMIC, Kalpaka Bvld. 4, Rīga

Please mark your calendars for our Annual Latvian American Innovation Award Ceremony on Thursday, March 7 from 11:30-14:00 at University of Latvia and Microsoft Innovation Center (LUMIC), Kalpaka Blvd. 7. The Award ceremony will be followed by a buffet lunch. 

At the ceremony the recipients of the 2019 Latvian American Innovation Award will be announced. U.S. Ambassador Nancy Bikoff Pettit will open the award ceremony to honor and promote entrepreneurship, research-driven innovation and closer Latvian-US economic collaboration. Joining us as Keynote speaker will be Albert Zulps, Regional Director of Virtual Design & Construction at Skanska USA who will present on such topics as Trends in innovation and technology, including the Internet of things, reality capture, virtual reality and drones.

The applications for Latvian American Innovation Award are accepted until February 21, 2019. We encourage all innovative companies, non-profits and individuals to apply in the fields across business and commerce, academic and scientific research, medicine and health, the environment, energy, and education. The winner will receive EUR 10 000 and the runner up EUR 5 000. The application form is available: here

The Latvian-American Award is co-hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Riga, the Baltic American Freedom Foundation and AmCham Latvia in close cooperation with TechHub Riga and the Latvian Startup association Startin.Lv. 

CALL FOR SPONSORS! We are looking for sponsors to support this high-level program by either a financial or in-kind contribution. More about sponsorship levels and benefits is available here.


Albert Zulps, AIA, LEED AP
Director of Innovation and VDC, Skanska USA Building

Albert Zulps is a Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Regional Director for Skanska USA Building with over 25 years of experience in architecture, engineering, and technology. He is a Registered Architect in the state of New York, and holds a NYC Site Safety Manager License. At Skanska, Albert is responsible for overseeing and implementing  VDC and innovation in the Northeastern U.S. 

Born and raised in Canada, Albert earned a Master of Architecture from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and a Diploma of Mechanical Engineering Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, preceded by studies in Marine Engineering at the Royal Naval Engineering College in Plymouth, England. Prior to joining Skanska he served as a Marine Engineering Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, and an architect with the internationally renowned firms Cook+Fox Architects in New York City (formerly Richard Cook & Associates), and Richard Henriquez Architects in Vancouver.  He has worked extensively overseas, including in Osaka Japan, Sint Maarten, and Singapore.  

Leveraging this diverse background, Albert joined Skanska in 2002 and became a founding member of Skanska’s USA’s VDC group. Over the past sixteen years he has helped to advance the widespread use of VDC tools and processes nationally, including, pioneering BIM-based RFID material tracking of precast concrete at MetLife Stadium and promoting the use of BIM to support prefabrication for Novartis at MIT, Nemours in Wilmington DE and various other projects. Albert was the chair of Skanska’s International BIM Safety Task Group, which is responsible for developing protocols and training personnel on how to use BIM to make projects safer throughout the world. He currently chairs Skanska’s national VDC Knowledge Network, a forum for sharing knowledge and lessons learned on innovation and VDC.  

Albert’s academic outreach accomplishments includes teaching as an interim professor for Scenography (Stage Set Design) at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada; and lecturing about Innovation and VDC/BIM at a number of prestigious universities throughout the Northeast, including the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Columbia University and PENN State.  He regularly presents at industry events, such as the  ASSE Annual Conferences, and ENR Future Tech where he presented on a BIM and Gaming panel.   Albert was also recognized for his work in helping develop the NYC Mechanics Institute BIM Pilot Program.  

Besides his passion for the architecture and construction industry, Albert is training for the 2019 Boston Marathon, and loves attending his 15 year old daughter Lola’s orchestra concerts (she plays the violin) and track meets, and spending time on the slopes with her snowboarding.

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