The Eco-Innovation Scoreboard 2015 ranks Latvia in 20th place among the 28 EU Member States. While the overall position of Latvia has improved in recent years (from 24th place in 2013), the country still belongs to the group of modest eco-innovators.
Its eco-innovation inputs are only at around 43% of the EU average level. In addition, in terms of activities and resource efficiency the performance of Latvia is modest, reaching respectively 60% and 70% of the EU average rates. Eco-innovation outputs and socioeconomic outcomes are in line with or surpass the EU average. This is due to relatively good performance of the country in terms of eco-innovation-related academic publications and electronic media coverage of the subject. There is also a strong performance with regards to employment and turnover in eco-innovation-related industries, which can be associated with the rapid recovery from the deep economic recession.
The adoption of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, which aims to consolidate innovation potential in the areas of bioeconomy, smart materials and sustainable energy solutions, ensures a sustained political and financial commitment to the development of green economy. An important driver has also been the increasing support to eco-innovation by international funding programmes, as well as the active work of NGOs to promote cultural change on issues of sustainable consumption and production.
The main barriers are related to the low innovative capacity of companies, especially in the medium- and high-tech fields. The lack of a clear national policy framework and overreliance on international funding schemes create a fragmented support landscape. Overall, there is much scope for work in the area of societal awareness, political will, policy design, regulation and financial planning to foster a favourable climate for eco-innovation development in Latvia.
2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Latvia