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Saturday 16.12.2017 | Name days: Alvīne
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Revalde: education is one of Latvia’s most important export industries

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian residents are innovative, but the innovation system is poorly organized. This applies to the division of responsibility: which ministry is responsible for the innovation policy – Education and Science Ministry or Economy Ministry? There is also a lack of cooperation between businesses and scientists. The latter often work in fields in which Latvia has no businesses, says Gita Revalde.

Ventspils University College’s Smart Technologies Centre’s leading researcher is currently performing a study to develop a method for early disease diagnosis using a person’s breath.

«It is no secret that many people in Latvia and Ventspils have lung cancer, which is caused by smoking and air pollution. To properly treat this disease, early diagnosis is paramount,» Revalde told Ventspilnieks.lv.

She notes that there is great commercialization potential for this approach because there is major demand for it in the world. Secondly, a device like this would be very useful for Ventspils hospital.

«We have developed a prototype using optical methods, and we have performed measurements to calibrate the device so that it can pick up trace substances in the person’s breath that would help discover the illness. There is still a lot of work to do to progress research, because this problem is topical around the world.»

Revalde is a member of Latvian Research and Innovations Strategic Council since 2014. This council works under the price minister and makes decisions on strategic matters associated with research and innovation development, as well as help create a system of innovations in Latvia. «The council worked intensely at first. However, no meetings have been held in the past six months. This is possibly because of the prime minister’s business,» Revalde said.

According to her, Latvian residents are innovative, but the innovation system has been disorganized for a long time, starting at the very beginning: which industry is responsible for the innovation policy – the Education and Science Ministry or Economy Ministry?

Matters associated with intellectual rights are disorganized as well. «There is also a lack of cooperation between businesses and scientists – scientists often work in fields in which Latvia has no businesses. But we have the entire European and world market available to us. We only need a system for scientists to be able to patent and release their inventions on at least the European level. These matters are being resolved, but the process is taking too long. More often officials think about European money, not the creation of a functional system,» Revalde said.

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