On 17 August 2023, a cooperation agreement was signed between Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT), Riga Technical University (RTU), the creative and innovation centre N-LAB, and the art centre NOASS with the threefold aim to collaborate in developing excellence in robotics technology in Latvia and internationally, to promote interest in robotics and innovation among young people, and to promote Riga and its waterways’ potential for hosting innovation.

The agreement was signed at ROBO RIGA 2023 – an event where robotics enthusiasts, innovation and technology experts, as well as environmental researchers and scientists, gathered to discuss the development of water management robotics, setting the stage for next year’s inaugural water robotics festival in Riga. The event was organized by N-LAB and RTU ZIC Design Factory. At the event, attendees could observe and learn about measurement systems like the drone OTTER, the Latvian climate-adapted underwater inspection and search system SUBmergeBaltic, the autonomous survey drone iRAFT, and learn more about the role of 5G for water innovations.

This year, one of our priorities at LMT is to develop the 5G network not only on land but also exploring 5G development at sea. Therefore, in collaboration with LVR Fleet, we are actively working to provide 5G coverage in the Gulf of Riga, where the first pilot coverage area has been established. In September, the first tests with 5G-equipped fleet vessels will follow. In the future, together with partners, we plan to establish uninterrupted 5G coverage across the entire Baltic Sea. We invite anyone with innovations and solutions related to 5G deployment and utilization in the Baltic Sea to collaborate, thus promoting a modern marine ecosystem.

Ingmārs Pūķis, LMT's Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

From RTU’s side, the collaboration agreement was also signed by the RTU Science and Innovation Center (ZIC), RTU ZIC Design Factory, and RTU Liepāja Maritime College.

One of RTU's main goals is to nurture outstanding engineers who create useful and marketable solutions and innovations. I believe that the initiatives we see at the ROBO RIGA 2023 event will mark the beginning of a new industry. The Baltic Sea faces numerous challenges that our engineers and inventors could address, such as reducing pollution and tackling ghost nets. Therefore, ROBO RIGA is a significant project for the future, utilizing technology to make our lives better and our seas cleaner,

Tālis Juhna, RTU Rector

Gatis Vectirāns, Chairman of the Board of N-LAB, says: “Seeing the interest from various sectors, robotics enthusiasts, and the academic community in the development of water innovations and solutions, I believe that the ROBO RIGA robotics festival will become a progressive ecosystem for the promotion of ideas, solutions, and technology.”

ROBO RIGA 2024 is planned as a multi-day technology event featuring competitions, workshops, and discussions on ecology, urban sector development, robotics, and autonomy solutions. Various side events will be scheduled throughout the year.