Young researchers develop Green Tech solutions!

From 15 until 19 August 2016, 2nd International Summer School “Product Development: Green Technologies” took place in Riga Technical University (RTU). Young researchers developed new solutions for environmental problems and green tech challenges during 5-day intensive training program. Several of these solutions will be developed further in cooperation with entrepreneurs and scientists.

Young researchers were faced with 5 different challenges: use of bioreactor for industrial greenhouses; teaching children about green energy; development of flood risk forecasting platform for different user groups; engagement of local community in dealing with odour pollution; and development of urban floating gardens.

In only 5 days, one of the teams developed an early prototype for educational stand “Can you beat the Sun?” It allows 7 – 11 years old children to learn about solar energy through competition. The prototype will be further improved in cooperation with science center “ZINOO”.

Another interesting prototype can be seen floating on Zunda channel in Riga. Those are platforms of floating gardens which is the visible part of the prototype. Underneath the water, there is a more complex system that helps to clean the polluted water. This is an important first step in creating environmentally friendly floating urban gardens that will be used to facilitate the work of RTU researchers.

In case of flood risk forecasting and odour pollution detection, the Summer School participants decided to focus on IT solutions. The team working on flood risk forecasting platform came up with a lot more diverse solution that would allow people to report different nature risks like snow, rain, floods, fire etc. via simple mobile app. But the team working on community engagement in dealing with odour pollution proposed a whole set of tools – a kit consisting of web page, mobile application, diary that would allow different groups of people to report unwanted odour in their neighborhood.

Finally, the team working on bioreactor proposed an improved technological solution that could be used to advance the initial product. Scientists of RTU Cēsis Affiliate already expressed wish to establish cooperation with the team in order to join forces on further product development.

The Summer School was organized by RTU Doctoral School in cooperation with RTU Design Factory. And this year 25 Master and Doctoral students from 7 different universities around Europe took part. The participants worked in interdisciplinary teams supported by lecturers and mentors in development of new ideas and prototypes.

In conclusion of the Summer School, RTU Vice-Rector for Research Tālis Juhna invited all participants to continue working on the ideas by using support available at Green Technology Incubator or provided by EU’s main climate innovation initiative “Climate-KIC”.

 Photos from the Gala Event: flic.kr/s/aHskF99ubN

Objectified

Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.

Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?

Program

The program is designed for 5 full working days including daily lectures, tasks, teamwork (4-6 hours a day) and other activities. Each day is dedicated to a specific topic which helps to follow through logical steps of product development. The full program will be provided to registered participants, but the general outline of the Summer School is shown below.

Monday – August 15, 2016

  • Registration
  • Welcome & Introduction to Product Design Tools
  • Team Forming & Introduction to Challenges

Tuesday – August 16, 2016

  • Creative Thinking
  • Social evening

Wednesday – August 17, 2016

  • Market Research

Thursday – August 18, 2016

  • Business Modeling

Friday – August 19, 2016

  • Presentation Skills
  • Gala Event & Award Ceremony

Travel & Accommodation

Getting to Riga is easy – grab a flight, take a bus or hop on a ferry! We have compiled a short overview of options to get you started.

Flying to Riga

There are direct flights to Riga from more than 85 cities in Europe and beyond. For cheap flights check out connections provided by Ryanair (ryanair.com) or WizzAir (wizzair.com). Alternatively, have a look at Latvian national airline –  airBaltic (airbaltic.com).

Riga International Airport (riga-airport.com) is only ten kilometres southwest of the Riga city centre. From there you can easily reach the city centre by public bus (approx. 30 min trip) or taxi.

Bus to Riga

If you are coming to Riga from Estonia or Lithuania, probably the best way to reach the city is by bus. Most international bus services are operated by Eurolines (eurolines.lv), Ecolines (ecolines.lv), and Nordeka (nordeka.lv). They provide connection not only to neighbouring countries but also to Poland, Germany, Russia and Belorussia. And the Riga Bus Terminal (autoosta.lv) is located right next to the Old Town.

Ferry to Riga

Coming from Scandinavia? Take a ferry to Riga from Stockholm. Tallink (tallink.com) operates ferry connections every other day for reasonable prices. And the ferry terminal is located a short walking distance away from the Old Town.

Train to Riga

Train connections to Riga are available from Moscow (twice daily), St. Petersburg (daily), and Pskov (daily). They are operated by Latvijas Dzelzceļš (travel.ldz.lv) and will take you directly into the city centre.

Driving to Riga

If you live close to Riga and own a car, it is probably reasonable to simply use your own vehicle to get into town. But be aware that it’s not always easy to find a parking space so plan some extra time if arriving just in time for the Summer School.

Accommodation in Riga

Riga is in no shortage of accommodation options that are suitable for all tastes and budgetary needs. To stay in an easy reach of the Summer School venue, we recommend to choose something in the City Centre/Old Town, Ķīpsala or Āgenskalns.

If you are interested in student accommodation on RTU Campus, please contact organizers with your travel details.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Riga!

Visiting Riga

If you have never been to Riga before, it is worth arriving couple of days ahead of the Summer School or staying few days longer. Riga has been named one of European Best Destinations and there is plenty to see and do. Architecture fans won’t be able to resist a breath-taking range of architectural styles in the historical centre of Riga while art lovers will find plenty of museums, including recently reopened Latvian National Museum of Art. Foodies will surely be able to embark on journey of gastronomical adventures but those looking for something alternative can visit Riga’s Hipster Neighbourhood in Miera Street.

Sites to visit for more information and ideas:

Come for a visit, enjoy the city and join the fun!