Left-right: Inese Murniece (Project Manager, Latvian IT Cluster), Janis Cupriks (Board Member, Latvian IT Cluster), Aiga Irmeja (Executive Director, Latvian IT Cluster), Gatis Oss (Board Member, Latvian IT Cluster), Inguna Pede (Board Member, Latvian IT Cluster), Per Andersson (Future Position X), Jan Helge Viste (Project Manager, GCE NODE) and Elmars Gengers (Chairman, Latvian IT Cluster).

The Latvian IT Cluster, Swedish Future Position X and GCE NODE met in Kristiansand Thursday to discuss how to run hackathons in the best way, and lessons learned so far.

The three clusters cooperate on a project aimed to help small and medium-sized companies go global. The project is funded by BSR Stars – Innovation in the Baltic Sea Region.

“We are very pleased to have found a Norwegian cluster that is also focused on SMEs and how SMEs can scale-up and succeed internationally,” says Aiga Irmeja, Executive Director at Latvian IT cluster.

Since 2007, Latvian IT Cluster has worked to promote Latvian IT competence and businesses. Today, the cluster comprises 40 national and international companies, all located in the capital, Riga.

“Since 2013, digitalization has been a top priority for NODE. We are continually looking for domestic and international partners that can help us move forward. We are glad to team up with the main ICT cluster in Latvia, a country with a strong focus on ICT, and Swedish Future Position X” says Anne-Grete Ellingsen, CEO of GCE NODE.

Latvian IT Cluster has an extensive international network, especially in the Baltic Sea Region. GCE NODE became Latvian IT Cluster’s first Norwegian partner, following a visit to Riga last year.

On Thursday, the Latvian delegation revisited GCE NODE in Kristiansand and also enjoyed a tour of Mechatronics Innovation Lab in Grimstad. Afterwards, the Latvian IT Cluster’s management and Board of Directors sat down with GCE NODE to learn about the inner life of a European Gold Label cluster.

“We are happy to share how we work – and also to listen and learn how other work. We had a good talk about cluster management, services, activities and participants and more,” says Ellingsen.

Per Andersson (Future Position X) and Aiga Irmeja (Executive Director at Latvian IT Cluster met in Kristiansand Thursday.