Freeport of Riga Authority announces winners of Innovation Competition for students “The Port for the City”
The Freeport of Riga Authority (RBP) says it highly evaluated the idea of the students of the Latvian Maritime Academy to introduce water transport traffic from the distant cruise berths of the port of Riga to the city center. This ambitious and promising idea won the first prize at the FPRA Innovation Competition for students “The Port for the City”.
The authors of the idea, Anastasia Knorringa and Veronika Kochergina, explained that the rapid development of ferry and cruise tourism in Riga is limited by the fact, that there are only two berths at Riga Passenger Port where these vessels can be moored. “During the port cruise season, 87 cruise ship calls are expected this year, but it is not always possible to moor them at the Passenger Port berths, sometimes the technical characteristics of individual vessels (ship particulars) do not allow them to moor at these berths. As a result, these vessels are being accommodated at other berths of the Freeport, and due to that passengers have limited access to the public transport services in order to get to the city center”, commented the students. As a solution, it is proposed to provide traffic of a vessel, with passenger-carrying capacity of up to 150 passengers, along the Daugava River from remote cruise berths such as those located at Krievu Island. Students promoted this type of passenger transportation as an alternative to taxi, public transport or private carriers. “This method provides for transport movement without delays, traffic jams, and also allows everyone to enjoy the less industrial landscape of the city of Riga,” said the competition winners
“The introduction of new technologies in accordance with the requirements of the 21st century is an important prerequisite for promoting the competitiveness of the Port of Riga. We would like to thank students for their ideas, as well as the ability to “seize” the opportunity and resolve the most urgent problems of the port”, said the Chairman of the Competition jury, Deputy CEO of the Freeport of Riga Martins Ziemanis.
The second prize went to the Riga Business School Students' Team, represented by Karlis Jonass and Martins Schmits, who offered to develop a mobile application for small water craft inbound trip registration, as well as called for the provision of wireless Internet infrastructure at the marinas of the Freeport of Riga. The students’ team presented the demo version of the proposed application to the Competition jury. They expressed the opinion that the current way of informing about the inbound and outbound small craft voyages is not in line with the 21st century's mobile and Internet technologies and does not represent Riga as the modern capital in regards of the Internet availability. The third prize was won by students of the University of Latvia Liene Berziņa and Stella Jubalte, who offered to create the Freeport of Riga mascot in the form of a seal.
The main objective of the competition is to promote implementation of the solutions, that are appropriate for the modern technology age, in the Freeport of Riga (FPR) economic activities. Young people were encouraged to strive for and find new ideas for increasing the competitiveness of the port, focusing on five thematic topics: technology, competitiveness, logistics, environment and marketing. Innovation might be unique, that is, without existing analogous or similar products in the market, or the proposed idea may have already been used elsewhere in the world's ports and a successful solution has been provided.
The competition was held in two rounds. In the first round, students presented concise descriptions of the suggested ideas, emphasizing the functionality of the solution, the target audience and the problem that it would solve. In the finals the team competed for the first prize: the authors of the most creative ideas presented and defended their ideas in front of a competent jury. The members of the jury: the Deputy CEO of the Freeport of Riga Martins Ziemanis, Professor of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Management of the University of Latvia Andris Denins, journalist of the newspaper "Diena", writing about economy, Guntars Gute, Acting Rector of the Maritime Academy of Latvia Andrejs Zvaigzne and an expert in information technology, kursors.lv editor Kristaps Skutelis.