Ventspils, the Latvian port city on the Baltic Sea, is a city on the move. Having made the strategic decision to adopt an industrialisation policy in 2002, the city has transitioned from transport to a multi-sectoral economy. The development has been impressive.

Employment in manufacturing surpassed employment in port-related businesses for the first time in 2010, and annual manufacturing output increased by 1788% between 2002 and 2016 - the highest increase rate in Latvia. Now Ventspils has set a new target, to become a top European hub for smart technologies and achieve a 10% ICT share of GDP, increasing the the total turnover of the industry to EUR 92m by 2020.

Ventspils- map

With over 100 ICT-related projects in the works, the biggest challenge Ventspils faces is finding the necessary human resource capital to implement it all. The Digital Cities Challenge presents the opportunity to assess their ICT strategy action plan with a special focus on increasing the city’s ability to attract and prepare ICT specialists.