Ventspils map

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 total turnover of the industry to EUR 92m by 2020.

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.

Ventspils digital transformation strategy

The mission and vision defined by the city of Ventspils and introduced below was developed and agreed in a discussion among the key stakeholders of Ventspils city. Stakeholders such as representatives of City Council, various business support institutions (incubator, Business Support Centre, High Technology Park, cluster), education institutions, large companies and SMEs were active in the process of defining Ventspils mission and vision in further digitising the city. 

Stakeholders gathered in a mission and ambition workshop to discuss the previous and future development of digital technologies and their application in Ventspils. The discussion was informed by assessment of Ventspils’ digital maturity level (based on self-assessment tool and interviews) performed in the scope of DCC. The starting point of the strategic planning process and discussion was the current Ventspils ICT Sector Development Strategy. It was agreed among main stakeholders that the success of the Strategy is limited and it requires re-focusing.