Director General, Marc Lemaitre travelled to Riga to meet Ms Anda Čakša, Minister for Education and Science. The conversation covered a wide range of topics including Latvia’s participation in Horizon Europe, skill shortage and investments and reforms. Ms Anda Čakša expressed her government’s commitment to increase the Latvian R&I spending and complete the long-term reforms addressing the challenges.
A meeting with Mr Raimonds Lapiņš, Deputy State Secretary for innovation at the Ministry of Economics also took place. Mr Lemaitre praised Latvia’s efforts to increase its R&D spending and to reform its R&I ecosystem and emphasized the importance of continuing these efforts. He also urged Latvia to take advantage of European funding available for research and innovation. Mr Lapiņš explained their efforts to bring academia and business closer together.
His visit to Riga also allowed Mr Lemaitre to open the ‘Horizon Europe: Latvian path towards scientific excellence’ event. The event was organized by the Latvian Science Council to promote the opportunities offered by Horizon Europe among the Latvian science community. Mr Lemaitre highlighted the benefits of Horizon Europe for scientists, but also for innovators.
After the opening of this event, Mr Lemaitre participated in a round table discussion with rectors and vice-rectors from four prominent Latvian universities: University of Latvia, Riga Technical University, Riga Stradiņš University, Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technologies. The rectors showcased the benefits they have received from the widening programme and expressed their hopes to strengthen the instrument further.
He also provided a radio interview for Latvijas Radio, where he provided his insights on R&I in the EU and Latvia.
Enhanced dialogues with EU countries are a new, bottom-up channel of cooperation with the European Commission. The goal of these dialogues is to create a country-tailored approach to foster Research and Innovation in the participating EU country. They are organised on a voluntary basis and built around topics depending on the interests of the country.