The nature of big data
Information and communication technologies (ICT) is the third-largest sector in Latvian export and continues to grow rapidly. A sharp increase of leading ICT companies’ in-house research and development capabilities, as well as extensive co-operation with research institutions promises great potential for the sector in Latvia.
The digital revolution has brought change across all sectors of natural and life sciences. Apart from a new generation of research instruments and cooperation possibilities, the introduction of “big data” has dramatically changed many aspects of natural sciences. Produced by chemical, genetic, or physical analysers, integrated data mining systems, and simulations, the huge data sets revealed new features of physical reality, opened up new opportunities for cooperation, and fostered mission-oriented, interdisciplinary projects.
Using big data fosters the growth and development of new interdisciplinary natural science sub-fields. Structural biology and systems biology are two examples where experts in chemistry, ICT, biology, and physics contribute to solving fundamental questions about the organisation of live organisms. The development of smart drugs (LIOS), new processes in biotechnology (UL, the Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology), or the development of the next generation of vaccines and targeted cancer treatments (LBRSC) have become possible as the result of using big data and interdisciplinary collaboration.