Bioeconomy for sustainable development
The biotechnologies used in agriculture and food production that were developed based on molecular and biochemical discoveries are now playing an equally important role as conventional methods. Similarly, forestry is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, thanks to the research being carried out in chemistry, medicine, pharmacology, and other sciences.
The BIOR Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment demonstrates excellence in various areas of the bioeconomy through its interdisciplinary and international research. The institute is a leading player in several fields thanks to the high quality of research, expert staff, and state-of-the-art technical resources. Similarly, the Institute of Horticulture stands out in the food production sector, specialising in plant breeding and diversification, sustainable horticulture, storage technologies, as well as basic biological research. Broad cooperation between the institute and food producers has led to the development of new food products. The bioeconomy is growing, also thanks to the institute’s cooperation with the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
Research and development giants like Latvian State Forests (LSF) and the world’s leading producer of birch plywood, Latvijas finieris, are good examples of industry cooperation with forestry science. This cooperation is, however, mainly focused on the development of wood and similar products. The LSF research institute Silava is the Latvian forest research centre and specialises in forest cultivation, breeding, diseases, as well as the study of wildlife. The Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry plays a central role in the development of environmentally friendly, low-waste technologies, which are designed to create competitive materials and biomass products. As forests cover about half of the country, all kinds of materials and experimental forest areas are available for research.