Engineering serves as the main link between research and economic and business needs. As the Latvian economy is moving towards higher value-added and knowledge-intensive products and services, the applied role of research and knowledge is growing fast.
The centre of advanced material research and technology transfer CAMART² is a project of regional significance with a high capacity for commercialisation that provides opportunities for effective collaboration in the international research and innovation market. The project is based at the UL Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP) and aims to foster an extensive ecosystem of innovation and technology in the field of smart materials research. Several local companies have gained international recognition for their contribution to developing new materials.
In conjunction with the EU’s long-term policy, smart energy systems and novel materials for solar and hydrogen energy production are some of the priority areas of research, because they are responsible for sustainable development and energy security. The RTU Institute of Energy Systems and Environment is testing new solutions for near zero-energy buildings, whereas the Institute of Industrial Electronics is developing energy-saving technologies, thus enabling more energy-efficient production processes and integrating alternative energy sources. Biomethane and biodiesel are used in green energy research in Latvia, as are solar and wave energy sources. Engineering, alongside transportation and logistics, is a key scientific area in developing new kinds of mobility.
It is not only an academic environment and big business, but also a vibrant start-up environment that encourage a spirit of innovation, speed-up the application of ideas, and create unprecedented opportunities for the commercialisation of new engineering knowledge.