As EMBL's 29th full member state, Latvia joins after a three-year period as a prospect member during which engagement between EMBL and Latvian researchers significantly expanded.
Latvia’s life sciences community will benefit from expanded access to the leading European research, services, and training provided by EMBL, following the country’s accession as a full member state.
As EMBL's 29th full member state, Latvia joins after a three-year period as a prospect member during which engagement between EMBL and Latvian researchers significantly expanded. This included a first meeting of the Latvian Bioinformatics Forum co-organised by several major Latvian life sciences institutions and EMBL.
Latvia’s Minister of Education and Science, Anda Čakša, said: "In joining the leading European research organisations in molecular biology, Latvia is fully integrating into the European biology and biomedical research ecosystem and fostering collaboration with leading experts and partners in biological and medical research and technology transfer."
"This strengthens not only the potential of our research, but enhances economic transformation, particularly in such high added-value fields as biotechnology and pharmacy," Čakša added. "Early-career researchers’ and doctoral students’ research careers will benefit from the unique exchange opportunities provided by these networks."
EMBL also signed a memorandum of understanding with Latvia’s Biomedical Research and Study Centre (BMC) in 2022, which is designed to improve academic exchanges, availability of scientific data, use of shared key technologies, and circulation of talent.
"EMBL was established half a century ago to promote life sciences research across Europe and to be the centre of excellence for life sciences research, advanced infrastructure, and top-level training," EMBL Director General Edith Heard said. "Latvia’s decision to join as a full member is great news and shows that we are delivering these missions which will lead to improvements in human and planetary health. We look forward to numerous collaborations with Latvian academic and industrial life sciences’ research communities in the future."
EMBL researchers also held a special Information Day in Latvia in September 2023 to exchange views with national research and industry participants on how to maximise benefits from the country's full membership.
EMBL’s flagship research project TREC – Traversing European Coastlines visited Latvia in June 2023, working in partnership with the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology to take soil, water, and air samples from sites around Riga.
The Chair of EMBL Council, Professor Peter Becker of Germany, said the Council had unanimously welcomed Latvia's decision to join EMBL. "We very much look forward to the Latvian delegation's contributions to Council, particularly in relation to ways in which EMBL's services and training can deliver even better benefits to our smaller member states."