The TO-BE Fall Meeting 2017, organised by the Institute of Solid State Physics University of Latvia (ISSP UL), is being held from 11th to 13th September 2017 in Riga, Latvia.
The meeting aims to establish a network of researchers working in the field of the science and technology of transition-metal oxides and to help them sharing their expertise, defining future strategies, and clustering for the future funding opportunities.
After successful launch of the project, a number of activities has taken place. Project organisation has been set up by appointing the leaders of all work packages, and the initial appointing of the key staff to execute the tasks in coordination with the project partners KTH and RISE Acreo.
Definition of the new organisation for the institute is under way, refining of the strategy for science and innovation, setting up Open access procedures and processes, as well as overall outreach organisation.
Number of the courses for ISSP UL staff has taken place, including courses on the process of innovations and innovations fostering culture, H2020 proposal and impact writing course, and IPR management.
The biggest project in the history of Latvian science to date, CAMART², has been launched in a collegial and constructive atmosphere at a ceremony attended by representatives of the European Commission, Latvian government officials, foreign cooperation partners and guests, as well as the orchestrators of the project, i.e. the employees of the Institute of Solid State Physics. The objective of the project is to strengthen the position of both the institute and the Latvian State within the European science sector through the development of the centre into a regional institution of European renown in the field of material science and technology transfer.
On November 23, 2016 during the conference “Spreading Excellence and Crossing the Innovation Divide” organized by the European Commission in Brussels, the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits and the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas announced the winners of “WIDESPREAD 1-2014: Teaming” competition. The Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia (ISSP) is the only scientific institution in the Baltic Sea region to be granted support from the European Commission for the Horizon 2020 program “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation”. 169 submitted proposals were evaluated in a two-stage process, and a multinational group of experts selected ten best projects. The project CAMART² from Latvia was ranked as the 5th best project.
On June 4, 2015, European Commission and Latvian government representatives participated in the CAMART² project-launch event. A number of meetings with governmental bodies, higher educational representatives, students and entrepreneurs took place, in which the objectives, goals and future benefits of CAMART² were presented to them. A Special Strategic Board was formed that is led by Dr. Agrita Kiopa, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science and includes representatives from Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Finance, State Education Development Agency and University of Latvia.
The Institute of Solid State Physics University of Latvia (ISSP) is the only scientific institution from Latvia that will be supported by the European Commission (EC) within the framework of "Horizon 2020 WIDESPREAD1-2014: Teaming" action. In the view of the relevant experts, CAMART² was the third best proposal out of 169 applications, receiving 14.5 out of the maximum 15 points.
Despite its strengths, the European Research and Innovation landscape has a lot of structural disparities, with research and innovation excellence concentrated in a few geographical zones. Among the causes are the insufficient critical mass of centres of science and excellence with sufficient competence to strategically engage countries and regions on a path towards innovative growth, building on newly developed capabilities.