Rector UL Indriķis Muižnieks and director of CFLA Anita Krūmiņa. Photo: Toms Grīnbergs.

On Friday, November 10, at the University of Latvia Academic Centre, Nature House, the UL Rector Indriķis Muižnieks un Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFCA) Director Anita Krūmiņa signed an agreement that will ensure implementation of two European Regional Development Fund's (ERDF) projects, assigning 41.9 million euro for modernization of UL research and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) study infrastructure.

The UL is the recipient and implementer of these projects in cooperation with two UL colleges – P. Stradins Medical College and Riga Medical College, as well as UL Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Before signing this principal agreement, UL Rector Indriķis Muižnieks acknowledged the assistance of CFCA in preparation of the agreement in its final form to serve the development of the UL Science House.

“In very near future we will establish the core of University Academic Centre at Torņakalns, which will proceed to convene around it new valuable infrastructure for culture, sports and social, increasing the appeal of Riga and the competitive potential of the University, and resulting in an excellent place where to study, carry out scientific research and promote growth,” emphasized Rector.

CFCA Director A. Krūmiņa expressed her delight that the education and science sector of the Agency has been augmented by two new projects. “Now the task is to continue along a very intensive and challenging pathway, whereupon we will assist the University to arrive at a successful result,” noted A. Krūmiņa.

The UL research infrastructure modernization will be implemented in the framework of the project No. “University of Latvia research infrastructure modernization and concentration of resources in smart specialization areas” with the total budget of 29.7 million euro. The UL will implement this project in cooperation with the UL Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science.

The second significant project, modernization of STEM study infrastructure, will be implemented under the auspices of the project No. “University of Latvia STEM study direction infrastructure modernization and concentration of resources” with the total budget of 12.2 million euro, including the ERDF co-funding of 10.4 million euro. This project will be implemented by the UL in cooperation with the UL P. Stradins Medical College and Riga Medical College.

Most of the project funding will be invested in construction of Science House at the UL Academic Centre and its equipment, including modern research facilities and devices for study programme implementation.

Science House will accommodate two UL faculties (Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Physics and Mathematics), as well as six UL institutes (Institute of Physics, Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, Institute of Cardiology and Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy, Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Institute of Astronomy). Just like Nature House, the new building will offer students and academic staff modern study, science and research infrastructure, complying with contemporary requirements.

The building will be seven storeys high, housing 78 laboratories, 23 auditoriums and seminar rooms. It is envisaged that two thousand students and up to 430 employees will work there on the daily basis.

The completion of Science House construction work is planned already at the end of next year, while the project implementation will be concluded until the autumn of 2019. The UL Academic Centre will be one of the most advanced study and research locations in Northern Europe, providing internationally competitive education of the highest quality.