Project coordinators together with EC representatives.

On November 23, 2016 during the conference “Spreading Excellence and Crossing Innovation Divide” organized by the European Commission in Brussels, the Director-General of DG Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits and Commissioner of 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 UL) is the only scientific institution in the Baltic Sea region, which was 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 (Excellence Centre of of Advanced Material Research and Technology Transfer) from Latvia was ranked as the 5th best project.

The goal of the Centre of Excellence is to strengthen ISSP UL and position of Latvia among the leading European nations in the realm of science and high-tech developments through materials research and technology transfer. The project will have a strategic impact on the scientific, industrial and economic developments in Latvia as well as the entire Baltic Sea region. The Centre of Excellence will establish Open Access Laboratories to promote research, innovation and high-tech commercialization in Latvia. These laboratories will be open to academic and industrial institutions throughout the whole Baltic Sea region.

In this project, in cooperation with the University of Latvia, master’s and doctoral level educational programs will be revised and upgraded in order to train specialists in the fields of nanomaterials, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics and related high-tech fields. The dynamic environment at the Centre of Excellence will promote the development of new products and start-up enterprises through enhanced interactions between students, scientists and entrepreneurs.

CAMART2 is based on collaboration between ISSP UL, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) – the largest technical university in Sweden, and Acreo Swedish ICT (Acreo) – the Swedish research institute for microelectronics and optics. The Centre of Excellence will profit from the complementary expertize of the project partners in business and science, and the rich experience in commercialization of the research results accumulated in the Nordic innovation cluster Kista Science City. The CAMART2 project will take account of services, knowhow and capabilities of all partners to create a joint research and technology transfer platform for the promotion of science, innovation and industrial developments.

The European Commission has granted 15 million Euro for the development of the Centre of Excellence during the next seven years. In addition, more than 16 million Euro from the European Regional Development Funds, administrated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia and Ministry of Economics of Latvia, will be invested in the development of research and technology transfer infrastructure, thus making the total investment amount more than 30 million euro.

ISSP UL is a leading research centre in Latvia, which carries out internationally competitive materials science research and education and also provides innovative solutions to the industry.

In 2013, the international scientists group Technopolis recognized the ISSP UL as the highest ranked scientific institute in the fields of natural sciences and mathematics in Latvia and also ranked it as second highest among all research institutions in Latvia.