Latvia’s participation in Horizon Europe and CERN projects has been successful, both in terms of bringing scientists to the international forefront and serving as an example for other, especially smaller, European Union (EU) countries in promoting scientific advancement – this was the assessment of Latvia’s performance at a seminar within the IGLO network, held on 12 March at the Permanent Representation of Latvia to the EU in Brussels. With the participation of IGLO network representatives from the science and innovation fields of 15 different European countries, the workshop explored ways to further scientific development with the help of major European science centres such as CERN.

Transferring technology from research into enterprise is a challenge familiar to all EU Member States, as it not only bolsterstheir economic competitiveness but also drives innovation in the fields like medicine and climate-neutral technologies.. This topic was discussed in presentations by Patricia Postigo McLaughlin, European Commission Policy Coordinator for relations with CERN, Maurizio Vretenar, particle physicist and EU Project Coordinator at CERN, and Toms Torims, Professor at Riga Technical University (RTU) and Latvian representative at CERN. The seminar was opened by Mārtiņš Kreituss, Deputy Permanent Representative of Latvia to the European Union.

CERN is the world’s largest physics laboratory and an experienced EU project coordinator, which for many years has promoted the transfer of scientific discoveries into the market as well as aided in the development of innovation in EU Member States by way of the Horizon Europe projects. Since Latvia became an Associate Member of CERN in 2021, the country’s scientific institutions have had the opportunity to participate in Horizon 2020 projects – I.FAST, HITRIplus and PRISMAP – coordinated by CERN, attracting EU funding with a total direct financial benefit of € 445,500.

“Scientists and engineers from all over the world collaborate and contribute their perspectives to solving problems at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, making it a one-of-a-kind place for innovation. Great scientific challenges call for great collaborations, and in this regard, Latvia is a vital partner in the development of Europe’s future technologies,” said Maurizio Vretenar, particle physicist and EU project coordinator at CERN.

Toms Torims, the Latvian representative at CERN, drew attention to the Horizon Europe project I.FAST – a project meant to foster innovation in accelerator science and technology – in which Latvian researchers from RTU participate in the project’s supervision and lead a working group responsible for innovative accelerator technologies. “We have to give in order to receive in return. Latvian researchers at CERN contribute to scientific advancement every day; we give and we are already getting back more than we invest,” said T. Torims.

“This seminar in Brussels was important when it came to informing EU partners about Latvia’s dedicated work and role in cooperation with CERN. We are working towards creating even more success stories. Latvia is currently implementing the strategy approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia, which envisages the country obtaining pre-accession membership status in the near future. This will take us a step closer to becoming a fully-fledged member of CERN,” emphasised Alise Pīka-Ozola, Innovation and Technology Representative of Investment and Development Agency of Latvia at CERN, Geneva.

The event was financed with the support of The Recovery and Resilience Facility and is organised by the Latvian office for Innovation and Technology in Brussels (Lat. tech) together with the Latvian office for Innovation and Technology in CERN, Geneva in cooperation with RTU. The IGLO network in Brussels ( brings together EU research and innovation organisations and their representatives in Brussels.