In order to support the Latvian authorities in the completion of the reform of the Latvian funding system for public research, the PSF experts' panel will review the funding allocation systems and processes (for both project funding and institutional funding) and propose any improvements required to correspond to best practice while being adapted to the Latvian situation. An overall institutional/ organisational structure for managing the funding system, tailored to the specificities of the Latvian situation will be developed.
PSF experts have reported on Latvia’s research funding system, and the governance, policies and practices needed to drive innovation, economic development and growth. This article summarises the work and key recommendations of the Specific Support to Latvia carried out under the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility (PSF).
This report reviews Latvia’s existing funding allocation systems and processes and proposes improvements based on best practice, including an overall institutional/organisational structure for managing the funding system, tailored to the specificities of the Latvian situation. The study was carried out by a panel of experts, under the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility, based on document analysis and interviews with key stakeholders conducted during visits to Latvia in 2017.
The report is providing background information on the Latvian research and innovation system and its funding mechanisms. It includes a concise overview of Latvia’s current performance in research and innovation, the main challenges and the defined national priorities and targets for research and innovation system development, as well as the recent achievements in fulfilling the set of objectives. The report summarises information on the governance of the Latvian research and innovation system and the landscape of research performers. Details on the current funding system are provided by outlining the financing structure for scientific institution, higher education institution and companies.
During the kick-off meeting the Latvian authorities presented the rationale behind their request for the specific support and discussed with the PSF panel of experts the main bottlenecks in regards the funding allocation systems and the main challenges in relation to the governance and the organisational structure of Latvian public funding. In addition main decisions were taken for the implementation of the specific support: scope, expected outcome, timetables, work plan, distribution of work. Particular discussion were devoted to the organisation of the First country visit: stakeholders list, topics and main issues to address, draft agenda.
The PSF expert panel visited Riga on 27-29 March 2017 to meet Latvian authorities and a wide range of relevant stakeholders from institutions, industry and academia. They discussed the main challenges facing the Latvian public funding system for research and innovation. This allowed the experts to gather further information on the current funding allocation processes and governance, and will help them perform their analyses and propose recommendations tailored to the country’s needs.
The expert panel met in Brussels to discuss their findings from the first country visit and the first draft report – including an overview and analysis of research and innovation organisations, structures and funding in Latvia, and some potential recommendations. These discussions, covering both publicly funded research and industrial R&D, set the basis for a second draft report and define the focus for the second country visit.
Based on the outcomes of the first visit discussions, and the background information the panel of experts had at their disposal, the experts have worked on their findings and formulated their first reflections and recommendations. During their second visit to Latvia from 19 to 21 June 2017 they discussed these findings with a select group of actors in the Latvian research and innovation system and explored topics that merit further investigation, such as performance-related funding, peer review and internationalisation in the research and innovation system. In addition, the experts met stakeholders from science and public policy, including Latvia’s Council of Science and the relevant ministries and agencies.
In this final event of the PSF Specific Support to Latvia, the expert panel presented their findings and guidance to further reform the Latvian research funding system. Latvian research and innovation stakeholders joined the panel in discussing their recommendations and conclusions, such as increasing national R&I funding in general, and competitive-funding in particular, as well as streamlining the structure and governance of state organisations in research, innovation and higher education in order to better meet national needs.