Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear colleagues and friends,
I am pleased to welcome you today to the opening of the Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence. This Centre is a milestone for our scientific community, and I am personally proud of Latvian researchers who have demonstrated their scientific excellence and strong potential for cooperation on this scale. Your efforts have brought already 13 million euro into our national economy, and this project is one of the many projects that we have developed and promoted by the Government of Latvia and by the European Union. For the next seven years this Centre will serve as the platform that will combine expertise and infrastructure of internationally recognised teams from Latvia, Germany and Switzerland. It will be a platform of excellence for the development of biomaterials necessary for bone regeneration and new creative applications in biomedicine.
As we all know, Europe’s population is ageing. Life expectancy has increased but there is still a lot to be done to improve the quality of life and increase the number of “healthy life years”. Musculoskeletal conditions are the second largest contributor to disability worldwide. And researchers of this Centre of excellence will be working on solutions to these challenges.
I am proud of the young, goal oriented and dedicated team working here. They have promised to ensure the full cycle of bone regeneration biomaterial development - starting from the materials, preclinical studies and finally the clinical trials. I wish every success to the partners who have come together in pursuit of this vital mission, Riga Technical University, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Riga Stradiņš University, AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany and LLC Riga Stradiņš University Institute of Stomatology. I would like to specially thank the project coordinator Dr. Jānis Ločs. Jānis, this project would not have been possible without your passion, your determination and your dedication to science and excellence.
Opening of the Excellence centre will have positive impact on growth potential and socio-economic outreach of Latvia. According to current plans and estimates, total economic impact of the centre will be more than 74 million euro over the next 20-year period. Networking with other centres with similar infrastructure will expand international network of all partners. That will facilitate more competitive funding for biomaterials-related research. I cannot emphasize enough the role played by scientists and science in Latvian economy. Creating value for the people and for the economy must really be passion. Thank you for giving us your vision of what life could be.
I think that research is not the only goal of the centre and this project aims to achieve also another goal – to create the capacity. It is a goal of the science policy. The thing about the future is that the capacity is not there yet but we have the means, projects and the goal of building the capacity. Capacity building becomes more and more crucial to future sustainability policies not only in the field of science but in all fields.
I wish all the success to the newly established Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence.