Research and Innovation Commissioner visits Latvia – 6th of July 2011

Finally – some good news for Latvian Research Community – Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn visits Latvia on 6th of July 2011.

As the first and only Latvian Science Attache to the EU I am very happy about such a visit and I wish could be there and provide my input.

But as I am not able to attend this most important event, here are my comments/questions from a distance:

  • Latvia’s reprepresentation within ERA decisive bodies like for example Research Working Party of the Council, as well as SFIC and different CREST bodies is certainly weekend as of January 2010, when the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia decided to delete the position of the Science Attache.
  • So, I would love to ask what would be Commissioner’s reaction and/or comment to the fact that Latvia (almost only of the EU Member States) has no diplomatic position of Science/research/innovation Attache in Brussels? Dear, Commissioner, do you think that a country is able to assume the Presidency in the field of Research and Innovation without a proper level representation in Brussels?
  • And on a more positive note – what are COM plans regarding the participation of “smaller” Members of ERA within new Research and Innovation programme after 2013? Are you considering some specific measures for those countries that right now are facing serious problems regarding the number of projects in all the EU Research programmes?

Hoping to read more follow-up information about Commissioner’s visit to Riga on EU RTD pages or somewhere else,


the one and only (ex) Science Attache of Latvia to the EU (Brussels) Mrs Signe Martišūne 4th of July 2011

ERA and T/D and I/D research evaluation

One thing that I am working on right now is – to find out what are the problems with ERA and transdisciplinary (T/D) and interdisciplinary (I/D) research projects evaluation at present?

Any ideas? Please, feel free to comment and direct me to articles or studies about this issue. Thank you very much in advance! I will be very happy to hear your personal experiences as well!

I have of course some of my own observations – mainly regarding EURAB analysis of the situation and the latest developments withing the political documents of the EU. However the political side of the issue is not the most important one, even if it influences everything else – implementation, money attribution etc.

What I really would like to understand is – what are the real issues and real problems of the scientific community in Europe (or worldwide) once they decide to move towards more T/D and I/D research approaches – is everything there for them to implement and be productive in those fields – no matter would it be biotechnologies or medicine or space related applied research projects.

I promise to up-date you on my findings as I am getting ready for a more serious analysis and my policy paper.

wishing you all a very productive day,


Latvia and ERA

Today on 23rd of May 2011 I happened to visit this EU website on Green Paper consultation progresss. Great page and lots of interesting opinions from various (most of) EU countries.

And of course – no surprise – one of the few countries that has not submitted anything yet is – LATVIA!

Once again – the proof to the fact that the decision to cut the position of the Science Attache in Brussels in december 2009 was more that foolish! But then again – why should I care…  

It is the country who decides, more precisely – few officials in the Ministry of Education and Science who decide for the whole scientific community. Just a thougth – was research community in Latvia consulted when the decision to cut the Science Attache position was taken? As far as I know – the answer is ‘”no”. I am not surprised, because I know what they would have said.

And I thank them all from all my heart for being so supportive and appreciative for my work. I do hope that our cooperation was helpful and there were several practial things that got improved or changed. (I hope these are not all lost in vain as of 2010.01.) 

Good luck and have a great week!


P. S. …if the country keeps dealing with ERA issues like it is done now – there will be no serious place for our research in the ERA pretty soon..just a concern of a true patriot of Latvian Research… hoping that there will be someone who will listen and take the right decisions soon…