On Friday, 26 October, the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) will ceremonially sign an agreement of cooperation on the development of Latvian system of science. The agreement stipulates a quality evaluation of Latvian science and innovation system and an international quality assessment of the scientific performance of science institutions which are enlisted in the scientific register. It also stipulates conducting international expertise on science and innovation policy as well as preparing recommendations for the development of Latvian science and technology policy. „The agreement is of great relevance because cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers will bring an independent and internationally endorsed assessment of Latvian scientific institutions and their competitiveness. It is a necessary precondition for taking responsible and informed decisions on the sustainable development of Latvian science,” underlined Latvian Minister of Education and Science, Roberts Ķīlis.
The research will be conducted by an internationally acknowledged NCM institution NordForsk operating within the field of science and innovation in the Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea Region. The institution has gained comprehensive experience and high credibility through the evaluation of science systems and institutions in other countries comparable to Latvia.In the respective fields of science NordForsk can ensure the involvement of experienced, highly skilled and independent foreign science experts in the evaluation of science policies, strategies and financing.
Proposals rendered by the evaluation will serve as a significant support for sustainable development of research and science. The evaluation findings will be taken into account when deciding upon the necessary reforms in Latvian science, including consolidation of science institutions and improving the capacity of competitive science institutions. The evaluation results will play a significant role in ensuring well-grounded strategic planning of the future EU Cohesion policy and in making purposeful and efficient investments in the next planning period of EU funds.
On 21 August 2012 the Cabinet of Ministers endorsed an action plan for 2012-2013 under the Science and Technology Development precepts for 2009-2013 prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science. According to the approved plan, 318 720 LVL has been earmarked from the Ministry’s funds for the Technical Support Project in order to carry out an international evaluation of the 136 science institutions enlisted in the Register of Science Institutions as well as to conduct an external evaluation of the science and innovation policy.
On 23 October 2012 the Cabinet of Ministers’ regulations "On the Agreement of Cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia and the Nordic Council of Ministers" prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science were endorsed by the Latvian government.
The legislative bill (in Latvian) is available on the Cabinet of Ministers’ website: http://www.mk.gov.lv/lv/mk/tap/?pid=40263692&mode=mk&date=2012-10-02