By continuing the improvement of scientific capacity in compliance with internationally recognized standards, a most ambitious scientific infrastructure development project – the renovation and modernization of the Science Hub “Kleisti” – has been completed at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) for the total amount of 4.44 million euros, using the co-financing provided by CCFI and ERDF. The official opening of the centre took place on 11 December 2015.
The opening ceremony of the Science Hub was attended by the Rector of RSU Jānis Gardovskis, the vice-rectors, the Minister for Health Guntis Belēvičs, the Director of the State Education Development Agency Dita Traidās, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, heads of RSU structural units, academic staff, researchers and students.
RSU Rector, professor Jānis Gardovskis: “A research infrastructure with up-to-date equipment is a precondition for excellence. Opening of the RSU Science Hub “Kleisti” will provide yet unprecedented opportunities in the field of research and health in Latvia and far beyond its borders, allowing Latvian scientists to participate in international projects on an even broader scale, making interdisciplinary and innovative discoveries concerning globally and locally significant diseases and health problems.”
During the improvement works of the Science Hub “Kleisti”, the façade of the building was insulated and renovated, and premises were adjusted and equipped with up-to-date equipment for the needs of research institutes and laboratories. The Science Hub “Kleisti” provides premises for the A. Kirhenšteins Institute of Microbiology and Virology, the Institute for Occupational Safety and Environment Health, the Laboratory of Biochemistry, the Interdepartmental Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Immunogenetics, and the Laboratory of Biomechanics, which occupy 2704 sq.m., ensuring jobs for 64 researchers and laboratory workers.
The reconstruction was carried out in two stages. The first stage of reconstruction works, i.e., insulation works, were performed within the framework of the CCFI co-financed project for the total amount of 680,000 euros. The second stage of reconstruction works, however, already involved re-designing laboratory premises for laboratory needs, creating meeting rooms, general reconstruction work and installation of internal communications of the building with the total financing constituting 1,341,335 euros (ERDF – 89.2 %; RSU – 10.8 %).
Modern scientific equipment and devices worth 2,173,185 euros (ERDF – 89.75 %; RSU – 10.25 %) have also been installed in the new centre. The installed equipment includes high-speed spectral imaging confocal laser microscope systems, as well as equipment and devices for several research blocks, for example, molecular biology, biotechnology and other similar research blocks. In addition, equipping of workplaces for scientific workers was performed for approximately 250,000 euros (ERDF – 102,162 euros; RSU – 147,838 euros), which mainly involved purchasing and installation of laboratory furniture.
The layout of the premises and the equipment in the Science Centre now is also accessible for persons with functional disorders.
The first-stage insulation works were performed within the CCFI co-financed project “Increasing Energy Efficiency of Buildings of Rīga Stradiņš University by Reducing Consumption of Energy Resources and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Compliance With Environmentally Friendly Conditions”, whereas the second stage of reconstruction works was implemented by using ERDF co-financing for modernization and development of science and research infrastructure within the project “Creation of National Significance Research Centre of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, and Modernization of its Infrastructure”.