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International Cooperation

To strengthen the cooperation between the academic and private sectors in Latvia and Norway, as well as to promote an active lifestyle, Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) hosted the participants of a bike ride organised by the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (NCCL) on 14 September. Among them was the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Latvia, Mrs Ine Måreng, and managers and representatives of various Norwegian companies. The guests visited the RSU Dentistry Pre-Clinical Training Centre and the RSU Medical Education Technology Centre (METC), where they learned about the simulation-based training opportunities that RSU offers and discussed cooperation opportunities in research. 

The tradition of the NCCL Bike Ride started three years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic to draw attention to the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle and to encourage its members to move at the same time exploring Riga's urban environment and the latest development projects. This year, the focus of the bike ride was "Discovering the Knowledge Mile”. The participants aimed to explore and strengthen cooperation with Latvia's leading academic institutions, which have already established close cooperation with Norway.

Despite the rain, a team of more than 20 people cycled from the Laima Clock in central Riga to Pārdaugava and visited the Science and Innovation Centre of Riga Technical University, as well as Rīga Stradiņš University, where the cyclists were welcomed by RSU Vice-Rector for Health Studies Prof. Guntis Bahs and the Vice-Rector of Science Agrita Kiopa. The guests got acquainted with the RSU Faculty of Dentistry and its Preclinical Training Centre and tried out drilling in teeth using 3D equipment. Thomas Walmann Myrvang, a student at RSU and Head of the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad: Latvia, informed participants that there are currently about 200 medical students from Norway in Latvia.

The NCCL delegation got an insight into the simulation-based medical education implemented by RSU at the RSU METC where they had the opportunity to learn proper hand washing techniques as well as first aid. Prof. Bahs showed the guests around the METC facilities and expressed his interest in cooperation in the field of simulation. ‘METC is the largest institution in the Baltics to integrate simulation as a method in the training of healthcare professionals. We are interested in sharing our knowledge and skills, as well as learning from the experience of our Norwegian colleagues. We will also be happy to welcome more Norwegian students to our university who will be able to receive higher education of excellent quality here,’ said Prof. Bahs.

Ilze Garoza, Executive Director of the NCCL, thanked RSU for the opportunity to see everything that the university has to offer in the field of medical education, which, as data shows, Norwegian students highly appreciate. ‘The presence of Norwegian students in Latvia contributes not only to the Latvian economy, but also helps to build closer ties between the two countries,’ said Garoza. She added that it is important to strengthen these ties and turn them into new bilateral cooperation projects and initiatives.

During the meeting with the Norwegian delegation, RSU Vice-Rector for Science Kiopa noted that the cooperation activities between RSU and Norway form a significant part of our university's research-related projects. RSU has already been implementing several EEA/Norway Grants. One of the cooperation projects will be RSU's active participation in the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia’s (LIAA) Technology Business Centre training programme Innovation Academy, and the prototyping programme PROTOTECH. It will be very important to strengthen contacts in the implementation of new research projects in the future, such as the Baltic Biomaterials and Centre of Excellence project.