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The Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence (BBCE) will be established in Latvia over the next few years. It is intended that scientists will be able to research and develop new biomaterials at the centre, which are used in the reconstruction of bone tissue, facial, oral, and jaw surgery, orthopaedics, and other fields. A total of 15 million euros has been granted to the creation of the centre in a tender within the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020.

The creation of BBCE has gathered several internationally recognised research institutions and industry representatives: Riga Technical University (RTU), the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (OSI), Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU), the RSU Institute of Stomatology, AO Research Institute Davos (Switzerland) and Friedrich Alexander University of Elrangen-Nuremberg Institute of Biomaterials in Germany.

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On 24 September 2019, in Brussels, BBCE Coordinator and RTU Professor Jānis Ločs signed the agreement on the creation of the centre. Photo courtesy of RTU

The project involves joining the greatest strategic scientific competences of its partners by creating an excellence centre for diverse biomaterial research, emphasising materials for bone tissue regeneration. It is expected that the knowledge originating from BBCE will have high technology transfer potential and will advance the formation of an innovative field in Latvia. It is planned that the centre will encourage the development of the medical technology and biomaterial research fields in Latvia, ensuring a full product development cycle from the laboratory to the clinic.

The BBCE will be a significant investment into the development of the national research infrastructure, it will attract outstanding foreign scientists, professors and students, strengthen scientist collaboration with the industry, and attract foreign investment to research.

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Photo courtesy of RTU

The funding granted by the EU is only part of the sum necessary for creating the BBCE. 15 million euros for infrastructure creation are provided by the Latvian state, the European Regional Development Fund, and project partners.

The BBCE headquarters will be created on the RTU student campus in Ķīpsala, on the base of RTU Rūdolfs Cimdiņš Rīga Biomaterials Innovation and Development Centre. Simultaneously, the extension of the OSI and RSU research infrastructure will take place, thus establishing a comprehensive platform for implementing a full development cycle for new biomaterials.