The sixth CAMART2 progress report – a review of 2022

At the end of January, the 6th CAMART2 progress report is due. When the project began in 2017, it was meant to be the last report, as the duration of CAMART2 was until January 2023. As the pandemic intervened and put on pause many activities set out by the project, in December 2021, it was decided to prolong the duration until January 2025.

Since the beginning of the project implementation (February 1, 2017), the major infrastructure upgrade in the form of renovated laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment has been finalized. The CAMART2 infrastructure opening event took place in February 2022 with the participation of the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia. The allocated investment for infrastructure development was in the amount of 15 MEUR with a major part of it - 13 MEUR for equipment (87%) and 2 MEUR (13%) for the renovation of premises. One can observe the project’s significant impact on the development and advancement of the ISSP UL. Due to the infrastructure upgrade, the quality of research has grown too.

According to the Scopus database, in 2022, the ISSP UL scientists have authored or co-authored 173 publications (for comparison, in 2021 – 130, in 2020 – 137, in 2019 – 113, in 2018 – 119, in 2017 – 96). National and international collaboration has also been high in 2022 – our researchers have worked on projects, research and publications with scientists from 160 institutions; among the subjects of the publications: materials science (112), physics and astronomy (106), engineering (71), chemistry (56), chemical engineering (20), energy (19), mathematics (17), computer science (15), biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology (6), environmental science (5) and more.

As the world started to recover from the global pandemic and travel restrictions were eased almost everywhere in the world, in-person international collaboration and networking activities have regained their power and were combined with online events resulting in a high number of attended conferences (31), seminars, workshops and trainings (50), exhibitions, fairs, and meetings (37).

In 2022, the ISSP UL has been active in organizing events. In February, the annual scientific conference of the ISSP UL took place and in July – the International Functional Materials & Nanotechnologies – Nanotechnology and Innovation in the Baltic Sea Region (FM&NT – NIBS 2022), World Turns Deep Tech, and Student Deep Science Hackathon. This year, the Institute has organized about 30 scientific seminars and meetings – Doctoral School “Functional Materials and Nanotechnologies”, CAMART2 webinar series, ISSP UL seminars with the participation of representatives of CAMART2 project partners KTH and RISE, monthly scientists’ breakfast, and events for youth and general public - Solar Cup competition, Researchers’ Night, visit of the students from the Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optometry of the University of Latvia, etc.

Active participation in all sorts of events, be it a conference for professionals or a Researcher’s night for the general public aged 5 to 99, have all promoted the awareness and recognition of the ISSP UL. The partnerships and maybe even friendships established this year have already begun to bear fruit. Yet, the solidly laid foundations of cooperation will allow the ISSP UL to discover more and more new opportunities and walk down untrodden paths in the future.