The development of the UL Academic Centre started in 2004 with the confirmation of the University's “Development Strategy 2004-2010”. Also in 2010, the idea of establishing a unified study and research centre (hereinafter called the Academic Centre) is gaining support in the Senate, approving the Strategic Development Plan of the University of Latvia for 2010-2020.

At the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on 11 August 2009, the information report “On the development of the technical base for studies and scientific work at the University of Latvia" was examined. In approving the creation of an Academic Centre, the government grants UL a land plot on Jelgava Street 1.

Academic Centre Development Programme Stage I implementation starts in 2012 with a tender for the best idea for development. On 27 September 2013, UL signs the contract for building the House of Nature and successfully concludes it in September 2015. The European Union Structural Funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) were used to finance the project.

In 2015, in order to provide the area needed for further development of the Academic Centre, UL and Riga city council carried out an exchange in real estate – by exchanging the building in Kr. Valdemar Street 48 against a plot of land owned by Riga city council at Vienības avenue 7, which borders the land already owned by UL on Jelgava Street 1.

In 2016, continuing the development of the Academic Centre, UL launched cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) by submitting a Stage II project - an application for funding the House of Sciences and House of Letters. ERDF funding of EUR 40.5 million was already mobilised for the construction of the House of Science. In April 2017, following an in-depth survey of UL's activities and projects (Due Diligence), the EIB Committee approved a Stage II development programme with a loan of EUR 30 million.

In line with EIB policy, the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEDB) is also associated as a partner for the financing of Academic Centre Stage II projects. Following an in-depth survey of the activities and projects of UL in 2018, the CEDB grants a loan of EUR 11,5 million, thus providing the necessary financing for the realisation of Stage II projects. UL was the first in the Baltic region who received funding from the EIB for development projects.

In 2017, UL starts the construction of the House of Science and a formal opening of the building is underway after 18 months, in January 2019.

In 2019, the UL and the EIB signs a cooperation agreement on the feasibility study of Stage III projects of the Academic Centre's development program. In 2020, with the report of the EIB experts, the feasibility study of the projects of Stage III of the development program of the Academic Centre is completed, and they are ready for the start of implementation.

On September 21, 2021, a contract is signed for the construction of the House of Letters, which is scheduled for completion in September 2023.


At the end of 2017, work on Stage III projects of the Academic Centre Development Programme – Technology Transfer Centre, Sports complex and Student dormitories – is launched. In October 2017, talks with the Riga city council and the Riga Health Centre crystallised the idea of creating a joint outpatient care Excellency Centre and a research base for developing new medical technologies. As early as November 2017, these development ideas are being presented by UL to experts from the European Investment Bank (EIB). In assessing the innovation potential and benefits of UL to the public after the projects were carried out, the EIB offers UL consultative support for the structuring and feasibility studies of Stage III projects, including technical assistance in the form of financing.

On 26 March 2018, UL and the EIB sign a cooperation agreement on feasibility studies for Stage III projects of the Academic Centre development programme, in accordance with which, within 20 months, the EIB and UL teams jointly carry out market research and prepare project business plans and the necessary documents for project execution. In August 2018, a feasibility study on Stage III projects for the development programme of the Academic Centre is launched.

Academic Centre Development Programme Stage III projects:

  • House of Health – outpatient care, study and research complex, including the family doctors Competency Centre and the Sports Science Centre;
  • House of Technologies – Life Science, Material Sciences and High Energy Radiation Technology Centre;
  • House of Sports – sports complex, sports science and functional medical centre;
  • House of Students and Guests – student dormitories and social support infrastructure, apartments for employees, guest lecturers and guest researchers.

The financial position of the University of Latvia (UL) is stable and allows to undertake the implementation of new projects, representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB) expressed in their report at the final meeting of the feasibility study working group of the Academic Centre Development Program (ACDP).

At the meeting, which took place remotely via telephone conference, the EIB Consulting Centre’s report on the prepared Academic Centre development projects and the UL's opportunities to implement these projects were discussed.

The report concludes that the financial position of UL is stable and allows to undertake the implementation of new projects. UL would have the opportunity to borrow funds to build the planned projects of the Stage III of the Academic Centre development, however, EIB consultants also offer other financial solutions, such as cooperation with a public entity or public-private partnership (PPP). The business plans prepared during the feasibility study stage of the Academic centre are prepared in such a way as to attract the interest of private investors as well.

The report looked at the findings of the consultants' interviews with private investors (both local and global investment funds and builders) to understand what the market demands are for development projects.

In the continuation of the meeting, the next steps in the development of these projects were outlined. EIB consultants confirmed readiness to continue cooperation in the field of PPP.

The impact of the current situation on the economy and on UL was discussed together with the EIB. The discussion acknowledged that UL has successfully switched to working in a digital environment, however, this type of change also raises questions about how studies in the world will be organized in the future and whether the digital environment will affect the operation of universities.

UL representatives confirmed the desire to continue developing the Academic Centre, adding that the pandemic caused by COVID-19 calls for caution, but this is an opportunity to improve and make the university's operations more efficient.

UL was represented at the meeting by: UL rector prof. Indriķis Muižnieks, chairman of the Strategy Council prof. Andrejs Ārglis, ACDP director Gunta Rača, chancellor Ilze Kūka, ACDP leading expert Dace Tola and ACDP project manager Reinis Rotkalis. On behalf of the EIB and the EIB Consulting Centre Paulina Brzezicka, François Gilles, Marina Ismaila, Brendan McDonagh, Damien Philippe, Juan Magaña and Juha Sulkanen participated.  Raimonds Dauksts, Marzena Rytel and Roberts Bērziņš participated as EIB consultants from the consulting firm PwC.