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.