RIGA - The biggest issues hampering research and development (R&D) in the Baltic states include insufficient investment, human resources and transfer of knowledge and technology, the Latvian Education and Science Ministry's official Janis Paiders said at a conference of the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers, "Education, science and innovations – key to sustainable and prosperous regional development in the Baltic States".
In Paiders' view, all three Baltic states are facing similar problems. One of them is a low investment level. Both the public and private sector should significantly increase investment in research and improve the ability to attract high value added foreign investment.
Shortages of human resources is another problem holding back R&D in the Baltics, Paiders said, noting that the scientist community is ageing and the number of doctoral should be increased. To encourage students to join doctoral programs, it is necessary to improve academic career opportunities.
The ministry official also noted a relatively low science transfer capacity and a fragmented R&D system.
Although each Baltic stats has its own R&D strategy, they all face similar economic challenges. The need to attract more investment is a challenge for all Baltic states, Paiders said, adding that Estonia has so far been dealing with this issue more successfully than Latvia and Lithuania. The situation has been improving in recent years, though, Paiders said.
To ensure development of the R&D sector, it is essential to improve technology transfer from the public to private sector, Paiders stressed.