President of Latvia Egils Levits visited the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis

On 29 June, President of Latvia Egils Levits visited the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) to receive Solomon Hiller Medal, an award honouring scientific achievements and contribution to the development of science.

During the visit, President Levits toured Laboratory of Large-Scale Synthesis, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology, Laboratory of Advanced Technologies for Organic Synthesis and Laboratory of Physical Organic Chemistry. Egils Levits then met with the administration and members of Scientific Board to discuss the role of independent institutes in a national scientific framework, support to scientific excellence at the national level, national Covid-19 research programme and financing of science in Latvia.

Photo: Ilmārs Znotiņš, Chancery of the President of Latvia

Address of the President of Latvia Egils Levits at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis

Dear esteemed scientists,

Dear family of the Organic Synthesis Institute,

I am happy to visit your institute and flattered to witness how mankind’s newest breakthroughs and knowledge become products that people here in Latvia and the whole wide world will appreciate. You belong to the scientific elite of Latvia and we need your organic synthesis innovations now more than ever before.

The world has been hit hard by Covid-19, and it will probably never look the same. Pandemic has changed the world. We have successfully overcome the unexpected challenges. This summer, right now, we are in much better situation than many other countries. And only because we followed warnings of scientists. Instead of panicking, turning a blind eye on them, we did what scientists told us to do, and here we are. We have to believe science. But virus is still out there. We, the people of Latvia, will have to continue looking up to our scientists for guidance.

Scientists of Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia, Riga Technical University and Organic Synthesis Institute have decided to collaborate on national research programme project ‘New methods for treatment and prevention of Coronavirus and effects of infections caused by it’. Once approved, this project will enable scientists to develop a unique testing platform for assessing the efficiency of new and repurposed active substances against SARS-CoV-2 virus. Latvia and the whole world badly need these new solutions and I truly hope that this project and other socially-significant projects will get the needed support.

Dear friends and colleagues,

Science is not easy. Most people only see the amazing fruits of scientific labour – the astonishing innovations. Very few know how many extra manhours, days and years of relentless and hard work have gone into these inventions, often without tangible results, especially in fundamental sciences. We often do not know what we wight stumble upon, yet quite often results are not only applicable, but also ground-breaking and very innovative. So, let me use this opportunity to underline the role of fundamental sciences in raising the public image of science and bringing scientific policy forward. Dear experts of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, we do acknowledge and appreciate your work. You are not forgotten. We constantly refer to you, your achievements, accomplishments and selfless dedication. And I will do my best to advocate for increased scientific funding because our future relies on it. Your success is the success of the whole Latvia. You help promote Latvia’s name globally and also are responsible for major contribution to our national economy. We all want to become a knowledge society. There just is no other way. We want to become a welfare state and we to do it together with you and other exceptional scientists.

One of the best examples of what years of dedication and excellence can achieve is the new active substance that is a candidate for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. It can save lives. A study conducted last year showed very promising results. Now we just have to wait for the decision on what will happen with this first drug candidate next.

LOSI is a brand well-known in Europe. Your scientists are highly revered around the world. Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis has successfully participated in various European Commission framework programme activities and projects both with local industries and international companies. This means that you are competitive, inventive and capable of producing European and world class research.

I am very grateful and extremely proud about what you have done for our country. Science is one of the priorities of Latvia and my presidency. We appreciate what you are doing for our people and for our common future.

I wish you success in your scientific endeavours, many great discoveries and, of course, plenty of scientific excellence!

Source of information: Chancery of the President of Latvia