CAMART2 along with BBCE (coordinated by RTU) are mentioned as positive examples in the development of RIS3 research and innovation centers of excellence in the draft of EU Funds Operational Program for 2021-2027, which is planned to be submitted to the European Commission for approval in early 2021. Both projects were established in the 2014-2020 programming period.
The topic of establishment and development of research and innovation (R&I) excellence centers is still relevant because the scientific excellence of the Latvian R&I system is insufficient for rapid smart growth and it is linked directly with the low R&D&I investments which in the planning period of 2014–2020 were within the range of 0,44 – 0,69% from GDP with low private investment part, fluctuating depending on the investments of the EU funds. These investments significantly lag behind the national target for 2020 - 1.5% of GDP.
The Operational Program is based on the economic needs and objectives set out in the National Development Plan 2021-2027 and it brings together the European Social Fund + (ESF +), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the strategic objectives of the Just Transition platform.
According to the new Program for years 2021-2027, there are 5 main objectives for investment. Regional development investments will strongly focus on objectives 1 and 2. 65% to 85% of ERDF and Cohesion Fund resources will be allocated to these priorities, depending on Member States’ relative wealth:
Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitization, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses;
Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change;
More Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks;
More Social Europe, delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights and supporting quality employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare;
Europe closer to citizens, by supporting locally-led development strategies and sustainable urban development across the EU.