During their visits to ARI, the BBCE delegations focused on topics such as project writing, project partner search, and 3D image-based planning and analysis. Another emphasis was on research metrics and ethics, presented by Prof Martin Stoddart, ARI program leader Regenerative Orthopaedics. "Interaction between institutes and Universities all over the world is key in science. Grants such as this are an excellent mechanism to foster collaboration and exchange expertise,” Stoddart explains.
“If you're building a center of excellence, you need to be able to appraise the researchers' performance in order to actually measure the eponymous excellence," adds D'Este. "We also talked a lot about what you might call soft skills for researchers. It may not seem obvious, but it's actually an important part of the overall package of building research capacity."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no BBCE group or task leader had been able to visit Davos in person since the start of the project in January 2020.
"After two years of meeting online, it was really nice to finally welcome our colleagues from Riga here in Davos," Goudsouzian said.
"Projects like this one require a lot of organizing, so having them here in person was very rewarding, not least on a personal level," added D'Este.
Short term visits such as those in November and December, as well as longer-term visits by Latvian researchers to ARI, will continue throughout 2026.
The BBCE is funded in equal parts by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program GA:857287 and the Latvian government. It is based on a long-term strategic cooperation between four Latvian universities—RTU, LIOS, RSU, and RSU IS—as well as Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, and ARI.