To get acquainted with Latvian initiatives in creating innovations, on 9 June, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis visited Riga Technical University (RTU). They had an opportunity to find out about the Latvian Quantum Initiative and research conducted at the Fiber Optical Transmission Systems Laboratory of RTU Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications (FET).
«The future of the European Union and the USA is largely based on two pillars – trade and technologies. During this visit, we will pay more attention to technologies, or, speaking more precisely, quantum technology, which is the main driving force of the 21st century information technology revolution,» said V. Dombrovskis when opening the visit.
In late 2022, leading Latvian scientists from RTU, the University of Latvia (UL), UL Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP UL) and UL Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science (IMCS UL), operating in the field of quantum technologies, established the Latvian Quantum Initiative – an association helping to supervise and coordinate activities related to quantum technologies in Latvia, to get involved in European quantum technology cooperation networks, to monitor needs of Latvian industry and represent its interests in the development of quantum technologies. Two main activity directions of the Latvian Quantum Initiative are research and education.
RTU Council Member and UL Professor Andris Ambainis acquainted Katherine Tai with the Latvian environment where scientists work in the quantum technology field. He emphasised Latvia’s excellence in different areas of quantum technology and highlighted the importance of establishing cooperation between professionals from different fields – physicists and IT specialists, scientists and entrepreneurs, developers of quantum algorithms and artificial intellect researchers. He also emphasised the necessity of attracting representatives of other countries to the Quantum Initiative, as this would significantly increase Latvian scientific capacity in quantum technologies.
The RTU Rector Tālis Juhna and Professor of RTU Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications and RTU Council Member Jurģis Poriņš highlighted RTU role in the Quantum Initiative. RTU Institute of Telecommunications is the leading institution in the Baltic States with an international experience in development and testing of high-speed optical communication systems and their elements, and, under the Quantum Initiative, RTU researchers will create new technological solutions and will develop new components in quantum communication systems. This knowledge will also be integrated in the study courses, allowing to raise the knowledge level of students and industry representatives, as well as will increase the competitiveness of Latvia in the field of high technologies.
K. Tai and V. Dombrovskis have been provided an opportunity to get acquainted with the most topical current research at RTU Fiber Optical Transmission Systems Laboratory, where RTU researchers, jointly with their partners, create information and communication technological innovations that will allow transmit information faster, safer and further. V. Dombrovskis has indicated that Latvian researchers have been already collaborating with colleagues in different countries such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden, and it would be important for the State to expand this collaboration as far as the USA, which is one of the most advanced countries in quantum technologies.
K. Tai attended RTU during her visit to Latvia. Prior to this, she had met Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs, talking about transatlantic economic relations and further cooperation opportunities, as well as cooperation in the EU-US Trade and Technology Council and strengthening of economic safety, and had attended Latvijas Mobilais Telefons.