Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (VUAS) project BALTICS (Building on Advanced LOFAR Technology for Innovation, Collaboration, and Sustainability) closing conference took place in Jūrmala and Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center (VIRAC) Irbene from December 5 to 6, 2018. Project BALTICS is an educational program funded by the European Union (EU) Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, whose implementation period is from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018 (36 months). BALTICS is the first VUAS project that has been implemented within the framework of Horizon 2020 by receiving a very high valuation (14.5/15.0). During the year 2015, overall 515 project proposals were submitted, and only 60 projects were approved for further implementation, including BALTICS project.
Within the framework of this project several activities were carried out: five training weeks at VIRAC, one training week at ASTRON, several staff exchanges at ASTRON and the University of Manchester (UMAN), summer school at ASTRON, organization of Scientific conference at VUAS (at the end of the project), workshops at ASTRON and UMAN, and presentation of obtained results within international scientific community and Latvia. During the project, VIRAC specialists gained valuable knowledge and practical experience within LOFAR (low-frequency array) technology-related fields of science, which significantly increased the quality of VIRAC scientific publications. Additionally, the cooperation between European and international leaders in LOFAR technology was promoted. The knowledge gained during this project has enabled VIRAC to establish and maintain potential LOFAR stations.
The conference was attended by 50 competent industry representatives from various European countries like the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, and Latvia. Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (VUAS) in this conference was represented by 20 VIRAC specialists. The aim of this conference was for VIRAC specialists to share their gained knowledge and experience, which was acquired during staff exchange at ASTRON and the University of Manchester. During the conference, it was possible to meet various radio astronomy specialists, therefore, being able to encourage probable cooperation into the future. The first day of the conference (December 5) took place in hotel Jūrmala SPA, Jūrmala. All of the participants presented their knowledge an experience gained throughout the project. Whereas the second day of the conference (December 6) was dedicated to exciting industry-related discussions and workshops, presentations of a variety of interesting topics to the participants, and visitation of VUAS Irbene radio telescope complex in Ventspils, Irbene.
Video from BALTICS Scientific Conference