That the Latvian science diaspora is interested in cooperating with scientists in Latvia is a clear conclusion of the research report “Latvian scientists’ diaspora: networks and opportunities”. Based on a large global survey, the majority of respondents expressed great interest in cooperating with Latvian scientists, while about one quarter indicated that their interest in cooperating will depend on specific conditions. The translation of research report will be available in due time on the homepages of the Ministry of Education and Science and the University of Latvia Diaspora and Migration Research Centre. The Summary of the research report is available here.

At a time when “brain drain” and the internationalisation of science are challenges facing science in Latvia, the emigration of scientists can also be viewed as an opportunity, if diaspora scientists maintain links with Latvia and cooperate with Latvian scientists.

The report details how Latvian diaspora scientists become acquainted and how they interact with other scientists in Latvia and diaspora. Also included is an analysis of the factors facilitating and hindering cooperation, as well as recommendations are made for engaging the science diaspora and for developing targeted cooperation. Results suggest that although Latvian scientists in the diaspora feel an emotional attachment to Latvia and emotional links can stimulate cooperation, these are not sufficient for the sustainability of cooperation. A prerequisite for cooperation with the science diaspora is a well-managed, well-funded, meritocracy-based, and a generally attractive science system in Latvia, with which diaspora scientists would be motivated to cooperate with professionally.

Data come from an online survey of 350 scientists. Response to the survey was strong with 234 scientists from 30 countries completing the survey entirely. The study uses an innovative methodology for exploring social networks as well as network mapping. Through this analysis research over 600 diaspora scientists in 40 countries working in academia and research were identified.

The research was developed with the support of ERDF project Nr. “Integrated national level measures for strengthening interest representations for research and development of Latvia as part of European Research Area”. The research report was commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Science and performed by The Diaspora and Migration Research Center, University of Latvia. The goal was to understand the professional networks of scientists of Latvian descent. The results are expected to inform the development of opportunities for focused collaboration on joint research and development projects between institutions of higher education and scientific institutions in Latvia and scientists in the diaspora.