Latvia became an Associate Member State of CERN on 2 August 2021.

The status of Associate Member State of CERN demonstrates the maturity and capacity of a country's scientific community and is a testament to the overall quality of the country's science.

The road to this status has been long, but over the last decade, it has been a very determined one.

History of Latvia’s cooperation with CERN

  • Latvia’s relations with CERN date back to 1996, when Latvia’s scientists were involved in one of the main CERN experiments - CMS (The Compact Muon Solenoid), which aims to discover new physics phenomena.
  • A turning point came in 2012 when Riga Technical University (RTU) and CERN signed an international cooperation agreement. It was facilitated by RTU professor Toms Torims, who has since led Latvia's cooperation with CERN and is currently the representative of Latvia at CERN.
  • From 2017 to 2023, the cooperation between Latvia and CERN was coordinated by the RTU High-Energy Physics and Accelerator Technology Centre, which acted as CERN's national contact point in Latvia.
  • In 2023, to better target both institutional and scientific cooperation with CERN, the coordinating role of the Latvian-CERN cooperation was assumed by the Contact Point, while the development of Latvian scientific activities was undertaken by the Institute of Particle Physics and Accelerator Technologies, established at the RTU Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry.
  • After Latvia has joined CERN as an Associate Member State, the next step for Latvian science and industry is to prove itself to become a full-fledged member state of CERN.
  • In December 2022, the Latvian Government decided that Latvia should become a full-fledged member state of CERN, and in March 2023 the Ministry of Education and Science informed the CERN Council of this decision.
  • The current plan is for Latvia to become a full-fledged member state of CERN in 2026.

Benefits as an Associate Member State of CERN

CERN is a unique scientific cooperation project on a global scale. It is not only the origin of well-known discoveries in fundamental physics but also of many technological breakthroughs and engineering achievements, which benefit not only CERN and its Member States but also society. Such benefits take time to develop and must therefore be seen in the medium and long term, without focusing on immediate benefits.

Main benefits:

  • prestigious endorsement of the country's scientific capacity and the potential of Latvian research institutes, thus enabling universities to attract higher quality scientists;
  • unprecedented opportunities for cooperation and knowledge exchange in Latvian science, laying the foundations for the long-term development of the Latvian scientific community;
  • the opportunity for Latvian scientists to work on CERN projects in which a Latvian scientific institution participates as a project partner;
  • opportunities for young Latvians to pursue their scientific goals in STEM fields while remaining attached to Latvian scientific institutions, thus reducing the emigration of knowledge experienced in previous decades;
  • opportunities for Latvian industry to participate in CERN's procurement procedures, allowing Latvian companies to be involved in the development of innovative technologies and solutions needed for basic and applied research.

Benefits as a full-fledged member state of CERN

Full CERN membership is a testament to a developed country and serves as a prestigious quality mark. Having the Latvian flag raised at CERN is an important instrument in shaping the international image of Latvia.

Main benefits:

  • Latvia will become an integral part of the European and global scientific community, particularly in the fields of particle physics, detector and accelerator technologies. It will also actively engage in the circulation of top-tier talents in the field of global nuclear research;
  • Full CERN membership will provide the Latvian scientific community with new development opportunities and a platform for technology transfer. This will, in turn, contribute to the long-term growth of the country’s economy;
  • Latvia will be able to fully engage in shaping the science and research policy- decisions of the European Union;
  • Full voting rights and full say in the CERN Council, including participation in closed Council sessions where significant strategic and financial decisions regarding CERN and the future of high-energy physics and technology in Europe are made;
  • In the CERN Council (institution responsible for shaping the global agenda of particle physics and related technology policies and further development), Latvia will transition from being an observer to a decision-maker;
  • There will be no limitations on the number of fixed-term contracts for Latvian scientific and technical personnel at CERN;
  • The most significant economic benefit – there will be no procurement thresholds for Latvian companies and businesses will be free to participate in any CERN tenders and procurements. Currently, as an Associate Member, the total amount of procurements may not exceed Latvia’s contribution to CERN, although there are several companies with a clear potential to provide services and products to CERN for much higher amounts;
  • Full CERN membership creates wide and balanced collaboration opportunities in the Baltic region. Estonia is already an Associate Member of CERN in pre-accession status, while Lithuania, like Latvia, has expressed its desire to become a full-fledged Member State of CERN in the foreseeable future.
  • The CERN Latvia Group functions as a cross-disciplinary collaborative group formed to coordinate the cooperation between Latvian scientific institutions, businesses, and decision-makers. This collaboration entails active involvement in CERN’s scientific research, experiments, and projects. The group includes representatives of universities, scientific institutions, businesses, and decision-makers. The groups’ activities are coordinated by the Contact Point.

    Core principles of CERN Latvia Group:

  • collegiality;
  • transparency;
  • collective teamwork.

CERN Latvia Group activities:

  • partners are regularly informed about cooperation opportunities with CERN;
  • support for partners involved in CERN-related activities;
  • efficient exchange of information and coordinated activities between the group partners and CERN

CERN Latvia Group partners

Academic partners:

  • RTU Faculty of Electrical and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Industrial Electronics and Electrical Engineering;
  • UL Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optometry, Department of Physics, Experimental Physics Department;
  • RTU Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications, Transmission Systems Department;
  • RTU Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry, Institute of Technical Physics;
  • UL Institute of Solid State Physics;
  • RTU Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Department of Artificial Intelligence and Systems Engineering;
  • UL Institute of Physics;
  • UL Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science;
  • RSU Department of Physics;
  • RSU Nuclear Medicine Clinic, Radiology Research Laboratory;
  • National contact point for CERN in Latvia;
  • RTU Institute of Particle Physics and Accelerator Technologies.

Industry partners:

  • Dati Group;
  • Baltic Scientific Instruments;
  • Primekss Group;
  • HansaMatrix;
  • SAF tehnika;
  • Nukleārās medicīnas centrs.

Social partners and associations:

  • Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI);
  • Latvian IT Cluster;
  • Latvian Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry Association (LETERA);
  • Association of Mechanical Engineering and Metalworking Industries of Latvia (MASOC).


  • Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia;
  • Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia;
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.