Life science

Latvia’s life science sector is a true gem. It is a driving force for innovations, growth and competition, promoting sustainability and development of high added value products and services. Historically deeply rooted in Latvia today this sector combines strong R&D capability, established manufacturing infrastructure and geographical and cultural proximity to Eastern and Western markets. 

We know that you are already convinced but add to this perfect mix also a very competitive work force and further investment aimed to increase productivity and to foster R&D related activity. All this contributes to the potential and success of the industry.

And no wonder this is a sector with great export capacity. Industry data demonstrate that more than 83% of the products manufactured in the industry are exported abroad. 

Main subsectors

Manufacture of chemicals, manufacture of pharmaceuticals, manufacture of rubber and plastic products, biotechnology, coating materials, cosmetics

Fast facts

  • Estonians and Lithuanians would not be happy to hear that but among the three Baltic States, Latvia leads the life science sector, with the highest value added in this sector.
  • This sector is nothing without innovation and introduction of new products and services. Yes, we are talking about R&D here. We offer strong R&D capabilities.
  • Due to the historical roots, many year's of know-how, legacy and production we provide established manufacturing infrastructure.
  • Tradition can bring you wisdom, support, experience and that special, intangible feel of proficiency. We are proud of long-standing tradition in chemistry.
  • Also add to this equation skilled and competitive workforce.
  • Don't forget cost effectiveness we provide due to reasonable labour expenses, skilled professionals, developed infrastructure and production facilities, close proximity to Western and Eastern markets.
  • We have the largest share of employment in pharmaceuticals among Baltic States. Sorry, we beat you again dear neighbours! 

Industry leaders

  • Olainfarm and Grindeks are producers of world-renowned and demanded products. 
  • Valmieras stikla šķiedra is currently one of the largest glass fiber manufacturers in Europe with more than 50 years of experience. New facilities launched in the UK and USA.
  • Latvian Biomedicine Research and Study Center is developing a prototype vaccine against Lyme disease.
  • Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis is an inventor and co-inventor of 18 original approved drugs and more than 70 original preparation methods of known medicines.
  • BGI Group is the world’s largest genome sequencing organization and has established a genome sequencing machine production facility in Latvia which is the beginning for development of a life science park.

Industry statistics

  • We believe in export and export believes in us. See for yourself. Pharmaceuticals are the leading export products making up 37% of total industry exports.
  • Most part of the goodies are shipped abroad. 83% of the manufactured chemicals and pharmaceutical products are exported.
  • Pharmaceuticals compile 1.3% of total national exports. Well, we are not jealous as there are many great industries in Latvia. 
  • Four is the number of innovation and creativity. The sector is currently ranked 4th by turnover among manufacturing industries in Latvia.
  • It also turns out to be our lucky number as we are ranked 4th by total export amounts among other industries in Latvia.  

Employment and education

  • This sector is growing so rapidly in Latvia, we sometimes can't keep up! Well, as for now the number of employees in chemical and pharmaceutical companies exceeds 13 000.
  • When you will graduate with a degree in life sciences probably you will be able to pick your employer not vice versa. We have around 1000 companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
  • Where to study? Your first choice would be Riga Stradiņš University as it is a regional leader in medical education.
  • Also University of Latvia has developed an Academic Center which provides an opportunity both for students and academic staff to conduct world-class studies.
  • Sustainability above all. Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies specializes in the sustainable use of natural resources. 

Sign up for newsletters

Stay up to date on the weekly newsletters on recent news and activities.

Please enter valid email

Thank you! Your email has been added to mailing list!