The economic integration of the Nordic-Baltic region through labor, innovation, investments and trade – LIFT

Project consortium

The project consortium is led by Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Lithuania) with University of Tartu (Estonia), Institute of Transport Economics (Norway), University of Latvia (Latvia), and the Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS, Latvia) as research partners.

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH) is one of the largest universities in Lithuania and the only technical higher education institution in the capital city of Vilnius. There are currently around 12 000 students enrolled. In Economics & Econometrics studies VILNIUS TECH is ranked (QS World University Rankings by Subject) at 201-250 place (301–350 place in 2017) among the top world universities. Vilnius Gediminas Technical University is a partner with science institutes and universities in Lithuania, Europe and other countries, cooperates with business companies, social entrepreneurship companies; participates in preparation and implementation of relevant projects; implements listed and similar activities by fostering internationalization. VILNIUS TECH aims to establish long-term sustainable partnerships through networks and joint activities with universities and social partners. VILNIUS TECH is the member of 24 international networks in various research areas. The existing partnerships are reviewed annually considering the well-balanced exchange. The University has up to 300 LLP/Erasmus partners and 115 agreements of cooperation in studies and research with the EU and non-EU HEIs. VILNIUS TECH has established the International Development Fund to support the student mobility to non-EU universities and encourage the quality of incoming degree students by providing the university scholarship to cover the tuition fee. VILNIUS TECH continuously strengthens cooperation relations with business and industry companies, thereby increasing the potential for new research fields and commercialization of science.


The Institute of Transport Economics

The Institute of Transport Economic (TOI) is a national transport research center for Norway and a non-profit research foundation. TOI is a truly multidisciplinary institute and employs more than 80 researchers, such as economists, engineers, sociologists, geographers, political scientists and psychologists. In context of regional integration, TOI provide expertise on international economics, urban economic, productivity analysis, innovation, infrastructure and econometrics. TOI provide commissioned research where major clients are the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Public Roads Administration, Local and regional Administration and the Research Council of Norway. The Institute is also engaged in a number of research projects for various bodies of the European Commission, having participated in a substantial number of projects under the Framework Programmes of the European Union, and for international organizations. The Institute emphasizes the importance of international research cooperation and practical applications of research results TOI has established procedures to ensure efficient Open Access publishing and communication of Data Management Plans according to current requirements. The Institute is also strongly committed to ensuring gender balance among its staff, and currently has around 40 percent female and 60 percent male employees. Furthermore, TOI has committed to the European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. TOI is certified as an Eco-Lighthouse, Norway’s most widely used certification for documentation of environmental efforts and social responsibility. For additional information, please consult our website:

Uni of Latvia

University of Latvia

University of Latvia (UL) the largest and leading academic research and education center in social sciences that has extensive experience in administering complex research projects and has established the necessary administrative and financial support necessary for the smooth progression of the project. The Project will be hosted by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IPSUL) – a well-established academic-research unit at UL. IPSUL, est. 1981, specializes in the implementation of large-scale interdisciplinary research projects, and since late 2013 continuously contributes to the field of migration research. The work of IPSUL is based on innovative interdisciplinary cooperation among various faculties at UL, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other Latvian and international institutions, as well as diaspora researchers worldwide. During the course of the Project, the team will benefit from tight links between IPSUL and The Centre for Migration and Diaspora Research (CMDR) – a younger member of UL and the leading organization in migration research in Latvia led by Dr. Mieriņa. Ongoing projects of researchers at UL focus on policies and problems related to return migration and reintegration into the Latvian labour market. Involvement of CMDR will contribute to the strong expertise in the area of migration of the LIFT project. LIFT can be expected to benefit from synergies with other projects at UL, especially a recently launched project “Exploring well-being and social integration in the context of liquid migration: a longitudinal approach” funded by the Latvian Council of Sciences is led by dr. Mieriņa. It will also benefit from data bases hosted at the UL such as the large-scale emigrant survey “The emigrant communities of Latvia” data where 14 068 Latvian migrants in 118 countries gave their answers, as well as the “Returning to Latvia” quantitative survey by the UL – one of the largest surveys of return migrants ever conducted in Europe.



The Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS) is an independent non-profit research institute established in 2001 with the help of a grant from the Swedish Foreign Ministry and with assistance from the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE). BICEPS became an independent legal entity in May 2002. BICEPS is also included in the national register of research institutions in Latvia. Since its inception, BICEPS undertakes and promotes high quality policy-oriented research in economics and other social sciences and provides informed advice and consulting services for both government and business in the Baltic states and other countries. BICEPS has a broad portfolio of projects and dedicated team of researchers with experience in a wide range of topics. BICEPS activities include academic research, commissioned work for local ministries and international institutions as well as participation in EU-wide networks and research projects. BICEPS is part of the FREE Network, an integrated network of leading research centres and universities in Central and Eastern Europe with partners in Belarus, Georgia, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine. BICEPS has especially close collaboration with the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga). BICEPS and SSE Riga run joint academic seminar series; in cooperation with Routledge publish the Baltic Journal of Economics (BJE); produce the Occasional Paper Series, and the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Latvia Report.


University of Tartu (Photo: Andres Tennus)

The University of Tartu (UT) founded in 1632, is the oldest and largest university in Estonia in terms of numbers of staff, students, volume of teaching, R&D activities. UT belongs to the top 1.2% of the world’s best universities (285th in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and within 251-300 in THE World University Rankings 2020). It also belongs to the top 1% of the world’s most-cited universities and research institutions in 12 fields (including social sciences). School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) of University of Tartu is the leading and rapidly developing research center in economics, international business and management in Estonia.

For more information about the project from the partners’ institutions use these links:



University of Latvia: