Research Cooperation Dynamics

Summer is a wonderful time for educational meetings with other young peers from the Baltic Sea Region. One of such occasions was dedicated to discussing research cooperation in general and Baltic Science Network as a specific example in a wider context of the existing macro-regional ties.

On 17 July 2018, participants of the Rotary International Summer Camp were introduced to Baltic Science Network, it being one of the key projects dedicated to the research cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. Baltic Science Network was highlighted as one of the strands of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, since it bears a flagship status under the Policy Area Education, Research and Employability.

During a meeting at the CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm the campers, also being the future students enrolled in the tertiary education, had an opportunity to find out more information about Baltic Science Network and its upcoming events, namely, the Baltic Science Network Final Conference, which will be part of the CBSS High Level Meeting on Science, as well as the CBSS Baltic Sea Science Day 2019.

The meeting held at the CBSS Secretariat is one of those regular occasions, when Baltic Science Network is presented to a wider public.

For more information about the study visit, please explore the CBSS website.

 

 

 BSN Press release no 48, image 1

Photo credit: Vladimir Mayorov / UNECON

 

On 7 June 2018, Baltic Sea Region University Network (BSRUN) arranged its Annual Forum in St. Petersburg. The event was organised in cooperation with Saint Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON).

The Annual Forums are always dedicated to certain current topic in the field of higher education. This year the topic was “Implementing University Strategy and Mobilities”.

The event featured many good practices examples from universities within the Baltic Sea Region. The good practice examples were presented from different perspectives: university strategies, managing international mobility and mobility programmes perspectives.

Among examples of good practices, the work of Baltic Science Network and its Work Package “Mobility in Research and Higher Education” brought a broader view on the transnational research cooperation trends. Tadas Juknevičius presented ten challenges in the Baltic Sea Region mobility, as identified in the Baltic Science Network Working Paper “Challenges to Researchers´ Mobility in the Baltic Sea Region”. Some approaches were also suggested for further consideration in view of modelling responses to the identified challenges. Mari Leino presented the results of the Baltic Science Network Working Paper “Researcher Mobility Tools in the Baltic Sea Region”. 

 

BSN Press Release no. 48, image 2.

Photo credit: Vladimir Mayorov / UNECON

In the following discussion, the audience highlighted that better dissemination of information about the Baltic Sea Region and its offered opportunities is the key. Increasing awareness and making it easy to find information about research, projects and mobility opportunities in the Baltic Sea Region is very important, if we wish to see more mobility in the macro-region.

BSRUN Annual Forum was attended by more than 80 people from eight countries.

 

 

BSN Welfare State Expert Group meeting in Tallinn

Baltic Science Network expert group dedicated to the welfare state met for the first time right after the 9TH Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region held in Tallinn. National and transnational welfare state research agendas offer plenty of opportunities to advance multilateral research cooperation for the overall prosperity of the Baltic Sea Region.

On 6 June 2018, Baltic Science Network expert group dedicated to the welfare state met in Tallinn right after the 9th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). This was the first occasion when the vibrant work, which thus far organised in a virtually distributed network, was complemented with a meeting in person. Experts from across the Baltic Sea Region shared a wealth of insights from various collaborative initiatives, which have contributed to a better understanding of the welfare state evolution and factors influencing the current set-up of the social systems across the Baltic Sea Region and Europe.

Insights from such initiatives and occasions as the CBSS High-Level Meeting of the Representatives of the Labour Ministries, Welfare State Futures: Our Children´s Europe (WelfSOC), Network for European Social Policy Analysis (ESPAnet Baltics) were some of the sources of insight presented during the meeting for further work towards finalising a Working Paper of the expert group, which will be submitted for further consideration among the Baltic Science Network members next Fall.

The Tallinn conclusions and agreed work schedule paved a promising way forward for the second gathering of the group scheduled on 29 August 2018 in Riga.

 

 

 

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Baltic Science Network is an integral part of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The 9th Annual Forum of the Strategy testified that the macroregional potential in the Baltic Sea Region cannot be fully realised without strong research foundations.  

On 5 June 2018, Baltic Science Network was presented to the attendants of the 9th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) during the Policy Area Education, Research and Employability session at the Networking Village. Macroregional stakeholders were introduced to the two upcoming events – conference in Brussels organised together with Baltic TRAM in November 2018, as well as the upcoming Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) High-Level Meeting in February 2019, to which Baltic Science Network Final Conference will be an integral part. The CBSS High-Level Meeting will be a follow-up event, which will offer an opportunity for reviewing implementation of the guidance provided after the 1st CBSS Science Ministerial enshrined in the CBSS Polish Chair´s Conclusions “Baltic Science: Renewing the Commitment to Science / Research Joint Actions in the Baltic Sea Region”.

 

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Baltic Science Network embeddedness in the EUSBSR and enduring interest in maintaining the outreach to other flagships and their components testifies that the future macroregional potential of the Baltic Sea Region depends also on the legacy built in the higher education, research and science domains through joint multilateral efforts.

The on-going work of Baltic Science Network expert groups will facilitate a more thorough look at photon & neutron science, life sciences and welfare state research topicalities. Groups are examining what transnational cooperation topics would serve the most pending needs for a more thorough research expertise in the Baltic Sea Region.

 

press release 45: BSN  as a Notable Component of Regional Development - image 1

Baltic Science Network sparked a lively discussion during the Fehmarnbelt Days 2016 held in Hamburg. On the basis of this promising note, Fehmarnbelt Days 2018 organised in Malmӧ allowed to inform stakeholders of ESS & MAX IV: Cross Border Science and Society about the latest developments of Baltic Science Network.

On 29 May 2018, Klaus von Lepel, Project Director, engaged in the panel dedicated to the regional development during the session “Developing Common Life and Materials Science Region in the Fehmarnbelt Geography”. Hamburg´s Baltic Sea Region Strategy for Science and Research served as an initial point of reference for further elaboration on the transnational outreach and rationale behind the establishment of Baltic Science Network. The proactive character of Baltic Science Network is characterised by its published Policy Paper on the Framework Programme 9, as well as engagement in the European science diplomacy discussions.

Panellists shared an overall appreciation of talent attraction and retention, since such notable research facilities as MAX IV and European Spallation Source will require considerable pool of skilful users to unleash their full potential and ensure all benefits that a wider society could receive from the offered research intense solutions. In addition, multi-level governance comes to the fore, once closer cross-border and multilateral cooperation is considered.

press release 45: BSN  as a Notable Component of Regional Development - image 2.

May has been a promising month filled with content rich stakeholder consultations. June looks even more impressive with the awaited welfare state researchers´ debates, scheduled back-to-back with the 9th EUSBSR Forum, as well as BSRUN Annual Forum 2018 and second meeting of photon & neutron science expert group. Fehmarnbelt Days 2018 served as a much appreciated bridging element of this dynamic agenda.

 

 

BSN at the Spring Forum for International Affairs, Finland
 
The rationales of researcher mobility in neighbouring areas were discussed in a session “From Brain Drain to Brain Circulation”. Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme funded project Baltic Science Network has surveyed the challenges and obstacles in researcher mobility in the Baltic Sea Region, and identified three alternative aims for researcher mobility.
 
The session was chaired by Riitta Mustonen. Tadas Juknevičius presented 10 major challenges, which hamper a more active mobility of researchers in the Baltic Sea Region. Readers interested in familiarising with the identified 10 issues are invited to read the Baltic Science Network Working Paper “Challenges to Researchers´ Mobility in the Baltic Sea Region. Among the speakers of the session was Susanna Sepponen. She discussed alternative options on how to tackle these challenges. Readers interested in familiarising with these options are encouraged to familiarise with the Baltic Science Network Working Paper “Researcher Mobility Tools in the Baltic Sea Region. Johanna Hakala engaged in the discussion with a comment from the financer’s point of view.
 
Brain drain as a topic provoked a broader debate. Some of the perspectives expressed during the session are worth highlighting to a wider audience of the Baltic Science Network. Bearing in mind the global context of people resettling from their countries of origin to other states of residence, is it even realistic to prevent brain drain? Brain drain can be a signal of the need for improvements in the home country. Tadas Juknevičius gave a good example from Lithuania, where research facilities and research conditions have been improved in order to counter brain drain.
 
Another perspective that emerged during the vibrant interaction among session´s attendants was that the world is nowadays global and everyone are connected. Thus, does the mere physical migration of people should viewed as a brain drain?
 
Good ways to improve brain circulation might be joint programmes among a grouping of countries. Top-down and bottom-up approaches could be combined in new tailored ways. The basis for the mobility should remain the aim of supporting high-quality research, where a top-down approach in the implementation of such multilateral incentives can help increasing a wider awareness about certain regions. A good example is the initiative of the Academy of Finland to raise awareness about the opportunities that China can offer. Similar approach could be adopted in the Baltic Sea Region.
 
The Spring Forum for International Affairs is a yearly event, which gathers the specialists working with internationalisation and mobility from Finnish higher education institutions. This year the event was organised on 17-18 May 2018 in Jyväskylä.
 
You can read more about Baltic Science Network and download the studies made by the project here.