BSN Consultations in Denmark and Germany

In October, Baltic Science Network held additional consultations with research institutions in order to finalise the details of the action plans.

On 2 – 4 October 2018, Baltic Science Network (BSN) members visited Denmark (Copenhagen and Taastrup) and Germany. The aim of the visit was to gather input for development of intersectoral cooperation and intersectoral mobility, but also on potential ways for future cooperation in the field of large-scale infrastructures. Due to life sciences being one of the three thematic areas chosen by the BSN for developing joint transnational strategies for scientific excellence and a prioritised field in Estonia, the visit largely focused on good practice examples in this science domain, as well as opportunities for future collaboration.

Most of the participants were from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. However, the Estonian BSN project partner stresses the importance of cooperating with other partners in the field of research, development and innovation (RDI). Thus, the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research invited also participants from the Estonian Research Council, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Government Office, altogether 10 participants, to join the study tour.

Five visits and meetings were organised during the trip. The first visit was to the Innovation Fund Denmark. The overall aim of the institution is to support the development of knowledge and technology, including advanced technology, in order to strengthen research and innovative solutions that may contribute to the growth and employment in Denmark. The visit to the Danish Ministry for Higher Education and Science was mostly focusing on intersectoral mobility. The number of researchers working in the private sector in Denmark has grown during last 15-20 years. Nevertheless, further progress is required to introduce change in the overall work culture and academic career paradigms. The visit to GTS Advanced Technology Group offered an insight into how the institute organises transfer of research and technology to the Danish businesses, especially SMEs. The visit to Fraunhofer IME ScreeningPort offered a closer look to Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, which undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprises and of wide benefit to society. BSN members were introduced to EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC, the European research infrastructure for chemical biology.

The concluding meeting was held between the Estonian representatives and the Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equalities. First of all, the innovation policy of Hamburg region was discussed. Second half of the meeting was dedicated to the BSN action plans, the expectations and possibilities from the side of the BSN Lead Partner and the BSN Project Partner. BSN future and potential funding modalities were also a subject for further consultations.

The study visit provided valuable input for the forthcoming Action Plans on mobility, spreading excellence and widening participation and the macro-regional cooperation.