BSN press release 58, image 1

Baltic Science Network takes a step beyond the Baltic Sea Region boundaries and meets at the heart of the EU decision-making – Brussels. This time the gathering helped to explore additional points of intersection in relation to joint actions for more active utilisation of research infrastructures.

On 27 November 2018, after a wealth of inspiring debates experienced during the conference “The Baltic Sea Region – A Science Powerhouse” Baltic Science Network (BSN) members gathered for a meeting hosted by the Hanse Office in Brussels.

The discussions on the findings of three expert groups spurred some exchange of views on the growing importance of sustainability. Riitta Mustonen, Director of Development at the University of Turku, encouraged to think about macro-regional cooperation in research and science as a way how to cause less damage to the environment, especially when comparing collaboration alternatives with geographically distant areas and the carbon footprint generated due to the implementation of such extended ties. Zane Šime, Communication & Research Coordinator at the CBSS Secretariat, added to the role of sustainability a remark that sustainable welfare state as a suggested topic for further exploration has been proposed also in the Working Paper “Fostering Sustainable and Inclusive Labour Markets in the Baltic Sea Region: A Life Course Perspective” delivered by the Welfare State Expert Group.

BSN press release 58, image 2

Nordic University Hubs were mentioned by Leif Eriksson, Swedish Research Council, among some of the examples to facilitate further consultations on future joint activities. It is a NordForsk initiative aimed at advancing the strategic priorities of Nordic higher education institutions through increased cooperation.

BSN press release 58, image 3

Among the attendants of the BSN meeting was also Arne Flåøyen, Director of NordForsk. He introduced BSN members to the guiding principles for the funding of joint programmes. Once evaluating a project application, among the key considerations of NordForsk are scientific excellence balanced with such aspects as Nordic added value and even distribution of the funding. NordForsk defers from individual grants to keep the management process as lean as possible.

In addition, the Vienna Declaration on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) will be kept in mind in the continued drafting of the BSN perspective on research infrastructures. To bring several valuable findings of the Brussels conference forward, BSN will keep the title of the gathering “The Baltic Sea Region – A Science Powerhouse” for its forthcoming publication to be presented to the attendants of the BSN Closing Conference and the CBSS Baltic Sea Science Day 2019 (registration open).