The BSN team in Stockholm.

On the World Science Day for Peace and Development 2016, 10 November 2016 the Baltic Science Network (BSN) convened in Stockholm in order to discuss the role of the Network in advancing the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in the context of the Vision 2030 presented during the 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), as well as outline the preparatory works in delivering outputs of the project.

world science day 2016The discussion on the Vision 2030 for the Baltic Sea Region was facilitated by one of the authors of the foresight report Kai Böhme. He outlined the need for timely solution shaping in tackling the upcoming disparities. One area which would greatly benefit from such engagement would be the civil protection.

The BSN members also reflected on the role of joint advocacy of the Baltic Sea Region interests in advancement of the European Research Area and consultations regarding the upcoming Framework Programme 9. Another topic of crucial importance to the long-term development of the Network is to promote balance of geographical coverage of BSN supported activities.

The discussions revolved around one more long-term dimension of the BSN – the widening of participation. The goal is to decrease the macro-regional disparities by ensuring expansion of cooperation between science and research institutions of highly performing regions and countries and moderately or low performing ones. It will also entail finding the right balance between widening participation and ensuring academic excellence.

The brief introduction to the study, analysing existing trends in the academic mobility, which took place during the session “Do we need a macro-regional dimension in higher education, science & research policy in the Baltic Sea Region?” of 7th Strategy Forum of the EUSBSR, was followed-up by a more extensive presentation of the findings, since they bear relevance to a number of BSN activities and are of importance to the on-going drafting of policy assessments, as well as national and regional action plans. Namely, Dr. Tom Schumacher from the Kiel University elaborated on the main flows of research and academic staff in the Baltic Sea Region in line with his analysis published in the BSN research paper “International Mobility of Researchers in the Baltic Sea Region”.

In order to build awareness among other regional science, research and innovation policy communities about the on-going work of the leading transnational projects in this domain, the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) informed that BSN will be presented on 28 November 2016 during the meeting of the Four Councils of the North in Stockholm. The meeting, assembling the CBSS, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Arctic Council and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council will be hosted by the CBSS. Since both CBSS and Arctic Council recently held their first Science Ministerials, then the meeting will allow reflecting and exchanging views on how to ensure the sustainability of science, research and innovation initiatives.

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