The first BONUS Symposium brought about new evidences and knowledge for improved management of marine living resources in the Baltic Sea. The research findings discussed during this event are of potential relevance to the Baltic Science Network and its ongoing exploration of blue growth´s role in researchers’ mobility.

The first BONUS symposium titled “Science delivery for sustainable use of the Baltic Sea living resources” was held in Tallinn. Initiated by the BONUS INSPIRE project coordinator Dr. Henn Ojaveer, and organised together with BONUS BIO-C3 project, the event focused on science delivery not only for the scientific community around the Baltic Sea but also, through stakeholder panel discussions, for the policy-relevant cross-sectoral audience of key end users. Three days were split into four sessions offering 72 oral presentations and 35 poster presentations.

The opening speech was delivered by Dr. Tarmo Soomere, President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Andris Andrušaitis welcomed the 150 participants from 14 different countries on behalf of BONUS Secretariat and in the capacity of Chair of the Symposium’s Scientific Committee.

As an excellent example of clustering and cooperation, ten ongoing BONUS projects - BONUS INSPIRE, BIO-C3, GOHERR, BALTICAPP, BAMBI, BLUEWEBS, CHANGE, BALTCOAST, OPTIMUS and INTEGRAL - contributed to the symposium, as well as two BONUS+ projects ECOSUPPORT and IBAM through their earlier data. This was very welcomed in a recent paper by Pauline Snoeijs, Steve Bernard, Mike Elliott et al. “Towards better integration of environmental science in society: Lessons from BONUS”, and is a strong evidence of collaborative projects, such as in BONUS, tending to produce better quality papers than the single-team papers.

Such findings are also of relevance to Baltic Science Network (BSN) which serves as an EUSBSR Policy Area Education flagship and a notable macro-regional network for national science and research ministries. The initial BSN research findings presented during its most recent BSN Steering Committee meeting evidenced further that there is a strong support to life sciences and in particular marine sciences in the Baltic Sea region. This niche expertise is further supported by a good academic track record in terms of outstanding academic publications.

A distinct characteristic of the entire BONUS symposium was a brilliant integration of applied research (need-to-know) with exciting curiosity stories (nice-to-know), as summarized by Dr Andrušaitis. Although the symposium mainly dealt with the need-to-know questions, the abstract book offers further insight in the wealth of research collected in preparations ahead of the Symposium. The importance of knowledge synthesis was underlined by Dr. Jason Link, Prof. Dr. Herman Hummel, as well as Prof. Adriaan Rijnsdorp.

The symposium ended with closing words by Dr. Kaisa Kononen, director of the BONUS Secretariat informing the audience about the very recently published and very positive final evaluation of BONUS.

Further information about the Symposium, as well as future updates on a synthesis paper that is being developed based on the stakeholder panel discussions of the Symposium will be made available through the Symposium website here.

This BSN release is largely based on the BONUS news available at www.bonusportal.org.

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