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.
 

 

 

Tyler Lastovich Unsplash

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

Following the Baltic Science Network project partner meeting, a dynamic phase of expert consultations has commenced starting with a meeting of experts of photon & neutron science.

On 10 – 11 April 2018, Baltic Science Network (BSN) met in Sopot and Gdańsk to discuss in greater detail the forthcoming work of three expert groups. Consequently, the first meeting of selected experts was organised with a focus on the photon & neutron science and its specific support requirements in the Baltic Sea Region context.

On 19 April 2018, DESY hosted the meeting of experts based across the macroregion. Among the presented good practices and potential sources of inspiration for the forthcoming Baltic Science Network transnational strategy on photon & neutron science was LEAPS (League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources) presented by Christoph Quitmann, Director of MAX IV Laboratory. Christoph Quitmann was also among the speakers during the Baltic Science Network seminar “New Tools for Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation in Research and Innovation Programmes” organised at the end of last year at the helm of the Estonian EU Presidency.

Another existing initiative brought to the expert group´s attention was Röntgen-Ångström-Cluster (RÅC), presented by Ulf Karlsson, Head of the Swedish Delegation and Coordinator as well as Research Leader at Material Physics, Microelectronics and Applied Physics, School of Information and Technology at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Mikhail Rychev presented Ioffe Röntgen Institute (IRI), a German-Russian strategic cooperation platform designed to foster the bilateral cooperation between Germany and Russia in large-scale research infrastructures. Whereas, Baltic TRAM, the other CBSS & BSPC endorsed project, was explained by Prof. Dr. Martin Müller, Director of German Engineering Materials Science (GEMS) Centre.

The overall discussions were concluded by recognising the current funding gap faced at the mediation phase of research-business collaborative cases. A need to ensure open access laboratories and open innovation testbeds was among the suggestions for further consideration once compiling suggestion for future macroregional collaboration.

On 29 June 2018, the expert group will convene for the second time in Kraków, Poland, at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Science and include a study visit to the SOLARIS synchrotron.

Partner Meeting in Sopot/Gdansk April 2018

Baltic Science Network looks forward to the promising start of the domain specific consultations structured in the form of three expert groups announced at the end of last year. The Gdańsk gathering facilitated the finalisation of the Baltic Science Network position on the future widening measures of the European Research Area.

On 10 – 11 April 2018, Baltic Science Network (BSN) met in Sopot and Gdańsk, hosted by the University of Gdańsk. The Network was welcomed by prof. dr hab. Mirosław Szreder – Dean of the Faculty of Management, one of the most active advocates of BSN, and prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Bielawski, Vice-Rector for Development and Cooperation with Business and Industry.

The BSN partner meeting was largely dedicated to discussing the BSN expert groups dedicated to photon & neutron science, life sciences and welfare state.

Likewise, extensive consultations were dedicated to the on-going efforts of BSN to define its position vis-à-vis the future widening measures which will be adopted with the financial support of the Framework Programme 9. The earlier discussions dedicated to the future Framework Programme proved the overall collaborative spirit and commitment to pursue joint efforts. Moreover, BSN is benefiting from a considerable support and continuous extended visibility of its work ensured by such collaboration partners as Lithuanian RDI Liaison Office in Brussels (LINO).

BSN had the pleasure to familiarise not only with the ongoing multilateral cooperation of the University of Gdańsk, but also to explore the central university campus.

BSN looks forward to extending its collaborative ties with its sister project Baltic TRAM (Transnational Research Access in the Macroregion), also endorsed by the Council of the Baltic Sea States and Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference. This initiative is based on the forthcoming collaboration in hosting a joint conference in Brussels in the Fall 2018. BSN stakeholders interested in attending the event are invited to regularly look at the BSN calendar section for updates on the upcoming event.

BSN partner meeting Sopot/Gdansk, april 2018

Last but not least, this meeting was no exception in terms of discussing the potential ways forward in ensuring the sustainability of the Network as a valuable consultative forum and facilitator for future collaborative actions.

BSN partner and steering committee meeting Sopot/Gdansk 2018

 

Photos of the BSN meeting are available on the CBSS Flickr account here.

 

 

High time for expanding the talent pool
Photo by PA Education
 
On 28 March 2018, the Policy Area Education, Research and Employability (PA Education) of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) organised a stakeholder seminar in Warsaw. Baltic Science Network was presented by Mr Tomasz Jałukowicz, representing the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, which is an associated organisation of the Baltic Science Network.
 
The seminar attendants were introduced to the main goals and members of the Network. The follow-up discussions, organised during the parallel session titled “Improving quality of education and vocational training through work-based learning and fostering entrepreneurial mindsets”, resulted in suggestions to seek new ways how to attract more students to the Baltic Sea Region. Thus, the workshop testifies that attraction of talent to the Baltic Sea Region is high on the agenda of a number of institutions which are offering an internationally accessible tertiary education. Likewise, closer cooperation between universities and prospective employers of the graduates was emphasised.
 
In addition to Baltic Science Network, several EUSBSR flagship projects, such as the Baltic University Programme, were presented. Bearing in mind that Baltic University Programme is a member of the Baltic Science Network, the Network is delighted to witness such continuous outreach activities of the Programme. It should be noted that Baltic University Programme along the Baltic Science Network was presented also during the earlier PA Education stakeholder seminars in Riga and Tallinn.
 
 
 

Future of the European Research Area

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

 

Baltic Science Network as an avid reader of the European perspectives on the future of higher education and research, pays attention to one of the trends identified by the European Political Strategy Centre. “Europe may have invented universities, but now it is time to reinvent them” tallies with the overall Baltic Science Network´s aspirations to enhance the research competitiveness and science excellence delivered by the Baltic Sea Region through enhanced mobility of researchers. As one of the most vivid examples of such aspirations serve the Baltic Science Network Policy Paper Regarding the Framework Programme 9. This document testifies to the overall commitment of Baltic Science Network members to shape the future of the European Research Area on the basis of a multilateral dialogue, common values and perspectives.

The Baltic Science Network Policy Paper Regarding the Framework Programme 9 proves that Baltic Science Network highly appreciates its outstanding pool of political endorsements and is ready to respond the political call for advice and action.

All parties interested in the evolution of the debate revolving around the future Framework Programme are invited to familiarise with the policy paper, which represents one of the notable voices emanating from the Baltic Sea Region.

Baltic Science Network Policy Paper Regarding the Framework Programme 9 is part of the Interreg Vb Baltic Sea Region Programme´s funded project Output 2.3 “Development and dissemination of policy recommendations for the EU level”.


 

BSN Press Release no. 39

Photo credit: EUSBSR PA Education, Nino Simic.

Four months after having hosted thorough and multi-faceted discussions on research potential of the Baltic Sea Region and widening measures adopted in the framework of the European Research Area, a new gathering in Tallinn helped to promote among the macro-regional peers the wealth of publications prepared, commissioned and discussed among Baltic Science Network members.

On 19 March 2018, the Policy Area Education, Research and Employability (PA Education) of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) organised a stakeholder seminar in Tallinn.

Estonian Ministry of Education and Research presented Baltic Science Network. The PA Education stakeholder seminar in Tallinn was a splendid opportunity to inform wider macro-regional stakeholders about the key conclusions of the Baltic Science Seminar “New Tools for Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation in R&I Programmes” held last November in Tallinn under the helm of the Estonian EU Presidency.

In addition to Baltic Science Network, several EUSBSR flagship projects, such as the Baltic University Programme, were presented. Bearing in mind that Baltic University Programme is a member of the Baltic Science Network, the Network is delighted to witness such extensive outreach activities of the Programme. It should be noted that Baltic University Programme along the Baltic Science Network was presented also during the PA Education stakeholder seminar in Riga.

The participants of the PA Education seminar in Tallinn took the opportunity to network, share contacts and exchange ideas on how to strengthen their involvement in collaborative activities of the Baltic Sea Region. Likewise, options for future EUSBSR and Interreg cooperation were discussed.

The EUSBSR PA Education stakeholder seminar in Tallinn was part of a chain of the EUSBSR PA Education events held across the Baltic Sea Region. Readers of this press release based in Poland are invited to register for the upcoming stakeholder seminar in Warsaw.