Ms Katariina Röbbelen-Voigt, Ministry of Science, Research and Equalities, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

On 9 November 2016, in Stockholm, Sweden, the Baltic Science Network (BSN) was presented to the macro-regional stakeholders at the 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) during the session “Do we need a macro-regional dimension in higher education, science & research policy in the Baltic Sea Region?” The session was moderated by an experienced expert of macro-regional governance, the Project Manager of the Interact Point Turku Baiba Liepa.

At the beginning of the session the BSN Project Director Klaus von Lepel, representing the Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equalities, introduced the EUSBSR stakeholders to the BSN, outlining its main goals, current scope of membership as well as its embeddedness in the existing transnational and macroregional governance structures. He outlined that “from the very beginning all national or regional decision makers in the field of science policy are members in the network. Since they are already being involved in the development of transnational strategies and tools, it is more likely that after the drafting phase all involved parties will be willing and able to implement them.”

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.

Download the pdf Press Release (307 KB) .

Panel discussion on researcher mobility

On 22 September 2016 the Baltic Science Network organised the panel discussion “Researcher mobility in the Baltic Sea Region” during the Fehmarnbelt Days at the HafenCity University in Hamburg, Germany. Stakeholders from the Baltic Sea Region discussed motivation and benefits, as well as challenges and obstacles related to the mobility of researchers and scientists.

The session started with Dr. Tom Schumacher´s (University of Kiel) introduction to the facts and figures stated in the Baltic Science Network´s (BSN) preliminary study on research mobility.

Among other panellists were Katharina Fegebank, Minister for Science Research and Equalities, City of Hamburg, Jan Kercher representing German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Lone Jessen from NordForsk (the research organisation of the Nordic Council of Ministers) and Prof. Dr. Robert Blick, Director of the Center for Hybrid Nanostructures (CHYN) at the University of Hamburg. The discussion was moderated by science and education journalist Jan-Martin Wiarda.

On 4 June 2016, the Baltic Science Network was presented during the 9th International Conference on Progressive Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region, which took place in Berlin, Germany. Members of parliaments, politicians and scholars from Estonia, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Åland Islands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Russia gathered in order to discuss solutions to topical challenges related to the labour markets and education in the Baltic Sea Region.

The Baltic Science Network was presented by its Project Partner the Baltic University Programme. The presentation “Cooperation and coordination in higher education in the Baltic Sea Region” outlined main objectives of the Baltic Science Network and introduced the conference attendants to the Project Partners and Project Associates.

The 9th International Conference on Progressive Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region was organised by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
In addition, the Baltic University Programme has introduced its stakeholders to the Baltic Science Network via its Newsletter no 46 (p. 6, March, 2016) accessible here.

You may download the full pdf Press Release (138 KB) and also Paula Lindroos' pdf presentation of the BUP (445 KB) .

 

On 9 September 2016 the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Science and Equal Opportunities, Land of Schleswig-Holstein held a seminar in Tallinn. The meeting was organised to discuss the current status and future plans to increase the participation of weaker regions and countries in the Baltic Sea Region research and innovation initiatives. At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on quality criteria for the work package dealing with expansion of scientific and research cooperation. Participants acknowledged the importance of upcoming studies which are aimed at detecting barriers for participation and developing tools to overcome these challenges. These studies are especially relevant in the light of the upcoming interim evaluation of the Framework Programme ‘Horizon 2020’. Baltic Science Network members also acknowledged the relevance of cooperation with the Joint Research Centre in furthering and widening participation initiatives.
 
Please download the full pdf Press Release (157 KB) .
 
Saka Seminar

On 22–23 August 2016 the Estonian national introductory seminar of the Baltic Science Network (BSN) took place in Saka, Estonia. Meeting was organized by the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia in order to discuss future common activities with the Estonian Research Council, and how Estonian academic community could contribute to the advancement of the BSN goals and planned deliverables.

In order to put the BSN in a wider context, Ministry of Education and Research stirred a discussion on the expectations related to the EU current and upcoming Framework Programs, as well as potential ways how the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) dimension could be strengthened within these programs. The macro-regional cooperation was further discussed in the context of Estonia´s participation in the Nordic cooperation programmes.

Please download the full pdf Press Release (476 KB) .