On 24 January, representatives of Latvia and Norway met at the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia to discuss the opportunities provided by the Norwegian and EEA grants for Nordic-Baltic cooperation in research and the added value of the regional cooperation.
The meeting was opened and chaired by Arne Flåøyen, Director of NordForsk. NordForsk is an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers that provides funding for and facilitates Nordic cooperation on research and research infrastructure. Latvia was represented by several members of the Department of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation of the Ministry of Education and Science and representatives of the Latvian Council of Science and the University of Latvia. Researchers and experts from the Research Council in Estonia, Lithuania, and Norway, as well as representatives from the Nordic Council of Ministers’ offices in all the Baltic States also participated.
Participants discussed the added value of Baltic-Nordic research cooperation projects. The added value of such cooperation is invaluable and among other things it helps to strengthen the perception of the Nordic and Baltic countries as unified region, and to improve the exchange of knowledge and experience between researchers and institutions on a wider scale. The workshop also included practical group work with participants discussing the funding opportunities from Norway and various EU funding options. Other topics were the efficiency of funding administration, local challenges for researchers, and added value of regional research.
The experts also discussed the impact of Nordic-Baltic research cooperation on society as a whole, strategy behind the regional cooperation and benefits to society. NordForsk will summarize the insights from the workshop in a paper that can be used in the dialogue between national and international bodies about future Baltic–Nordic research collaboration.
Inta Mieriņa, Associate Professor at the University of Latvia, shared her experience of participating in the Nordic-Baltic research project. A representative of the Estonian Research Council spoke about regional cooperation from the perspective of national funders, and Birgit Jacobsen, Senior Researcher at the Research Council of Norway, spoke about EEA and Norway grants and the first Baltic Regional Research Programme.
This meeting is an example of practical multilateral gain as o signing the agreement between the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia and the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2012 on cooperation on the development of Latvian system of science.
NordForsk was established in 2005 by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the purpose of strengthening Nordic research. NordForsk’s key stakeholders comprise the national research councils, universities, and other research-funding bodies. It brings together national research groups and promotes research activities of the highest scientific quality. NordForsk seeks to enhance the quality, impact, and efficiency of Nordic research cooperation, thereby helping the Nordics to become the global leader in research and innovation.
More about NordForsk and its grants: https://www.nordforsk.org/