On 22 February 2019, the University of Latvia hosted the CBSS High Level Meeting on Science. The meeting held under the Latvian CBSS Presidency was chaired by Līga Lejiņa, State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science.
Līga Lejiņa expressed her appreciation for the Member States to be able to find consensus on the importance of the research excellence, research mobility and cooperation formats in the Baltic Sea Region. She noted that the Baltic Sea Region countries should continue strengthening the cooperation in the region to overcome the innovation divide.
The Meeting gathered national delegations from 11 CBSS Member States and the European Union – more than 40 participants representing the ministries of science, Baltic Science Network partners and institutions involved in the Baltic Sea Region cooperation.
Bernd Hemingway, Deputy Director General of the CBSS Secretariat, noted the CBSS endorsement expressed during the 1st CBSS Science Ministerial in Kraków with Baltic TRAM and Baltic Science Network being the two endorsed initiatives. CBSS Baltic Sea Science Day was noted as a fairly recently started Secretariat´s initiative.
Eva Gümbel, Deputy Minister of Science, Research and Equalities, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, presented to the delegations of the CBSS members and invited guests the progress reached in the implementation of the Baltic Science Network, as well as its main achievements.
The high-level representatives highlighted the importance of the CBSS work towards implementing the Science Research Innovation Agenda.
The discussion revolved around the topics of maintaining and fostering scientific excellence, support for mobility of researchers, widening participation, transfer of knowledge and innovation to society and industry. Likewise, among the topics discussed during the meeting was smart specialisation and its importance given the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 – 2027, as well as the important role the new EU Framework Programme should play in supporting the research collaboration among the institutions based in the Baltic Sea Region.
In the concluding part of the meeting, the Chair stressed the good timing when the Baltic Science Network project was taking place since it is concluded simultaneously with several important developments, the revision of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Action Plan being one of them.
The meeting was followed by the public programme – the Baltic Science Network Final Conference held on 22 February 2019 and the CBSS Baltic Sea Science Day held on 23 February 2019. On the same day the Baltic Science Network Final Conference took place, which was proceeded by the ceremony awarding the CBSS Baltic Sea Science Day 2019 Award ahead of the annual CBSS facilitated discussions, which took place on 23 February 2019.