Celebrating Research and Innovation Across the Baltic Sea Region Ahead of the World Science Day for Peace and Development 2016

Director General’s Statement:

In line with the commitments enshrined in the United Nations Resolution (UNESCO 31 C/Resolution 20) introducing the World Science Day for Peace and Development, I am honoured to take this celebratory occasion and present the most recent activities of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) which contribute to the advancement of science as an enabler of sustainable societies. The guidelines are enshrined in the CBSS Polish Chair´s Conclusions “Baltic Science: Renewing the Commitment to Science/Research Joint Actions in the Baltic Sea Region” launched on 16 June 2016 in Kraków, Poland, during the first CBSS Science Ministerial. The framework for these activities is the CBSS Science, Research and Innovation Agenda.

In 2016 the Secretariat of the CBSS will celebrate the World Science Day for Peace and Development by taking part in discussions of the Baltic Science Network (BSN) – the leading transnational platform for science and research policy in the Baltic Sea Region. I would like to remind that BSN is one of the two cornerstones of the CBSS Science, Research and Innovation Agenda as well as a flagship of the Policy Area Education, Research and Employability of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).

Moreover, in line with broader commitments embodied by the World Science Day for Peace and Development, I would also like to take this opportunity to reflect on the upcoming discussion regarding the macro-regional cooperation during the 7th Strategy forum of the EUSBSR. In the context of the Vision 2030 of the Baltic Sea Region , the CBSS welcomes the EUSBSR aspirations to safeguard long-term cooperation cultures. I should point out that the CBSS shares this view, since the Council has ensured continuous joint work despite diverging views on specific matters. Moreover, thorough its decades-long work and continuous support of strategic partnerships and synergies among various Baltic Sea Region-wide foras, the CBSS stands as the torchbearer of the Baltic Sea Region cooperation and represents a tradition of lasting and inclusive dialogue encompassing various domain specific matters, science and research cooperation being one of them.

Furthermore, I would like to outline the role of the CBSS Science, Research and Innovation Agenda in the context of advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The CBSS aspirations and undergoing work in enhancing the science and research cooperation as well as innovation performance across the Baltic Sea Region are aligned with its three core long-term priorities reviewed in 2014Regional Identity, Sustainable and Prosperous Region, and Safe and Secure Region.

Through the Regional Identity lens, the CBSS supported Baltic Science Network is contributing to strengthening neighbourliness, since it is addressing mobility and networking shortfalls currently faced by the Baltic Sea Region in science and research domains spanning beyond the EU area.

Through the Sustainable and Prosperous Region lens, the CBSS supported Baltic TRAM (Transnational Research Access in the Macroregion) project addresses the aspirations of Baltic Sea Region states to remain in the European leadership positions in terms of innovation performance, thus sustaining the welfare of nations inhabiting the region. Moreover, the Baltic TRAM policy shaping angle is being moulded in line with the Sustainable Development Goal No 9 „Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, thus aligning the macroregional level goals of the Policy Area Innovation of the EUSBSR with internationally endorsed commitments.

Coming back to the celebratory occasion of the World Science Day for Peace and Development, I would like to commend the Baltic Science Network for its successful start. The Baltic Science Network’s Stockholm meeting on 10 November 2016 will be dedicated to outline the roadmap for accelerated Baltic Sea Region-wide cooperation. It will lay out the first drafted solutions for facilitated collaboration between science and research institutions of varying performance. The lessons learned from previous initiatives, such as the Stairway to Excellence, the Framework Programme 7 project “Mobilising Institutional Reforms in Research and Innovation Systems” (MIRRIS) and “European Cooperation in Science and Technology” (COST), will be put in action in a transnationally coordinated manner. Therefore, the meeting will mark a transition phase from the initial setting-up of the Network’s points of contact on domain specific matters, which was initiated during the BSN Political Kick-Off on 16 June 2016 in Kraków, Poland.

To conclude, I am glad to see that in the Baltic Science Network context, the World Science Day for Peace and Development will serve as a landmark of smooth progression towards initiating a lasting transnational policy dialogue on science, research and academic mobility.