Commentary by Reijo Vihko: "NordForsk speeding up"

09.03.2005
In the developed parts of the world, all organizations related to research and research funding are facing the same problem: how to increase the quality, efficiency and societal influence of their research.
Although it is well known that most of innovations come on previous innovations and do not need any scientific research to be realised, the most important findings in science have always had substantial societal impact.

It is realistic that the Nordic Council of Ministers is reorganising its structures to let new ideas be realised in the Nordic context. NordForsk is a result of a careful analysis of Nordic research, and is certainly going to find its place in the rapidly changing world. It is being built on the very good foundations laid by NorFA and the Nordic Research Political Board (Forskningspolitiska Rådet), which successfully served Nordic collaboration for decades. Especially NorFA became widely known for it’s expertise in research training, and in networking Nordic science. Now the new arrangements give increased possibilities to combine the central elements in basic research and research training on a Nordic basis, which also makes use of the resources in countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We know that there are fewer young people interested in research than in the past, and therefore this possibility for wider collaboration is important. NordForsk is also an omen of a world wide change, in which more and more power is transferred into the hands of the researchers themselves. So is the case also in the present development. It is believed that NordForsk, directed by people active in science and research, can build up networks with the universities, research institutions and entrepreneurs. Although the resources at NordForsk are very small, they can be expanded in the future, if NordForsk is able to realise its plans. There is no lack of work in science, and we can do it together.
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