Joint Nordic research on the offensive: Look to the Nordics!

14.12.2010
“The Nordic countries have a good chance of influencing European research and innovation policy initiatives in areas where there is a common Nordic approach,” says Gunnel Gustafsson, Director of NordForsk.
NordForsk works to promote research and research policy cooperation among the Nordic countries. This year will mark five years since the organisation was founded. “A lot has happened since we started,” states Ms Gustafsson. “Globalisation has gained pace and research priorities have shifted rapidly. This has made it even more essential than before to maintain a continued focus on international and Nordic cooperation,” she says.

According to NordForsk’s new strategy for 2011-2014, the primary objective of the organisation is to promote the development of a globally competitive research area in Europe, the European Research Area (ERA).

Opportunity and change
“European research and innovation cooperation has entered a period of opportunity and change. One exciting development is that the European Commission is increasingly viewing research and innovation together and has now appointed a commissioner responsible for both areas,” says Ms Gustafsson.

“High-calibre research and research-based innovation are essential, though not the only prerequisites, for achieving economic growth and enhancing the quality of life in the Nordic region, and can also help to advance economic and social development in Europe and the rest of the world,” she asserts.

Attracting attention in Europe
The Nordic countries, which consist of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, have a combined population of approximately 25 million and ranks as the tenth largest economy in the world, a position it shares with Canada. The countries have high levels of education, sound national economies and well-functioning political systems. Together, these five small countries on the periphery of Europe can form a critical mass in the European Research Area and in the world in general.

According to the director of NordForsk, the world – and in particular the EU – has now fully realised that the Nordic countries represent a prosperous and forward-thinking region and an interesting research area.

Read the whole article at the Research Council of Norway‘s site here



Text from the Research Council of Norway, by Siw Ellen Jakobsen/Else Lie
Photo: Johannes Jansson, norden.org
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