Nordic-Russian Collaboration in Research: Workshop in St. Petersburg

28.11.2007
11-13 November 2007 the workshop “NORIA meets Russia. Nordic and Russian cooperation in research and research training” was arranged in St. Petersburg. The seminar brought together 61 researchers, academics, and decision-makers from the Nordic countries and the Russian Federation.
Mechanisms and Best Practice
There was an overall consensus that there is an obvious need for intensifying Nordic-Russian cooperation in research and research training. Best practices and effective mechanisms to ensure fluent Nordic–Russian collaboration need to be identified. NordForsk will summarize the results of the seminar in a report that can serve as a basis for future joint actions between the Nordic countries and Russia.

Aims
The long term aims of such Nordic–Russian coordination activities are:
  1. To lower thresholds of cooperation between the combined Nordic countries and NW Russia in the fields of research and researcher training.
  2. To explore new aspects and ways of collaboration and to intensify contacts and activities in Northern Europe
Introductory Speeches
The workshop was chaired by NordForsk‘s chair Kari Kveseth, International Director of the Norwegian Research Council. In her opening speech she emphasised the necessity of collaboration between the Nordic countries and North-West Russia and stressed that cooperation is beneficial for the Northern European region as a whole.

Gard Titlestad from the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) outlined the NCM’s strategy of bringing forces of all the five Nordic countries together in order to gain synergies and face challenges and opportunities of globalisation. It was stressed that the Knowledge-Building and Networking Programme for the North-West Russia is the main instrument of cooperation. It is expected that preparatory talks with the Russian partners on priorities in education and research will continue throughout the coming winter and will be finalised by spring 2008.

Harry Zilliacus from NordForsk presented NordForsk‘s approaches in education and research targeting North-West Russia. Russians are participating in 28% of all the projects funded by NordForsk at present, whereas Baltic partners are involved in 53% of them.

Sub Sessions
The work shop included sub-sessions on the following topics:
  • Strategy and Funding, policy
  • Programmes and calls: international organizations experience;
  • Networking/research perspective;
  • Information and Administration - distribution of information, communication, identifying partners, research groups.

The workshop “NORIA meets Russia. Nordic and Russian cooperation in research and research training” was organised by NordForsk and Council of Rectors of the North-West Russia and hosted by the St. Petersburg State University.

(Yana Bocharova & Andrey Anisimov, NCM St. Petersburg. Edited by NordForsk.)
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