Nordic-Baltic dialogue in Oslo
The Baltic Assembly (BA) is an international organisation with the aim to promote cooperation between the parliaments of the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The comparison to the Nordic cooperation is clear, and during the seminar in Oslo, research and innovation was on the agenda.
The Baltic delegation was introduced to the Nordic collaboration through presentations by the Nordic Council of Ministers including the Top-level Research Initiative, NordForsk, Nordic Innovation, and Nordic Energy Research. The various projects, funding schemes and tools in use were presented, many of which were of great interest to the Baltic delegation.
Comparisons were made between the various systems in the Nordic and Baltic countries regarding differences in situation, resources and priorities.
A wide range of issues were discussed, such as the links between public and private partnership, inter-linkage between businesses and between the Nordic and European research areas, the links between research and innovation, joint Nordic Use of Research Infrastructure, and more concrete Nordic-Baltic cooperation.
The different models for cooperation represented by the three Nordic organisations were an interesting focal point, demonstrating that successful intra-Nordic collaboration can be carried out in many forms.
Gunnel Gustafsson and Ivar Kristensen, Directors of NordForsk and Nordic Innovation respectively, pointed to the importance of looking at the larger picture of international cooperation, also beyond mere funding. Networking, knowledge transfer and creating an added value together are also important effects of international collaboration that will benefit all participating partners.
Anne Cathrine Gjærde, Director of Nordic Energy Research addressed the issue of green technology and the possibilities and obstacles for carrying through such projects in the Baltic region. This issue initiated an extensive discussion, focusing on regional dependencies and resource situations on the one hand, and the importance of planning for the future on the other.
Members of the Baltic delegation expressed interest in following the Nordic cooperation closely, perhaps drawing on this model for further developing the Baltic collaboration.
– Facing globalisation we can do nothing alone, said Mr. Bronius Pauža (Lithuania), Vice Chairman of the Economic Affairs, Communications and Informatics Committee of the Baltic Assembly.
Text: Lisa H. Ekli
Foto: Yvonne Haugen