Roadmap for Excellent Nordic Research

Regarding quality Nordic research should be at the forefront globally. At an international research policy conference in Turku 27-28 August 2007 European researchers, decision makers and representatives from the industry discussed how to get there.
It isn’t All About Money
The aim is to increase the number of excellent research environments in the Nordic countries in order to attract young researchers from all over the world to the Nordic region.

“Financing is of course a prerequisite, but it takes more than just money to make excellent research”, Anneli Pauli says. Pauli is Deputy Director General of the EU Commission’s Joint Nordic Research Centre and was member of the NordForsk board 2005-2006. At the Turku conference she gave a talk on “Creative research environments, infrastructure and the human potential”.

Improved Supervision
The supervision of young researchers should be better. “In order to make the most out of the potentials of the students at the Nordic universities supervising of students must be improved”, Pauli says. “Each professor is responsible for supervising too many students. Finland has made great progress in recent years, however at the cost of professors and senior researchers”.

Minimise Bureaucracy!
According to Pauli, we need to increase investments in the very best researchers in order to enhance excellent research environments connected to these individuals. “You can’t establish units for top quality research only through administrative decision making”, says Pauli. She here makes reference to the ongoing political process that aims to establish a new innovation university in Finland.

It is also important to minimise bureaucracy and tear down the old administrative structures that complicate collaboration between research institutions. “Excellent researchers spend far too much time on administrative work”, Anneli Pauli concludes.

(Loosely translated from Finnish. Henri Hallman/ Turun Sanomat)

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