Successful conference in Riga

The conference Cooperation on Research Training in the Baltic Sea Area was arranged by NorFA and Nordic Research Policy Council in Riga 10th and 11th May 2004. The speakers stressed among other things the need for increased efforts in postdoc-training, mobility and more Nordic centres of excellence.
Latvia‘s new minister of education, Mr Juris Radzevics said in his opening speech that the Baltic region is going through a dynamic change and that the support from and co-operation with the Nordic countries are highly appreciated.

Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Mr Per Unckel, said in his speech that the competition from the USA within research makes it necessary for the small European countries to co-operate. He also stressed the need for the areas of research and innovation to co-operate in order to make the Nordic countries more competitive. He thought that Gustav Björkstrand‘s recommendations in the white paper on research and innovation might include the Nordic-Baltic research area, and that NorFA is an important actor in this respect.

During the conference it was pointed out that postdoc training is an important area for all countries in the region, which is also stated in the political objectives of the Lisboa and Barcelona meetings and the Bologna process. An international market for intellectual resources is now being developed and a need for standardisation and harmonisation of research training is emerging.

Speakers also mentioned the need for mobility on one hand and the fear of brain drain on the other. The practical barriers to co-operation were also brought up, such as different national systems and criteria, different systems of finance, different social conditions and bureaucratic barriers.

Among the recommendations were the development of new methods of co-operation and more Nordic centres of excellence, a model that benefits hundreds of researchers in a relatively inexpensive way.

Presentations from the conference can be downloaded here:
Barbara M. Kehm: Reforming Doctoral Education in Europe
Kjetil Duvold: Networking or Splendid Isolation? The Conditions for Research Training in Lithuania
Kjetil Duvold: Additional tables
Anatoli Bourmistrov: Organization of research training: Comparison between Norway and Russia
Vladimir Zakrzhevsky: Peculiarities of Russian-Nordic academic exchanges
Vibeke Hein Olsen: Organisation of Research Training in Denmark
David E. Schindel: Trends in US Graduate Training: Beyond the Disciplinary Cores
Baiba Rivza: Research training system in Latvia
Vilhjalmur Ludviksson: Concluding remarks
Taneli Kolström: Network for Dendroecological and Dendrochronological Research in Northern Europe

Conference programme

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