HA Neighbours organized a seminar “Researcher Mobility in the Baltic Sea Region” in the framework of the CBSS Baltic Sea Science Day 2019 on 23 February in Riga, Latvia. As science and research are essential to achieve the EUSBSR goals, it is necessary to foster scientific cooperation and exchange of expertise in the region. To maintain its position as “science powerhouse”, the Baltic Sea Region needs to focus more on making research mobility attractive and an organic form of regional cooperation.

For HA Neighbours, cooperation covers always the whole region, and does not limit solely to the EU-countries. And for this reason, it was important to highlight the possibilities of research mobility for the region, and how it can be a way to continue regional cooperation despite political tensions. Scientists have a long tradition of cooperating and they see the value of working together. In addition, many fields are not politically sensitive which makes scientific cooperation ideal.  At the moment, Russia could be better involved in cooperation in the fields of research and innovation.

To make research mobility a natural part of the Baltic Sea Region, we need, first of all, positive attitude towards being international and to see the added value it can bring to our region. Particularly, young researchers can pave the way if they are given enough opportunities for cooperation within the Baltic Sea Region. Some other, more concrete steps taken to improve the mobility are summer camps, short term exchanges and better use of existing infrastructure. These tools have been developed in an EUSBSR Flagship, Baltic Science Network, which has applied for extension for the project to continue the work for better scientific cooperation.