Countries in the Nordic region must improve conditions for research if they are to avoid being left behind by other larger European countries, members of the Nordic Council have said. Priorities should include involvement in international projects, and research collaboration. The comments were made by members of the Centre Group, one of the parliamentary groups within the Council. 'There are no two ways about it. We have to work even more closely together on research in the Nordic Region,' said Dagfinn Høybraaten, a member of the Centre Group and President of the Nordic Council. 'Closer collaboration will benefit the individual research units, but above all else it will put Nordic research on a far better footing in the face of global competition. When we all pull together, Nordic research assumes the kind of critical mass that allows us to compete on equal terms with the major European nations,' he continued. The Centre Group suggests that emphasis should be placed on harmonising the work of individual national research councils and opening up national programmes. Mr Høybraaten says that these changes are needed to ensure the region's future prosperity. 'If the Nordic welfare model is to cope with the demands of the future, we must provide the best possible conditions for innovation, education and research. We will, for example, be dependent on mobility and dynamism in the research environment. We need to make it easier and more attractive for Nordic researchers to work anywhere in the Region. 'Hopefully this proposal will go some way towards generating exciting new research projects and, in particular, will help produce Nordic research of a high international calibre,' he surmised. Established in 1957, the Nordic Council is a forum for Nordic parliamentary cooperation. The Council has 87 elected members, representing the five countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) and three autonomous territories of the region (the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland).
Denmark, Finland, Faeroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden