BONUS at the 6th EUSBSR Annual ForumBONUS participated in the 6th Annual Forum for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in Jurmala, Latvia on 15-16 June 2015. The Annual Forum was a great opportunity for networking with many stakeholders from policy makers to industry and other key actors, and communicating about science and knowledge in support of blue growth agenda.
A revised Action Plan of the
EUSBSR was presented during the Annual Forum and now consists of 13 policy
areas and 4 horizontal actions, in total 17 thematic areas of macro-regional
significance. It also includes a new chapter on the role of regional
organisations/networks, including BONUS, and their added-value within the
The BONUS exhibition in the networking village ran the full duration of the Forum and attracted a steady flow of visitors. Amongst the visitors wanting to learn more about the BONUS programme and projects it funds, was the Commissioner Carlos Moedas for Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission.
In the morning of the second day, the BONUS workshop session titled “Niches matter more, borders less” considered further the relationship between science and knowledge. The session used sustainable blue growth as an example to illustrate how the challenge of true integration of science and society’s knowledge is being achieved, not just within the usual policy horizon, but in a long-term in 25, 50, 100 years and more given the necessity to transit to ‘ecosystem-based management’ beyond national boundaries. The panellists of the session included Professor Mike Elliot of University of Hull; Jana Moldanova, Swedish Environmental Research Institute and BONUS project SHEBA coordinator; Alf Norkko, University of Helsinki from BONUS project COCOA; Henn Ojaveer, University of Tartu and coordinator of BONUS project INSPIRE, and Eeva Rantama from INTERREG Secretariat, Baltic Sea Region Programme. In addition Professor Hans von Storch, University of Hamburg, and Kaisa Kononen, Executive Director of BONUS joined the session’s panellists via a video link established from the Baltic Sea Science Congress held in Riga at the same time. The session was moderated by Pauli Merriman, Director of WWF Baltic Sea Ecoregion Programme and Andris Andrusaitis, Programme Manager of BONUS.
The inspiring day for BONUS was concluded with a Baltic Sea communicators’ network initiation meeting “Tell it together, tell it loud” coorganised by HELCOM, Baltic Eye and BONUS. Food for thought was provided by inspiring presentations from two European communicators’ networks i.e. the Baltic Sea communicators network in Finland which was presented by Tuula Putkinen, Communication Manager, John Nurminen Foundation, and the European Science Foundation’s Marine Board Communications Panel which was presented by its member Kjartan Maestad, Communications Manager, Marine Institute, Bergen. In addition, the professional communicators convened to Jurmala heard about the expectations from the media perspective as the leading science journalist of Latvia, Sandra Kropa took the stage. Different points of views from Baltic Sea countries and macroregional actors were considered (in panels: Sven Paulus - Estonia, Saara Reinimäki - Finland, Barbara Hentzsch - Germany, Ieva Firere - Latvia, Olga Senova - Russia, Ulf Wikström - INTERAct Turku, and Marie von Stauffenberg - CBSS). The sessions were moderated by Maija Sirola, Communications Manager of BONUS. The general outcome of the meeting was very supportive of taking tangible next steps in closer collaboration of communicators in the science policy interface in the region. The leading organiser of the event, Johanna Laurila, Information Secretary, HELCOM together with the co-organisers of the event was left to consider the best approaches in forming a network and adding value and strength to the Baltic Sea macroregional communicators’ efforts in the coming months and years.