Transition from 2017 to 2018 is for us in BONUS management like turning our heads from looking back to heading forward
2017 was for us a year of evaluating our work done since 2010. The final evaluation of BONUS undertaken by a panel of five independent experts appointed by the European Commission was finalised. It noted that ”…overriding conclusion is that BONUS has been in many ways a great success…remains a relevant response to the environmental and policy issues identified in the Baltic Sea region and to the difficulty of joint programming from the national level…etc.” Also, an extremely thorough audit concerning our operational processes published and demonstrated the high quality of our work. Furthermore, the implementation of 17 BONUS research and innovation projects has been completed and further projects will end in spring 2018. By the beginning of autumn a total of 13 projects continue their work together with a few new synthesis projects that will join the programme.
2018 will be focusing on the future. Already for several years BONUS has negotiated with the North Sea countries about joining forces and creating a joint Baltic and North Sea research and innovation programme. The continued discussions led to inclusion of a dedicated call for CSA in the Commission’s 2018-20 work plan with a deadline set for 13 February 2018. We are now busy preparing the proposal to be submitted in mid-February 2018 so that the serious preparatory work for the BONUS continuation with the extended geographical scope could start in the end of this year.
Who could have believed 16 years ago, when the BONUS embryo, the ERANET proposal, was prepared, where this all could lead to? Similarly, we probably cannot foresee where we will be in 16 years from now. It is called progress!
Wishing you a Happy and Successful New Year 2018!
Kaisa & the BONUS team