The project kick-off for Needs-based Education and Studies in Societal Security (NEEDS) was held online on 22nd and 24th September 2020. Janusz Gąciarz, Senior Adviser for Civil Security at CBSS welcomed the meeting participants and explained the historical development as well as the rationale of the NEEDS project.  

 The NEEDS project brings together higher education institutions and practitioner organisations, working with societal security, in the Baltic Sea Region – in order to address the skills gap and mismatch between the societal security education and the knowledge needs in the field. It also aims to strengthen transnational cooperation and dialogue between Higher Education Institutes, practitioners, and experts in tackling these issues. 

The project partners spent two days in active discussions focusing on the planned project outputs and activities, as well as the expected results of the project. The partners also crafted key messages and collaborated on important elements of the communications and dissemination strategy. 

Project partners are: 

  1. Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat (CBSS) (Lead Partner) 
  2. Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service (Germany) (HFRS) 
  3. Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Finland) (Laurea UAS) 
  4. Riga Technical University (Latvia) (RTU) 
  5. Swedish Defense University (SEDU) 
  6. The Main School of Fire Services (Poland) (MSFS/SGSP) 
  7. Liepajas Municipal Police (Latvia) / Union of the Baltic Cities Safe Cities Commission (UBC SCC) 
  8. UiT The Arctic University Norway (UiT) 

Associated partners include: 

  • University of Latvia 
  • State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia  

At the end of the project the partners are expected to create an online module, study material and a pedagogical approach in societal security that will be co-developed by the partners in the project.

The NEEDS project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. It is also one concrete result of the previous initiative, Baltic Sea Region (BSR) Research Network on Societal Security (BSR-RNSS), funded by the Swedish Institute