The CBSS vision for improvements in connecting research and practitioners – the Research Roadmap for Societal Security – was presented during the 17th Meeting of Directors General for Civil Protection in the BSR, in May 2019. It received the Directors’ support to move forward with concrete initiatives in this area. One response to this is the development of a framework for closer cooperation between higher education institutions and end-users in the field of societal security in the BSR which resulted in a project proposal “Needs-based education and studies in societal security” (NEEDS). NEEDS aims to increase the possibility to develop demand-driven and needs-based education through closer cooperation between higher education institutions and experts and practitioners from the field.
Under the the Baltic Sea Region Research Network on Societal Security (BSR-RNSS) project (funded by the Swedish Institute), two intensive and hands-on workshops were held on 25 November 2019 and 16 December 2019 in Stockholm with the project partners. During the two workshops, the participants worked on developing concrete content for the NEEDS project.
The consortium will be led by the CBSS Secretariat and made up of higher education institutions from across the Baltic Sea Region as well as practitioner organisations:
- Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service (Germany)
- Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
- Riga Technical University (Latvia)
- Swedish Defence University
- The Main School of Fire Service (Poland)
- Union of the Baltic Cities, Safe Cities Commission (Latvia)
In addition, a seminar on the concept of Societal Security was organised in-between the first NEEDS workshop and the 12th Policy Area Secure Steering Group meeting, in Stockholm on 26 November 2019. Questions regarding what the ‘Societal Security’ entails and how it is being used in regional cooperation formats have come up in both the Policy Area Secure Steering Group meetings and the (BSR-RNSS) project meetings. Therefore, it was an opportune time to dive into a discussion on how this concept is used and how we would like it to be used. The conceptual discussion was cross-sectoral, incorporating both research institutions and practitioners from PA Secure.