Currently, in the field of civil security in the Baltic Sea Region, there is no common or standard mechanism to ensure the use of results from research to the fullest. This means that much of the output from extensive research projects is not reaching practitioners and is not contributing to saving human lives and valuable property.
The new project Baltic Sea Region (BSR) Research Network on Societal Security (BSR-RNSS), recently funded by the Swedish Institute, aims to address this issue.
The kick-off meeting with the project partners was held on 2-3 October 2018 in Stockholm and was welcomed by the Director General of the CBSS Secretariat Maira Mora. “It is an honour for us to bridge the cooperation gap with the BSR Research Network for Societal Security by establishing a research base for building a common societal security culture”, said Ambassador Mora in her address.
The project partners: research institutions working in the field of societal security in the Baltic Sea Region, joined by their counterparts from the Republic of Belarus, private sector and NGO representatives, spent two days in active discussions on the best ways of organizing the work of the Research Network and the focus for the project. Previous projects’ results, the experience of the CIVPRO Civil Protection Network, existing platforms for cooperation and potential funding mechanisms were also taken into consideration. The prevailing opinion in the group discussions was that the network should be rather horizontal and multi-disciplinary and include a broad range of topics within the societal security field (including, for example: scenario-based training, effectiveness in disaster risk reduction, ICT for resilience, perceptions of risks by citizens, decision making systems, crisis communication in cross-border cooperation and standardisation of statistics)
The participants agreed that:
- There is a need to create a mechanism for sharing results both from projects and research, and to make results more accessible for policy makers and practitioners (end-users).
- A solution for this could be the network for which the BSR-RNSS can be the starting point, and potentially a regional (BSR) Community of Users.
- One of the missing building blocks is the network between researchers, therefore, it is important to establish the network in the BSR-RNSS, and thereafter connect it to existing networks of practitioners such as the Policy Area Secure (EUSBSR) Steering Group and the CBSS Civil Protection Network.
- A mapping should be done by the group to identify which gaps the network should aim to fill.
The next meeting of the Research Network will take place in Helsinki on 22 – 23 January 2019, hosted by Laurea University.