On 9 November 2016, prior to the Baltic TRAM session at the 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) “Achieving knowledge-driven innovation and growth in the Baltic Sea Region”, the CBSS Secretariat hosted a meeting of the Baltic TRAM partners and the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission.

The meeting served to introduce DG RTD to Baltic TRAM as well as the main outcomes of the Baltic TRAM Opening Conference and the first meeting of the Baltic TRAM High Level Group which took place on 26 – 27 October 2016 in Hamburg, Germany.

The discussions revolved around the topicalities of bringing large scale research infrastructures and the business sector closer. The CBSS Secretariat introduced DG RTD to the role of Baltic TRAM in advancing the CBSS Member States´ commitments endorsed during the first CBSS Science Ministerial on 16 June 2016, in Kraków, Poland. Likewise, the CBSS Secretariat introduced the on-going drafting process of the report on smart specialisation and innovation in the Baltic Sea Region which is prepared in line with the EUSBSR Policy Area Innovation Strategic Guide “Putting the Action Plan into practice” and in close cooperation with the science and innovation policy managing authorities of the CBSS Member States.

DG RTD informed Baltic TRAM partners about the Report on the Consultation on Long Term Sustainability of Research Infrastructures relevant also to the activities pursued in the framework of Baltic TRAM. DG RTD underlined that there is no need in diagnosing the problems as we are well aware of the bottlenecks and challenges, instead we should focus on concrete actions and solutions.

The meeting also served to reflect on the imbalance of geographical distribution of large scale research infrastructures. The digitisation agenda could serve as one of the ways how to tackle this imbalance. Moreover, it also fits with the on-going work of the Baltic Development Forum in advancing the transnational digitalisation aligned with the EUSBSR Policy Area Innovation.

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