Professor Marja Makarow, vice president for research at the Academy of Finland, has been appointed as the chair of the NordForsk Board for a two-year term. NordForsk is an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers that provides funding for Nordic research cooperation as well as advice and input on Nordic research policy.
NordForsk aims to bring added value to research activities in the Nordic countries, and thereby to strengthen the position and influence of Nordic research, both in Europe and globally. Promoting excellence in research, the organisation launches strategic initiatives that pool together national research groups in large-scale Nordic programmes based on common pots.
NordForsk also initiates debate on research policy and provides the Nordic Council of Ministers with policy advice as a basis for joint Nordic research strategies and priorities.
“At present, one of the new initiatives is a programme in the humanities and social sciences dealing with green growth and sustainable society. NordForsk has earmarked approximately 20 million Norwegian kroner or some 2.5 million euros for the programme. The goal is to produce new knowledge on the kind of societal, economic and environmental expertise that is required by sustainable growth in today’s globalised world,” explains Makarow.
Another major area of development is the establishment of Nordic research infrastructures. For example, work is underway to plan a joint Nordic database to support research in the field of health and welfare. A funding call is also about to be opened. NordForsk is also keen to boost the shared use of existing Nordic and other European research infrastructures.
“The NordForsk Board recently decided to fund eight major Nordic research infrastructures, several of which are included in the ESFRI roadmap. This will serve to strengthen the position of the Nordic countries in extensive European research infrastructure projects,” says Makarow.