Seminar in St.Petersburg concluded Cooperation Programme
Since the Cooperation Programme with Russia began in 2002, 12 projects on topics ranging from climate issues to various aspects of modern Russian society have been implemented under the programme. The programme’s activities have now been concluded and were summed up in a seminar in St. Petersburg on 14-15 March.
The Norwegian Cooperation Programme with Russia in Higher Education and Research (2002-2006) was initiated by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been fully financed with Norwegian allocations. A total of NOK 40 million has been allocated to projects that have provided Norwegian and Russian researchers and universities with a new arena for cooperation.
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Wide array of research topics
Climate and the environment have been key topics under the programme. In one project, the fauna of the Barents Sea was studied to determine how the ecosystem is affected by climate change. In another project, Norwegian and Russian researchers acquired new knowledge about human settlements in the Arctic regions of Russia during the Ice Age. Important knowledge has also been acquired on research topics related to the economic, legal, sociological and health-related aspects of modern Russian society thanks to funding from the programme.
Studies in economics and business administration
The Cooperation Programme with Russia has also made it possible to implement measures in higher education. In cooperation with Novgorod State University, Telemark University College has established a new study programme in economics and business administration, which so far has produced 160 graduates.
New programme beginning in 2007
When the new Cooperation Programme with Russia begins later this year, Anne Kjersti Fahlvik, Executive Director of the Division for Strategic Priorities at the Research Council, hopes that the valuable experience gained from the first four years of the programme will be put to good use in the second phase. “It takes time to develop a partnership and work out all the practical aspects of this type of collaboration,” explains Fahlvik.
“We would like to see the Russians and Norwegians play more equal roles in the partnership. We hope that Russia will contribute its share of the funding and that the range of research topics will be expanded, especially in areas where Russia has leading expertise that Norway can learn from,” says Fahlvik.
“So far the collaboration has been focused on the north-western region of the country. The new initiative could mean that we must include larger areas of Russia in the programme,” Fahlvik believes.
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