Nordregio at GreenLab Summit 2022
Karen Refsgaard, Research Director at Nordregio, will participate at GreenLab Summit 2022 presenting on the topic “Rural Development and Just Green Transition”. GreenLab is a green and circular energy park, a technology enabler, and a national research facility. It is specialized in accelerating research and technology to scale, and its concept transforms the way green energy is produced, converted, stored, and applied. GreenLab tests theories in practice and looks for viable green solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. This year, the program of the summit focuses on how to create green growth, rural development, and a just green transition through industrial symbioses and energy innovation. At Nordregio, we have collaborated with GreenLab on several projects on bio-economy including the BioBaltic project. Nordregio has also had a joint event together with GreenLab and OECD at COP26 in Glasgow. Read more about the GreenLab Summit 2022 here.
Nordregio co-moderates a panel discussion on the topic ´The role of regions in the Green Transition´
“The transition towards a green economy cannot be achieved with either policy or technological innovations alone. Actions are needed at multiple scales to transform the interlinked social and technical systems. However, rather than aiming for a single grand solution or ‘holy grail’, different regions may find solutions appropriate to the locally available resources, knowledge, and networks,” says Alberto Giacometti, Research Fellow at Nordregio. Giacometti, Nordregio researcher, together with Virginija Kargytė, Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania, will facilitate a discussion on this topic on 5th of May at 10:00 EET at the 3rd International Scientific Conference “Sustainable Bioeconomy Development 2022: Theory and Practice”. As part of the BioBaltic project, this session is meant to provide inspiration on how different regions and municipalities have mobilised change towards a green economy as well as to generate exchange across the Nordics and Baltics. Read more about the session and register here: https://sbd.vdu.lt/panel-discussion/
Nordregio’s position regarding the funding of research and research collaboration with Russia and Belarus
The Council of Nordic Ministers decided as of March 4, 2022, to immediately discontinue all collaborative efforts with Russia and Belarus. The Nordic Ministers for Cooperation stand united in this decision. This means that programs, projects, and activities in Russia and Belarus are discontinued until further notice. In light of the stance put forth by the Nordic Ministers for Cooperation, Nordregio issues a moratorium as regards the disbursal of project funds, the acceptance of applications, the execution of projects, and the entry into agreements and the like that involve Russian and Belarusian parties. The intention is to end all contacts and collaborative efforts with governmental and public institutions of Russian or Belarusian origin. “Intellectual and cultural engagement between individuals is an important prerequisite to creating cohesion and mutual understanding between countries. It is devastating that this war in this way will affect cooperation in academia, research and culture – fields that are meant to serve as tools for mitigating conflicts, building global understanding across borders and supporting people-to-people contacts. The Director reserves the right to decide whether specific contacts and collaborative efforts are appropriate on a case-by-case basis if the circumstances change in the future,” says Nordregio Director Rolf Elmér. Nordregio has been involved with four projects with one or several Russian counterparts: FemArc, Semper Arctic, WANO and Accelerating wood construction across Nordics and Russia. All of these projects have been halted.
Nordregio welcomes new researchers!
Nordregio is welcoming two new researchers to our team, hoping to continue producing high-quality and relevant research further. Ana de Jesus, Senior Research Fellow. De Jesus is a social scientist with a multidisciplinary background working at the intersection of global studies and economics, focusing on innovation, circular economy and sustainability. Hilma Salonen is joining Nordregio as a Research Fellow. Salonen is a social scientist who specialises in sustainability transitions, remote locations and energy politics, with a PhD focusing on Russian regional development in the Arctic and how it links with renewable energy prospects. She aims to broaden her scope to include Finnish rural regions and explore making sustainability transitions more just by focusing on habits. Salonen’s hope for working at Nordregio is to work with more practical results and more engagement with the general public.
BioBaltic: Nordic-Baltic Cooperation on circular bioeconomy
On the 11th of November, Nordregio together with Baltic partners started a two-year cooperation journey on circular bioeconomy by kicking off the BioBaltic project. Both – Nordic and Baltic countries are rich in biological and renewable resources and have a long tradition in utilizing them for generating social and economic benefits through the traditional sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as in manufacturing and related sectors such as tourism. As we transition into a green economy, there is a huge potential for innovation to develop new goods and services from biological resources while creating value locally. The BioBaltic project provides a platform for researchers, public authorities, businesses and cluster organisations for generating awareness of different bio-economy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. The project activities will be carried out by Mobile Learning Hubs (MLH) in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. MLHs are participatory mobile learning units that collect and disseminate practical and scientific knowledge, in collaboration with local actors. These combine at least one research partner, a business partner and/or local authority in addition to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ offices in each country. Nordregio is leading the project and communications activities, including the production of country-based storymaps. Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the project runs until September 2023.
Nordregio Researchers at COP26
Nordregio Research Director Karen Refsgaard and Senior Research Fellow Anna Lundgren are participating in the COP26 – United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 by moderating a panel discussion on circular and bio-economy and presenting Just Green Transition. On the 4th of November, Karen Refsgaard, Research Director and Deputy Director, will moderate a panel discussion called “Fostering circular and bio-economy – unleashing the potential with new business models” in the COP26 adjacent event “Rural Regions-Realising the net-zero opportunity”. The event is organized by OECD and Scottish Enterprise in partnership with the United Kingdom and Scotland. On the 6th of November, Anna Lundgren, Senior Research Fellow, will participate in the Nordic climate action Talkshow. Dr Lundgren will join a panel discussion called “Just Transition – social injustice and stolen futures” and present the “Not “Just” a Green Transition – Examining the path towards a socially just green transition in the Nordic Region” project. “What are the perceptions of the green transition among people in different regions and in different social groups in the Nordic region? In this Nordic Council of Ministers’ project we will have a special focus on vulnerable groups in seeking knowledge to how we can create policies for a just green transition,” says Anna Lundgren. Nordic climate action Talkshow is a joint event between the Nordic Pavilion in Glasgow and the Nordic COP26 Hub in Helsinki.