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Knowledge Infrastructure for the Fifth Freedom in the Baltic Sea Area

image of Knowledge Infrastructure for the Fifth Freedom in the Baltic Sea Area

There is an outstanding window of opportunity to place the Nordic and Baltic Sea countries at the forefront of knowledge infrastructure for science and innovation. By fully mobilizing research, education, training, and innovation through the next generation information and communication technology (ICT), all countries involved are well-prepared to fulfill their economic, social, and environmental ambitions. The long-term benefits from leading the accelerating globalization of research and to lead the exploitation of disruptive technologies can hardly be overestimated. The knowledge infrastructure is the foundation for the effective realization of the free movement of knowledge – proposed by the European Union as the Fifth Freedom complementing the free movement of goods, capital, services, and persons. Fundamental to the Fifth Freedom are effective knowledge-sharing, well-coordinated research programs, mobility of competent researchers, and world-class research infrastructures.

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Potential Impact

For the research community, the further development of today’s eScience infrastructures into the knowledge infrastructure for the Fifth Freedom will have unprecedented impact. Information will be more easily available, the tools for processing information will be more powerful, and the support for combining multiple information and processing resources will be highly advanced and substantially more flexible than today. The development will further facilitate and promote the globalization of research, lowering organizational and geographical boundaries to the benefit of rapid scientific advances. Coordinated research programs and joint education initiatives will further support this development and facilitate increased mobility of researchers. By now taking a major step towards realizing the knowledge infrastructure in the Nordic and Baltic Sea countries, this region can act as a forerunner for EU efforts and facilitate the implementation of strategies proposed by the European Commission.

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