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Research Council of Lithuania: new opportunities for strengthening research of the 3 Baltic states

The Research Council of Lithuania is getting ready for the beginning of the Baltic Research Programme implementation. The co-research of the three Baltic states and the donor countries – Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway – must be conducted until 2024 with a budget of €23 million. The first competition for applications will take place this autumn.

The Baltic Research Programme is funded by the Iceland, the Duchy of Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway, using financial mechanism of these countries for 2014–2021. Under the memorandum of agreement, these funds account for 85% of the programme budget, 15% is contributed by the state budgets of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

In 5–6 years, 30 research projects relevant to the participating countries are to be conducted.

To select the research projects, 3 application competitions will be taking place: one of them in Estonia in the autumn of 2018, another in Latvia in 2019. In Lithuania, the implementation plan for the Baltic Research Programme will be ready in October, and the competition is planned to take place in 2020.

The projects will be implemented by the research and higher education institutions of the country that is conducting the competition, together with at least one partner institution from at least one another Baltic state and at least one from a donor country. A researcher from the country conducting the competition should lead the research group.

One project of 3 or 4 years can receive €300–800 thousand. If partners from all Baltic states are participating in a project, it will not receive more than €1 million.

The programme aims to strengthen the research potential of all the participating countries, which is why the projects should involve as many partners from various programme countries as possible. An event in Tallinn will be held for the researchers who are preparing their applications to have the chance to find Baltic research programme partners.

A programme committee involving members from both Baltic and donor countries lead programme implementation. The documents for the first Baltic Research Programme call for applications are to be approved in the first committee meeting on 29 August.

The Baltic Research Programme is conducted by the Research Council of Lithuania, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia and the the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Estonia.