Calls for closer Nordic co-operation on register-based research

At the conference Joint Nordic Focus on Research Infrastructures – Looking to the Future in Stockholm, leading actors showed aspirations of increased Nordic collaboration. The conference 27-28 November was jointly arranged by the Nordic Council of Ministers, NordForsk and the Swedish Research Council. A joint statement was issued in favour of closer collaboration within the research areas Materials & Molecules, Climate & Environment, e-Science, Training/Education and Health & Welfare. Also the importance of developing a common policy on Nordic research infrastructure was raised.

Nordic databases for researchers: Specific requests were raised at the conference for the Nordic statistics offices and other health bodies in the Region to work together and make their databases more accessible to researchers throughout the Region. This would require a joint approach to issues such as ethics and privacy. Although it may require changes to legislation, it should also be possible to achieve a great deal in simpler ways. An interesting model for how this could be done has been tested in Denmark and was presented at the conference by Mads Melbye of Statens Serum Institut. According to Anders Geertsen, the approach is worth spreading further in the Region.
Erland Hjelmquist of the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte ) was positive about the Danish model and said that it is imperative that actions are taken before Nordic research loses ground. Recommendations from the expert network under NordForsk (NORIA-net on Registries) will be discussed and followed up on by the councils of ministers for health and social affairs and for and health and for education and research.

Link to information from the meeting at the NordForsk web page

Link to information from the meeting at the web page of the Swedish Research Council

Link to the conference web page with webcasts and where common statements will be posted