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The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

Innovation is of key importance to the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). As a driving force of increased prosperity, it is highly relevant to realising the potential of all of the 13 Policy Areas and 4 Horizontal Actions established by the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The EUSBSR that was launched by the European Union in 2009 as its first macro-regional strategy sets out three overall objectives: ‘Save the Sea’, ‘Connect the Region’, and ‘Increase Prosperity’.

The objective of Policy Area Innovation (PA-INNO) is to promote a globally competitive position within research and innovation for growth in the BSR. This will be achieved mainly by increasing innovation capacity and supporting entrepreneurship, business development, and science within the three drivers of innovation identified in this document: Market, Knowledge, and Challenges. Innovation is a hallmark of the region, and several of the region’s countries top the European and global rankings for innovation capacity. Key overarching guidelines include enhancing this strength, increasing its effectiveness in creating broadly shared economic value, and extending it to parts of the region that are lagging behind in innovation performance.

This Strategy Guide for the period 2016-2020 was developed through close dialogue with the PA-INNO Management Team assigned to the task. It draws on two transnational track reports on Transnational Digital Collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region and Clustering and SME-Development as well as on an online survey of EUSBSR member states on transnational digital collaboration in the BSR. The latter includes an annex on national profiles on digital policy for the Baltic Sea Region states.In addition, input was provided by all BSR member states prior to the Strategy Guide’s publication in September 2016 by the PA-INNO Steering Committee.
The aim of the Strategy Guide is to provide policymakers and innovation actors with guidance and inspiration for how best to utilise the EUSBSR so as to effectively achieve EU and joint national goals.

The monitoring guide for the implementation of this strategy connects the role of PA-INNO to specific targets.

The BSR Stars is a programme for Research & Innovation (R&I), Clusters and SME networks in the Baltic Sea Region. The objective of BSR Stars is to create a number of world-leading innovation hubs in the Baltic Sea region by fostering R&I and business-driven transnational collaboration between companies, strong R&I milieus, clusters and SME networks, in order to strengthen economic growth in the whole Baltic Sea region. BSR Stars will mobilize transnational cooperation between competences and actors in the Baltic Sea region in order to successfully address some of the grand societal challenges with expected large global market potentials. BSR Stars will, together with other networks, develop platforms where students, universities and companies can develop new products and services together with companies. The platform is an enabler for novel cross-border university-business cooperation to create real solutions to existing problems and challenges in the Baltic Sea region. BSR Stars focus on utilizing the regions smart specialization strategy combining research, innovation and cooperation, leading to capacity building, stronger international competitiveness, increase in foreign investments and world-class players in some strategic areas. The BSR Stars work to strengthen the co-operation in the region by development of methods for better exploiting the potential of innovative SMEs by connecting SME networks, mainly initiated at local/regional levels.

 In order to implement the Programme, ensure its continuity and proper use of accumulated experience and active co-operation Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Nordic countries are working as a team in the field of the Baltic States innovation needs. The in-kind resources from the Baltic states are hands-on engines for partnership search, project facilitators at their own respective countries and a push forward for more transnational projects coming into being with Baltic states participation. It supports the core activities in the Programme which are the transnational collaboration projects on innovation: strategic alliances, linking research & innovation milieus, transnational cluster cooperation and SME-networking.

BSR Stars will continue to mobilize actors via ‘BSR Innovation Express’ – a joint call to improve the internationalization of clusters and the SME network. This will enable cluster organizations and companies to access support for networking, business match-making and market research activities etc.

Last updated: 09-09-2020