© NJ - Fotolia.com

© NJ – Fotolia.com

The CPMR Baltic Sea Commission (BSC) and its member regions have joined an exciting new pilot collaboration exploring potential opportunities for ‘clean technology’ to benefit the Baltic Sea Region. It is also a process of exploring how the ERDF-funds could be utilised in transnational cooperation.  

‘Clean technology’ refers to any process, product, or service that reduces potentially negative environmental impacts by introducing energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities.  It includes a range of technology related to areas such as recyclingrenewable energy, IT, green transportation or electric motors.

The ‘Clean-Tech’ pilot project has been formed through the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region’s (EUSBSR) ERDF Managing Authority-network. This network started spring 2016 and is made up of the managing authorities from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Germany. These Managing Authorities has agreed to jointly explore opportunities for transnational collaboration through the means of joint ERDF-calls in the Baltic Sea Region.

The pilot project, the first to be developed by the network, is being managed by the Västerbotten of Sweden. The Baltic Sea Commission and its Commissions are currently involved in initial discussions on how to develop the collaboration and drive its methodology across the area’s territories.

In spring 2017, regional and local stakeholders from all over the Baltic Sea will come together to finalise a joint call that will make use of Article 70, enabling up to 15% of the structural funds to be used in a transnational setting. The process will be funded by the Västerbotten region and the Innovation Policy Area of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Jonas Lundstrom, acting Head of Enterprise, Innovation and Social Development in Region Västerbotten, said: “By using ERDF Structural Funds more flexibly, along with the Article 70, we can enhance the work of our existing projects and processes with a transnational component.  

“In the case of this pilot, wider collaborations with other clean-tech clusters and clean-tech regions are needed. By working closely with private companies and organisations focused on development, we can address any issues and identify how we can make use of the exciting options available through clean technology.”

More specifically this call invites the following Baltic Sea Region actors to collaborate:

  • Regional authorities in BSR countries with responsibility for Smart Specialization Strategies;
  • Innovation actors, business development organisations, incubators etc. in BSR countries working with Clean-tech companies as a target group;
  • Other intermediary bodies and actors supporting Clean-tech development, who are active in different national regions in the Baltic Sea Region;
  • Other relevant organisations connected to Clean-tech industries and implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies, etc.

Example of activities in collaborations:

Joint activities identified (through stakeholder discussions) as essential to develop the Clean-tech industry opportunities are:

  • Networking, for example, cluster cooperation, matchmaking, partnerships between businesses and public organizations;
  • Knowledge transfer, such as benchmarking, joint projects, exchange of personnel;
  • Feasibility studies, for example, to develop partnerships between regions and clusters and explore business opportunities with other regions;
  • Validation of products and services through open test beds, e.g. test environments in northern Sweden.

For more information – contact Åsa Bjering (asa.bjering@crpm.org), Executive Secretary of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission.