The Swedish EUSBSR network meets next time 15 October 2012 in order to discuss and report on achievements, but also to learn about Polish priorities and commitments to the Balic Sea Issues and to learn more about the development within the Danube Strategy. Agenda Östersjönätverket 20121015-1.pdf

In mid November there will be a
national conference on experiences from the structural funds and discussions about priorities for the future period. Two of the workshops during that day is dealing with the implementation of the EUSBSR.

More information on these events can be reach from the organisers Björne Hegefeldt and Maria Evertsson at The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket).

The main conclusions drawn from the conference 'Smart cooperation between Science and Industries in the Baltic Sea region', which took place in Krakow, highlight the need to strengthen cooperation, networking and connectivity of universities, research infrastructures and comercial users. All these factors are preconditions for competitiveness of the region. The future period will bring many possibilities for aligning funding from different programmes for implementing innovation projects. Taking into account that the programming process has started strategic priorities shall be set by the Member States. All actors involved should take an active role in the process. See photo.

The innovation programme BSR Stars frequently sends out newsletters about innovation cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. The goal of BSR Stars is to create world-leading  innovation hubs in the region by linking strong research and innovation environments.

In this edition of the
newsletter, you e.g. can read about the establishment of a material library in Sweden, that can serve as a hub for materials produced in the whole BSR  and northern Europe.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has launched an initiative to boost equity investments made into Baltic SMEs aiming at boosting growth. The investment capital does not involve any Structural Funds but the national agencies which are using reflows from previous Structural Fund activities.
Press release

The Danish Daily Politiken has highlighted the work done within the EUSBSR in several articles during the weekend. One additional service that has been shown is the Automatic Identification System (AIS) showing all ships and vessels. If you like to have a look on the situation right now, click on this link.

The EUSBSR Flagship Project under Priority Area 14, BRISK which is co-financed by the BSR Programme, made headlines in both leading newspapers and TV news programs in Denmark during the last days (stories in Danish).

At the centre of the debate was the project's finding that Danish catastrophe response capacity, in case of, for instance, oil spills in the Baltic Sea, is seriously lacking and among the worst in the Region. In response, the defense minister Nick Hækkerup has promised that this topic gets top-priority in discussions on the future Danish defense.

There are many stories available. Here are examples of a few:  Politiken, Danish Radio DR/Ritsau, TV2.

Brisk is Flagship project 14.2 focusing on Sub-regional Risk of Spill of Oil and Hazardous Substances in the Baltic Sea. Mapping existing marine pollution response capacities and making sub-regional plans for cross-border response cooperation, based on assessment of the integrated risk of shipping accidents.

The Nordic Ministers for Co-operation have decided that Dagfinn Høybråten from Norway will be the new Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers from March 2013.

NCM has been and is an active partner in organising events and developing ideas on how to implement the EUSBSR. The present Secretary General for NCM secretariat in Copenhagen is Mr. Halldór Ásgrímsson from Iceland.

More information on
Mr. Høybråten

The Russian Foreign Minister is looking forward to joining forces with international partner organisations in order to stimulate cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. In an interview in the Amber Bridge Magazine Minister Lavrov is analysing the developments that have taken place during the last two decades. At the same time, he is also pointing out main focuses for Russia's Precidency in the Council for Baltic Sea States organisation.

One of the main tasks according to Mr. Lavrov is: "to create a large-scale innovation fund for direct investments through PPP in order to strengthen of regional economies and to resolve infrastructure problems in Russia".

Regarding the EUSBSR, Mr. Lavrov underlines that Russia continues to hold consultations with EU to promote the interaction in the region. The whole interview can be read if clicking
on this link.

The conference report from the Third Annual Forum of the EUSBSR is now available. The event was organised jointly with the Baltic Development Forum in June 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Access the document here

Investitions Bank Schleswig Holstein (IB)  has been appointed to manage the "EUSBSR seed money facility". The total budget of this facility will be around 1.1 M€. An agreement with IB will be signed before the end of this year.

The general idea is that the facility will support projects which total budget is between 30 000 and 50 000€. At least three partners from three different EU Baltic Sea Region countries will have to be involved (in addition, neighbouring countries can also be part of a project provided of course that their participation contributes to the objectives of the Strategy). A coordinating partner from an EU Member State will have to be appointed. It can be a national, regional or local authority as well as a body governed by public law.

The eligible costs will be related to staff, travel, meetings and external experts. The administrative process will be as simple as possible. There will be a continuous submission and assessment of applications, and decisions will be taken four times a year in a written procedure.

A kick-off event is planned for early 2013, but detailed information about the whole process will be available before the end of this year.