Monday, 28 September 2020 10:59

EUSBSR in the eyes of innovators

Written by  Let's communicate! & PA Innovation Coordinator Esa Kokkonen

Nowadays, while the world is changing rapidly, innovation is everywhere around us and digital transformation encompassed all areas of life. Steve Jobs once said, “innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.

What opportunities innovations provide to Baltic Sea Region (BSR) countries? How to achieve the best results and create added value using joint forces at regional level? What is the role of Policy Area (PA) Innovation in European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)? This and much more was discussed with PA Innovation coordinator Esa Kokkonen (The Baltic Institute of Finland).

Policy Area Innovation (PA INNO) promotes a globally competitive position within innovation for sustainable economic growth in the BSR and provides a strong platform for an enhanced macroregional collaborative ecosystem for innovation, research, SMEs and digitalization.

- PA Innovation enables shared learning through knowledge-transfer activities, creates and strengthens networks across the Baltic Sea region, aligns resources and regulations e.g. through co-ordination of funding sources, facilitates the joining up of forces in common programs and investments and in the development of solutions for common challenges and enhances BSR’s profile, visibility and attractiveness as a partner of choice for international innovation cooperation within and beyond the BSR, PA Innovation coordinator Esa Kokkonen explained.


Policy Area Innovation Coordinators from left: Reet Reismaa, Esa Kokkonen and Tomasz Jalukowicz


Great number of stakeholders operate under one policy area

As policy areas are very complex and multilevel structure, PA INNO steering committee (SC) was created to advise and assist PA Innovation coordinators in order to ensure equal involvement of all EUSBSR Member States in the development, implementation and monitoring of actions under the EUSBSR PA Innovation. A lot of different stakeholders take place under PA Innovation.

- PA Innovation SC has representatives from all EUSBSR / EEA Member States, mainly from ministries of economy, higher education and science, and from national innovation agencies, as well as European Commission and Action/Flagship initiative leaders. What is more, other national level government agencies and organizations, such as innovation agencies, universities and other research and knowledge institutions, large scale research infrastructures, business development, cluster and technology transfer organizations, incubators and co-creation platforms/ecosystems, industry associations and companies are also strongly involved in PA INNO as action/flagship operators and stakeholders, Mr. Kokkonen remarked.

It is worth mentioning, that PA Innovation stakeholders also include financial institutions, NGOs and communities, as well as look for a synergy with other EUSBSR PAC/HAC and other macro-regional strategies (Danube, Alpine, Adriatic). PA Innovation coordinator Esa Kokkonen stressed out the importance of cross-sectoral topics and cross-PA cooperation.

-PA INNO actively explore synergies with other PAs and HAs and support them with best practices, learnings and other outcomes of PA INNO flagships, as well utilize their knowledge and data on joint BSR challenges.

Can you believe what a great number of stakeholders operate under one policy area?


Flagship success stories

Talking about outputs of PA Innovation, it is important to emphasize the success of flagships.

- PA INNO flagships such as BSR Stars, SUBMARINER Network, ScanBalt, Baltic Science Link and BSR Digi co-lab have produced numerous interesting and highly relevant results and new solutions e.g. in the fields of research collaboration, health, blue growth, bio/circular economy and digital economy. PA INNO experiences and results on transnational S3 are providing strong evidence and basis for the next wave of S3 in the next EU programming period, PA Innovation coordinator Esa Kokkonen stated.

-Moreover, the civil society involvement has been promoted through PA INNO flagship activities. Many PA INNO flagships focus on citizen/community engagement and participation and multi-stakeholder co-creation in their project activities. Those include e.g. accelerator camps and co-creation and matchmaking events etc.


Sharing, learning, and joint actions

What is more, EUSBSR PA Innovation actions (Action 1: Challenge-driven innovation; Action 2: Digital innovation and transformation; Action 3: Co-creative innovation) strengthen the BSR contribution to the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, Blue Growth Strategy and The Digital Single Market. According to PA Innovation coordinators, through sharing, learning, and joint actions with other BSR countries, development of transnational platforms, clusters and value chains, co-creation and piloting of products and services, as well as promotion of BSR good practices and competence Europe-wide through cross-MRS exchange, PA Innovation contributes to EU policy making and promotes opportunities for the region.

In general, providing a strong platform for enhanced macroregional collaborative ecosystem for innovation, research, SMEs and digitalization, PA INNO helps versatile BSR innovation cooperation to evolve into strategic and complementary actions with stronger impact and more scalable results. Even though fast changes sometimes drop you out of safe comfort zone, innovations combined with regional cooperation can open up the widest range of opportunities and create significant progress and achievements.

Keep an eye on PA Innovation website to see latest news on innovation in EUSBSR!

Read 3790 times Last modified on Monday, 28 September 2020 11:18