Would your organisation like to start or expand a joint collaboration that contributes to sustainable economic, environmental or social development in the Baltic Sea Region? The Swedish Institute provides seed funding for joint projects in which Swedish organisations meet transnational challenges in cooperation with organisations from the Baltic Sea Region countries and the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries.

The project activities that the Swedish Institute supports via ‘seed funding’ must be clearly linked to one or more of the challenges identified in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The projects should help to create conditions for long-term, sustainable relations in the region.

Basic facts about seed funding from the Swedish Institute:

  • Seed funding projects can include the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia,  Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine
  • The main applicant has to be a Swedish actor who wants to cooperate with organisations from at least two other countries. See the Swedish Institute website for more detailed conditions for the participation of specific countries and partnership composition.
  • The following types of Swedish organisations from the public, private and non-profit sectors may apply for funding: NGOs, municipalities, regions, regional councils, county councils, higher education institutions, research institutes, intergovernmental organisations, businesses, trade organisations and government agencies.
  • A project can apply for a maximum of SEK 500,000 and may run for no longer than 18 months.

The call will be open until 13 February 2018.

More detailed information and application documents can be found on the website of the Swedish Institute.


 The National Coordinators (NC-group) of the EU Strategy fro the Baltic Sea Region met on the 28th November at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn, Estonia. This was the second NC-group meeting of the Estonian Chair and the final one during the Estonian EU Council Presidency period.

EUSBSR communications

Several communications matters were discussed in the NC-meeting. Firstly, it was decided that the EUSBSR communication strategy should be updated. The EUSBSR communication project "Let's communicate!" is prepared to lead the work regarding this process.

Secondly, the funding of the EUSBSR communications was discussed: there will be another call in Interreg Baltic Sea Region to support the communications of the EUSBSR. However, it was agreed that the current solution (project funding) lacks long term stability.

Thirdly, "Let's communicate!" project launched a communication tool kit platform to the NCs. The tool kit is a "one-stop-shop" for those communicating the EUSBSR providing material, tools and tips for better communications. During the spring the platform will be open to all key stakeholders of the EUSBSR (NCs, PACs, HACs and Flagships).

Preparations of the 9th Annual Forum

Six months to go until the next EUSBSR Annual Forum in Tallinn, Estonia! The preliminary programme is now published at the Annual Forum section. There will be a call for seminars open during 3-31 January 2018 and it will be published at the EUSBSR website. 

Study on macro-regional strategies

The comprehensive study about EU macro-regional strategies and their links to cohesion policy (contracted by Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and conducted by a consortium led by COWI company) was discussed in the NC-meeting. It was agreed that even if the EUSBSR Policy Areas are at slightly different phases of development, the Strategy as a whole shows positive progress. The NC-group widely supported the main conclusions and proposals of the report. 

Five new Flagships approved!

The NC-group supported five new EUSBSR Flagships!

  1. RDI2CluB (Rural research, development and innovation milieus in transition towards smart bioeconomy clusters and innovation ecosystems) under Policy Area Bioeconomy;
  2. BONUS BLUEWEBS under Policy Area Bioeconomy;
  3. BSR Digi co-lab: Transitional Digital Collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region (with 2 sub-projects) under Policy Area Innovation;
  4. HAZBREF (Hazardous industrial chemicals in the EID BREFS) under Policy Area Hazards;
  5. INTERCONNECT (Better public transport services for regional and cross-border travels in the South Baltic area) under Policy Area Transport.

The Flagships are already included in the Annex of the EUSBSR Action Plan, where all ongoing and completed Flagships are listed. More about the newly adopted Flagships will soon follow in the EUSBSR blog!

 NC group in Tallinn November 2017

The EUSBSR NC-group and the cooperation partners were photographed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn, Estonia. 

Read the whole NC-group meeting report here.


The Interact booklet “Making the Most of Macro-regional Strategies” intends to take stock of the development of EU macro-regional strategies and their multifaceted aspects. The booklet has been planned, designed and conceived in the spirit of promoting and spreading the macro-regional idea.




A wide range of topics is covered in the publication, such as the involvement of regional parliaments in macro-regional strategies, general aspects of governance, policy integration, cross-sectoral cooperation, as well as monitoring and evaluation of macro-regional strategies. In addition, a specific project example in the Baltic Sea Region illustrates how to overcome challenges in governance and stakeholder engagement.

Furthermore, the concept of a macro-regional strategy is also proposed for the North Sea region in order to enhance regional cooperation and thereby share ideas and experiences more effectively. Moreover, the booklet deals with issues such as participation and effects of inter-organisational networks in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region, capacity building at both the individual and institutional level, as well as the involvement of non-EU Member States.

Read the study and more information at Interact website.


A comprehensive study on all EU macro-regional strategies and their links to Cohesion Policy has been published!


The study aims first at describing the main features of each macro-region (Baltic, Danube, Adriatic and Ionian, and Alpine) through a range of macroeconomic, competitiveness, integration and governance indicators.

It assesses to what extent the strategies contribute to coordination and synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds and other EU policies and instruments.

The study also takes stock of strategies' main achievements and appraises their socio-economic impact. It also identifies the barriers to overcome and the drivers to use in order to make them more efficient and finally looks at the potential of the macro-regional approach to contribute to the future cohesion policy.

The study and more information are available at InfoRegio's website.



On 7 November the European Commission awarded the 2017 European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) prize of €1,000,000 to Paris (France). Tallinn (Estonia) was selected as a runner-up and was awarded with €100,000. Six out of ten finalists were Baltic Sea region cities.

Tallinn was awarded for its initiative to act as a testing ground for potential breakthrough technologies. The municipality fostered the use of self-driving cars, parcel delivery robots and ride-sharing. Tallinn has also implemented an innovative e-Residency system, which enables local citizens and businesses to work closely together with foreign entrepreneurs.

Innovation capital

The 2017 European Capital of Innovation award competition was launched in March 2017 for cities with over 100,000 inhabitants from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020. The winner and the two runners-up have been selected from ten finalists on the basis of new initiatives launched since 1 January 2016. The award criteria focused on cities that are willing to be test-beds for new citizens-driven initiatives to find solutions for their relevant societal challenges.

More information at the Commission's website.


 With reference to one of the EU high-level recommendations expressed on the future EU Research & Innovation Programmes, Baltic Science Network is delighted to offer an opportunity for all interested parties to follow the Tallinn seminar discussions online.

Read more: Baltic Science Network Makes Science and Citizens Talk