Smart Blue Regions

Smart Blue Regions seeks to enhance blue growth opportunities based on increased capacity of Baltic Sea Regions to implement Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3).

The challenge

Implementing the RIS3 in the Baltic Sea Region. RIS3 are a new policy instrument with the aims of making innovation a priority for all regions, improving the innovation process, promoting better governance and getting stakeholders more closely involved, and finally focusing investment and creating synergies. Countries and regions that want to invest EU Structural Funds into research and innovation (R&I) in the new programming period 2014-2020 are bound by their RIS3. With a focus on economic development efforts and investments in a region’s relative strengths, the „Smart Blue Regions” have made Blue Growth a priority in their RIS3.

What is Blue Growth? Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. Blue Growth stands for innovative ways of developing a range of (often interdependent) maritime activities, e.g. by relying on common skills and shared infrastructure. However, a sectoral approach does not do justice to the full potential of maritime economic activities. The EU has therefore developed a Blue Growth strategy to support integrated and sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole.

Our approach. Not only are the RIS3 a new EU policy instrument, also Blue Growth is still a relatively new concept. Whereas traditional maritime activities like shipping and fishery have been targeted by European, national and regional for decades, there is still only a limited base of experience of proven policy measures when it comes to e.g. blue biotechnology / life science, maritime surveillance / technology or new propulsion technologies based on marine energy resources. The aim of this project is thus to solve this lack and develop targeted support measures in 6 Baltic Regions of Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Sweden.

The project focuses on the blue value chain of energy, machinery & technology and life science & blue medicine. The project has ensured the involvement of various stakeholders from the research and business sectors. The project partners have the ambition to spur a number of follow-up projects and cooperation so that the whole Baltic Sea Region might become a model maritime region in Europe.

What we aim to achieve. Smart Blue Regions will:

  • Increase the operational capacity of the 6 Baltic „Smart Blue Regions“ to implement Blue Growth RIS3 by:
    • Developing a multi-level implementation scheme on the regional level;
    • Organising transnational policy stakeholder workshops for the regional authorities;
    • Developing a monitoring and review system for evaluating, monitoring and benchmarking Blue Growth.
  • Help the 6 Regions optimise their own set of Blue Growth specific RIS3 implementation measures by integrating good practice cases from other regions by:
    • Developing an engagement strategy for regional innovation actors with targeted information material on blue RIS3;
    • Selecting, adapting and taking up new policy measures supporting Blue Growth.
  • Improve the understanding of macro-regional synergies and transnational cooperation by:
    • Elaborating a Baltic Sea Region-wide study identifying Blue Growth cooperation opportunities;
    • Operationalising joint transnational projects in the field of Blue Growth.

More:

https://www.submariner-network.eu/projects/smartblueregions/about-smart-blue-regions

https://pomorskieregion.eu/smart-blue-regions-p238