Policy Area Innovation


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. It 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 BSRā€™s profile, visibility and attractiveness as a partner of choice for international innovation cooperation within and beyond the BSR. PA INNO explores synergies with other PAs and HAs and supports them with best practices, learnings and other outcomes of PA INNO flagships, as well utilizes their knowledge and data on joint BSR challenges.

PA INNO has enhanced the BSRā€™s profile, visibility and attractiveness as a partner of choice for international innovation cooperation within and beyond the BSR, as well as a location for innovation-focused and industry-driven investment.

Esa Kokkonen, Policy Area Coordinator, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region - Policy Area Innovation

Innovation Drivers

Challenge-driven innovation

Macroregional challenge-driven innovation policies and actions aim at fostering disruptive, breakthrough and market-shaping innovations to respond to the 21st century social, environmental, and economic grand challenges in the BSR (e.g. climate change, resource efficiency, demographic change, pandemics, rapid urbanization, healthy living and aging, clean energy, inclusive societies, sustainable food and feed production and various environmental challenges of the Baltic Sea).

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Digital innovation and transformation

Digital transformation is a societal change in BSR. Emerging digital technologies such as AI, VR/AR, blockchain, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) are key tools to tackle societal challenges, facilitate new businesses, innovations, services and more sustainable, usable and vital living environments and infrastructures, and develop BSR innovation (e.g. smart city initiatives) and startup ecosystems.

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Co-creative innovation

Innovation ecosystems (local, regional or sector-based) are emerging as key frameworks for economic and innovation activity also in BSR. Transnational platforms and change agents are needed to connect BSR innovation ecosystems. Co-creative and open innovation as key innovation methods.

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Upcoming Events

New EUSBSR Action Plan

The European Commission has approved the revised EUSBSR Action Plan on 17 February 2021 and the revision process is now completed.

The revised Action Plan brings along, among others, the following elements to the Strategy:

14 Policy Areas, no more Horizontal Actions
Neighbours & Climate are mainstreamed
Empowers stakeholders & increases ownership
Baltic Sea Strategy Point to provide administrative and technical support

In the new Action Plan, PA INNO focuses on the following actions: Challenge-driven innovation, Digital innovation and transformation, Co-creative innovation


The SUBMARINER Network promotes innovative approaches to the sustainable use of marine resources and offers a cooperation platform to related actors and initiatives in the Baltic Sea Region.

Lead: The Ministry of Economic Affairs Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) together with the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and the Maritime Institute in Gdańsk as co-leaders.

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ScanBaltĀ® fmba is Northern Europe's Leading Accelerator for Inter-regional Cooperation envisioning the region as a Global Hotspot for Health and Bio Economy. ScanBalt creates value by promoting innovation and business, fostering inter-regional collaboration, reducing barriers, enhancing visibility and attracting resources.

Lead: ScanBaltĀ® fmba

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Baltic Science Link is a network between leading research facilities of photon and neutron sources and their users. The project aims to support and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the Baltic Sea Region. Apart from the research facilities, the network also includes scientific institutes, universities and regional organizations that serve as service and promoting units

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BSR Digi co-lab: Transnational Digital Collaboration in the BSR is a set of projects which are relevant and directly connected to priorities of Digitalisation, described in the PA Innovation Strategy Guide 2016-2020. Two funded sub-projects are in loop of flagship, e.g. DIGINNO (Digital Innovation Network) and IoB (Internet of Business).

Lead: The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication, contact: Reet.Reismaa@mkm.ee

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BSR S3 Ecosystem Platform project aims to influence, improve knowledge and raise discussion among regional, national and EU-level innovation policy makers and experts of the opportunities, challenges and needed capacities related to the development of inter-regional innovation cooperation based on joint strategic fields in the Baltic Sea Region.
Lead: Region VƤsterbotten, Sweden

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Reet Reismaa
Policy Area Coordinator Innovation
Estonia Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
+372 5911 2647
Tomasz Jalukowicz
Policy Area Coordinator Innovation
Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education
+48 22 52 92 293
Esa Kokkonen
Policy Area Coordinator Innovation
The Baltic Institute of Finland
+358 50 516 9111