Creating new ways for transnational collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is one out of four macro-regional strategies within the EU. A central principle behind the macro regional strategies is to avoid creating new EU funds and related structures, but rather ensure a strategic alignment of funding. In line with this approach, a network of managing authorities of the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) in the Baltic Sea Region was established on the 19th of May 2016.

This network – known in short as the MA-network – will work on aligning ERDF structural fund programmes in order to initiate project collaboration supporting the implementation of the EUSBSR, based on the specific need of the participating regions. Policy Area Innovation and regional smart specialisation strategies are in focus for the initial try-outs with this new approach to funding transnational collaboration. More concretely, the MA-network has agreed upon the theme of clean-tech for a first pilot.

This means that the regions participating in this first pilot all have a clear clean-tech focus in their smart specialisation strategies. The objective of the pilot project is to develop 1 – 3 collaboration proposals relating to this theme. The proposals are expected to include an outline of objective, activities, envisaged partnership structure and expected results. Following these initial preparations the MA-network will launch a call at the next annual forum of the EUSBSR, allowing for additional interested regions to join these collaboration proposals.

We are very excited about the potential of these new collaborations and will make sure to keep posted on the development of the first pilot.

A few key dates to watch out for:
30th of March: Meeting between regional actors with clean-tech focus, Stockholm
2nd – 3rd of May: Workshop to develop proposals for project collaborations, Copenhagen
13th-14th of June: Launch of call through MA-network at the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Berlin in June.

Are you interested in knowing more about the MA-network and how it can support the implementation of the EUSBSR? Or do you have ideas for new pilot themes for transnational implementation of smart specialisation strategies?

Then we would love to hear from you. Just get in touch with Niclas Forsling, nicfor@norden.org