Smart Blue Regions

Smart Blue Regions: Smart Specialisation and Blue Growth in the BSR

Funding programme:
Lead Partner:
Ministry for Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Technology Schleswig-Holstein
Total budget:
€ 1.8 million
Project duration:
2016–2019
Topic:

Maritime policy and blue growth

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). Six Baltic Regions from Germany, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Latvia and Sweden are cooperating on this project.

Smart specialisation constitutes a significant challenge for many countries in the Baltic Sea Region. However, in the absence of prior experience and established knowhow, great variations in regional capacities to implement RIS3 have already appeared in the early stages of priority setting.

But not only the RIS3 are 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 blue biotechnology / life science, maritime surveillance / technology or new propulsion technologies based on marine energy resources. Even at the European level there is no RIS3 specific guidance for blue topics.

The aim of this project is thus to solve this lack and develop targeted support measures. In order to tackle these challenges, Smart Blue Regions will:

• Increase the operational capacity of the 6 Baltic „Smart Blue Regions“ to develop their operational capacity to implement RIS3;

• Help them optimising their own set of blue growth specific RIS3 implementation measures by integrating good practice cases from other regions and/or sectors.


In the framework of this project, three main outputs will be produced. First, the „Multilevel Implementation Scheme“ - a management plan for RIS3 - will be developed and piloted by Smart Blue Regions. Second, the „Blue Growth M&E System“ will help them not only monitoring the RIS implementation but also making blue growth more visible. Third, at the end of the project in 2018, the participating regions will draw on optimised blue RIS3 implementation plans.

The Smart Blue Regions project will improve the understanding of macro-regional synergies and transnational cooperation with a particular focus on developing critical mass and integrated value chains in specific sectors. The project has also ensured the involvement of various stakeholders from the research and business sectors as associated organisations. The project partners have thus an 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.