“GoSmart BSR” network and project results are represented in the political arena of Brussels

“GoSmart BSR” Steering Committee member Ms Laila Gercāne from Vidzeme Planning Region (VPR) (Latvia) attended the 12th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum and Smart Regions 3.0 Conference in Brussels to purposefully spread the word on the project’s “GoSmart BSR” outcomes.

The participation in conferences provided the opportunity of networking, to join in matchmaking events with organisations and entrepreneurs that could also become aware of transnational innovation brokerage system (TIBS). Hear the latest trends and obtain information on Europe’s further development to understand the potential and sustainability of TIBS. Since the aim of the project is to promote Transnational Smart Specialisation Strategies (Trans-S3) it was also an opportunity to disseminate Tran-S3 methodology.

During the Smart Regions 3.0 Conference the European Commission, Member States and Regions presented achievements

in the current financial period 2014-2020 and key directions for smart specialisation as a tool for an effective economic transformation in 2021-2027. It was focused on three topics:

  • boosting innovation-led growth in the European Union (EU) industrial transition regions;
  • supporting the catching up EU regions to close the innovation gap;
  • integrating regional economies in the global value chains.

The Conference provided an opportunity to share the experience on how smart specialisation strategies have been implemented, present projects finances and discuss impacts on the ground. Diverse workshops, lectures and presentations were given by some of the most important experts, stakeholders, policymakers and public authorities in the field.

As well as highlighting best practice and lessons learnt, there was an opportunity to debate the future of innovation in the context of European regional development with representatives from the European institutions and national and regional governments.

The plenary sessions on day one, including the opening, have been web-streamed and are now available to watch at  https://livestream.com/streamdis/smartregions.

High-level representatives of the EU have repeatedly stressed the important role of education in the successful implementation of smart specialisation strategies, which has been underestimated so far.

The problematic of sub-country regions when smart specialisation strategies are designed and implementation at the national level in smaller EU countries where NUTS1 and NUTS2 levels both are the whole country was outlined during the round table discussions.

Trans-national aspects of the smart specialisation were poorly addressed in the Conference. This leads to the conclusion that the international aspects of innovation ecosystems in the Member States of the EU are still underused.

Tips for the “GoSmart BSR” project:

  • to promote the integration of international component into entrepreneurship support measures of EU next period mainstream programmes;
  • to raise awareness of local, regional and national politicians on Trans-S3 and measures of its implementation;
  • to consider the role of education in implementing the Trans-S3 strategy.

The focus of the annual Baltic Sea Tourism Forum, which is intended to develop a cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region, was on sustainable tourism development and tourism promotion with regard to the “Multiannual Financial Framework” of the EU as well as examples of successful cross-border projects. As Wolfgang Waldmüller, President of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Tourism Association, who also oversees the Baltic Sea Tourism Center (BSTC) said: “Since 2008, the Baltic Sea Tourism Forum has brought together tourism players from numerous European nations who inspire each other and develop common strategies. Special this year is that the venue was outside the Baltic Sea region for the first time. This means that EU perspectives can be brought seamlessly into contact with the challenges of the Baltic Sea Regions.

While attending the conference, during the conversation with Mr Janos SCHMIED, Programme Officer of Enterprise Europe Network and Internationalisation of SMEs, it was discussed to develop strategic cooperation between Transnational Innovation brokerage system and EEN network, especially when designing enterprise support system for new programming period.

Tips for the “GoSmart BSR” project: to strengthen the collaboration with EEN network currently and develop a strategic partnership with other national and regional players to be integrated as part of the EEN network in the next planning period.

Photo source: European Commission