“GoSmart BSR” project is launching the next project step: begin more active work directly with SMEs

Intensive dialog with Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) takes place in Baltic Sea Region with the aim to explore needs, barriers and potential for development and cooperation of SMEs regarding internationalization process, smart specialisation and innovation by conducting in-depth market research.

“Companies are always looking for new opportunities that would allow them to create even greater added value, but in one country it can be difficult to find all the solutions, products and technologies when it comes to highly innovative products. Therefore, more and more companies are looking for ways to find international partners that could create a value chain together,” previously has expressed Mrs. Besagirskaitė, participant of project GoSmart BSR informative event in Vilnius, Lithuania.

It is now clarified that there are several common smart specialization areas that whole Baltic Sea Region can cooperate within, including ICT, sustainable innovation, human health and nutrition etc., and it is important to find or develop ways for strengthening this network to support our SMEs.

Partners from 7 Baltic Sea Region countries will work together to design bottom-up solutions for business support and internationalization while developing new transnational support system that works in whole Baltic Sea Region. It will be done by finding out entrepreneur’s experience with foreign partners, the stages of the internationalization process, reasons for success or failure, main advantages in international contracts and barriers to the internationalization. Also, entrepreneurs will be asked to describe their experience of using forms and tools to support the internationalization and expectations of what way the companies should be supported in the internationalization process.

Meanwhile, for better evaluation of the situation, review and analysis of already existing support programs and tools for smart specialisations, innovation and internalization will be held by experts of Vidzeme (Latvia), Podlaskie region (Poland), Southern Denmark, Hamburg (Germany), Kouvola (Finland) and Vilnius (Lithuania).

Developing a functioning and sustainable transnational innovation brokerage system (TIBS), which will support small and medium-sized enterprises for increasing the capacity of implementing smart specialisation strategies in their regions is the main aim of project “GoSmart BSR” and the in-depth market research is a core need for developing such system.

As previously reported, the system will be tested together with entrepreneurs from each partner region. In each of the partner regions will be selected and trained specialist – innovation broker, who will work to ensure the link among the needs of enterprises, the resources of research institutes and the influence of policy-making institutions.

Project “Strengthening smart specialisation by fostering transnational cooperation (GoSmart BSR)” is implemented with the support from the European Regional Development Fund Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020. From October 2017 to September 2020 project unites 8 partners from 7 countries, and it aims to increase capacity of innovation actors to apply smart specialisation approach.