Next step to set common smart specialisation areas: stakeholders consultations and entrepreneurial development process

There are five first significant steps almost done within project to set common smart specialisation areas in seven countries/regions of Baltic sea region. Currently activities are carried out in STEP 5 (see in picture below), where stakeholders during meetings in each of the regions are introduced with results to get their feedback.

The aim of stakeholder events that takes place during September is to present the latest data and reports on the business and innovation support system; business development, internationalization and innovation barriers and needs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as to identify new solutions for strengthening the internationalization of enterprises.

Searching for common smart specialization areas, evaluating the statistical indicators and the development trends of areas and the specificities of partner regions, experts from the Hamburg Institute of International Economics and Belastok University have identified 7 areas of specialization, including ICT, health and nutrition, manufacturing and industry, and others.

During previous meetings with business support organizations, municipalities and entrepreneurs, it was concluded that currently it is hard for them to orientate within vast range of support systems and instruments, therefore, an innovation broker or cross-border network operator in each region, as a real, achievable person, must ensure the collection, maintenance and provision of information, both in support of innovation and smart specialization, and in terms of business start-ups, funding attraction and access to infrastructure.

Already in October, the project GoSmart BSR partners will begin to develop cross-border network service packages within transnational innovation brokerage system (TIBS) based on the necessary improvements to the current support system, the results of business interviews and the information and ideas generated during stakeholder events, so next year, together with the operators, their functionality will be tested in practice.

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.