In order to continue working towards the creation of a cross-border network to support of the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Baltic Sea region, services of it is now being defined. The main benefits of networking services planned include cross-border expertise, clustering, data access, market research, technology development reviews, financial attraction and marketing tools. Equally important will be providing advice on innovation processes and strategies.
“In less developed regions entrepreneurs often fear from cooperation, cannot see its positive aspects, are afraid of competition. Creation of a cross-border cooperation network based on bottom-up principles may encourage entrepreneurs to overcome these barriers and merge into one of the forms of cooperation that is highly valued globally – in clusters. Thus, creating added value for this network,” the role of cluster building is highlighted by DABROWSKA EDYTA, Head of Regional Territorial Observatory in the Department of Regional Development at Marshal Office of Podlaskie Voivodeship, external expert of project “GoSmart BSR”.
The network will allow entrepreneurs to gain access to knowledge that is not yet shared by competent organisations abroad and in our region. It will also serve as a valuable database for building new relationships and directing the development of the company to a whole new, cross-border level.
“The cross-border network will be an innovative system that will complement the support platforms already available to support the internationalisation of SMEs. Entrepreneurs will have access to a comprehensive set of services within the network. Now, working on the definition of services, we use partners’ best practices and build a support network so that it gives even more value to our regional business partners,” says WIESLAW URBAN, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Management of Bialystok University of Technology and “GoSmart BSR” project manager.
At the centre of the network there will be a specialist – 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. Already at the beginning of the next year, recruited brokers will participate in trainings, strengthening their competencies in order to be able to provide practical help in strengthening knowledge and experience, such as the specifics of foreign markets, innovations, prospects for business growth, etc.
The defined cross-border network services within the project “GoSmart BSR” will be tested in the next year in two pilot cycles involving 2-3 companies from each partner region.