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Important EU role for Tampere

Published 4.10.2018 14.27

The Baltic Institute of Finland is the new coordinator of the Policy Area Innovation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Tampere scenery

In their meeting in Copenhagen on 26 September, the National Coordinators of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) appointed the Baltic Institute of Finland (BIF) as the new coordinator of the EUSBSR Policy Area Innovation. BIF succeeds Nordic Council of Ministers and Vinnova in this task. Policy Area Innovation strives to promote a globally competitive position within research and innovation for sustainable economic growth in the Baltic Sea region.

The European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is the first Macro-regional Strategy in Europe. The Strategy was approved by the European Council in 2009 following a communication from the European Commission. The Strategy is an agreement between the Member States of the EU and the European Commission to strengthen cooperation between the countries bordering the Baltic Sea in order to meet the common challenges and to benefit from common opportunities facing the region.

The Strategy is divided into three objectives, which represent the three key challenges of the Strategy: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity. The Action Plan for the Strategy reflects the three overall objectives of the EUSBSR, and comprises 13 Policy Areas and 4 Horizontal Actions, which represent the main areas where the EUSBSR can contribute to improvements, either by tackling the main challenges or by seising key opportunities of the region. The concrete implementation of the EUSBSR objectives takes place in joint transnational actions, projects and processes.

Operating on a macro-regional scale, the role of the EUSBSR Policy Area Innovation, now coordinated by the Baltic Institute of Finland, is to:

- Enable shared learning through knowledge-transfer activities
- Create and strengthen networks across the Baltic sea region
- Align resources and regulations e.g. through co-ordination of funding sources
- Facilitate the joining up of forces in common programs and investments

The Baltic Institute of Finland (BIF) is one of leading organisations for European regional cooperation in Finland. It has strong networks and references especially in innovation cooperation between cities and regions. In recent years, BIF has promoted in Tampere e.g. bio and circular economy, smart city solutions, start-ups, and industrial renewal. BIF has actively contributed to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and its flagship projects since the initiation of the strategy in the European Parliament in 2005.

EUSBSR and the related Finnish Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region emphasize topics and areas of expertise which are highly relevant for Tampere and Tampere region. The importance of EU’s macroregional strategies will increase in the next EU programming period 2021-2027.

“EUSBSR is also about EU-wide policies and cooperation - joining of forces and promotion of joint interests between close partners also from the point of view of wider European cooperation. It is cooperation for competitiveness, also in Tampere and Tampere region", says Esa Kokkonen, Director of the Baltic Institute of Finland.

“This is an important acknowledgement for BIF and for its role as one of leading organisations for innovation cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. Tampere’s strong and attractive innovation policies, activities and areas of expertise were important factors behind the selection of BIF as the new coordinator of EUSBSR PA INNO. This task will open up new international opportunities for Tampere", continues Mr. Kokkonen.

BIF is assigned with the responsibility of coordinating the policy area under the steering committee lead by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in Estonia and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland.

Further information

Esa Kokkonen
Director, The Baltic Institute of Finland
Policy Area Coordinator, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region – Policy Area Innovation
Tel. +358 50 516 9111

Photos Laura Vanzo