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Interreg makes an impact!

Explore how people in the Baltic Sea region have been benefitting from our projects.

#MadeWithInterreg solutions for

Cleaner waters

Cleaner waters thanks to viable monitoring system, new methods for removing micropollutants from wastewater and sharing knowledge

What are we doing?

Coordinated actions are the key to cleaning Baltic Sea waters efficiently. Interreg projects that bring people together across sectors and countries stand behind many of them. Not only do they introduce new systemic methods to clean wastewater, but also ensure the spread of knowledge of those methods in the region. Trust in project recommendations directly translates into new policies and investments. In a long run, cooperation in projects exceeds original partnerships and builds grounds for new initiatives and actions to respond to arising challenges.

Examples of #MadeWithInterreg solutions:
  • a platform collecting best practices in smart water operations
  • a risk assessment system to monitor concentrations of micropollutants
  • novel methods to clean wastewater from micropollutants, e.g. pharmaceuticals
  • new technologies to reduce phosphorus losses
  • enhanced water treatment to improve water quality in lakes


What we’ve done so far

The Baltic Sea is one of the most heavily eutrophicated seas in the world. Interreg projects helped improve wastewater treatment, which is one of the factors influencing eutrophication. At the beginning of the 2000s, more than 20 cities collected best practices in water management and shared them with other city administrations around the Baltic Sea region. In 2009-2013, projects showcased that it was possible to reduce discharges of nutrients from wastewater treatment facilities to the level set in the Baltic Sea Action Plan of HELCOM. The HELCOM Action Plan targets were stricter than the EU requirement.

In 2016-2021, projects in cities and villages focused on improving the treatment of wastewater from residents and industries. Partners in projects tested new technologies that increased nutrient removal and reduced energy consumption in cities such as Daugavpils, Gdańsk, Tartu, Jūrmala, Kaunas, and Grevesmühlen. Rural municipalities benefitted from solutions like septic tanks and soil infiltration in Kolgaküla, Gennarby, Ainaži, and Leitgiriai. In other projects, partners tested the pre-treatment of wastewater at poultry, meat, and dairy factories in Leszno, Doruchów, Põltsamaa, and Jelgava. Following this joint work, the partners synthesised more than a hundred examples of smart water operations. Using this knowledge, they helped develop the new Baltic Sea Regional Nutrient Recycling Strategy of HELCOM, and revise the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. These two strategic documents help achieve a healthy state of the Baltic Sea.

Ongoing projects

The ongoing projects explore new methods to clean wastewater more efficiently and better monitor concentrations of harmful substances and micropollutants in water environments. They address various stages of water management, starting from pollution prevention at its source, extending to robust monitoring and risk assessment practices, and culminating in the adoption of advanced wastewater treatment technologies. The projects aim to influence policy-making processes and implement practical measures for long-term improvements.


Explore the project solutions in detail:


Eliminating Micro-Pollutants from Effluents for REuse STrategies
The project EMPEREST tests advanced treatment technology that helps water utilities and companies better remove organic micropollutants such as PFAS or pharmaceuticals from wastewater.
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Improved risk assessment for strategic water management to reduce micro-pollutant emissions in the Baltic Sea Region
In the project APRIORA, environmental protection agencies and wastewater treatment plants get equipped with a GIS-based risk assessment system to monitor and model concentrations of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in order to improve water management and reduce emissions.
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Application of biological effects methods in monitoring and assessment of contaminants in the Baltic Sea
In the project BEACON, public authorities and governmental organisations develop harmonised methods to assess contamination in the Baltic Sea waters, sediment and biota.
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Improving quality of BSR waters by advanced treatment processes
The project AdvIQwater tests photocatalysis, fungal treatment and biofilms methods to efficiently clean wastewaters from pharmaceuticals.
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NonHazCity 3

Reducing hazardous substances in construction to safeguard the aquatic environment, protect human health and achieve more sustainable buildings
The project NonHazCity 3 helps municipalities, entrepreneurs and individuals construct and renovate buildings with tox-free materials in order to protect health and the environment.
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Building trust in target groups for ALUM treatment - an effective, yet misunderstood method for water quality improvement
The project TRUST ALUM helps public authorities in the Baltic countries make better use of ALUM water treatment and improve water quality in lakes.
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Baltic Sea Munitions Remediation Roadmap
The project MUNIMAP develops a legal and administrative framework for public authorities to initiate joint remediation of dumped munitions from the Baltic Sea and Skagerrak, which pose threats to the marine ecosystem and hinder the maritime economy.
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Prosper BSR

Promoting Perspectives for promising potential workforce in the Baltic Sea Region
The project Prosper BSR empowers business support organisations to integrate refugees and immigrants into labour markets, and ensure access to skilled workforce at the same time.
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Smart and Safe Work Wear Clothing
The Interreg project SWW showcased enterprises manufacturing work wear in the Baltic Sea region how to introduce mass customisation and integrate IT technology into clothing, and by this to increase their competitiveness against new producers and cheap imports from Asian markets.
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Sustainability Reporting Tool
The project SusTool develops a sustainability reporting tool for service and companies in the IT sector that helps better align business performance with sustainability standards.
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Sustainable urban mobility and commuting in practice
SUMBA+ helped city planners and authorities boost sustainable mobility in urban areas.
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Baltic Sea Food

Baltic Sea Food
The Interreg project Baltic Sea Food developed a new business model for business-to-business (B2B) distribution in the local food sector and helped small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas to improve business performance.
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Green PE

Power Electronics for Green Energy Efficiency
The Interreg project Green PE demonstrated that advanced power electronics are technically feasible, reliable and cost efficient in test applications of electric car engines, wind energy production, as well as smart buildings and compiled a roadmap to accelerate their market uptake.
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Maritime Data Methods for Safe Shipping
The MaDaMe project develops digital fairway services and cyber secure communication for maritime authorities to efficiently share navigational information and increase safety at sea.
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Evaluation of water quality and territories vulnerability in Daugava River Basin
The Daugava river is the second largest river flowing into the Baltic Sea, the basin of which expands to Belarus, Russia and the three Baltic States. Although its ground and surface waters are used for drinking and industrial purposes, a coordinated water quality assessment is still missing. QWATERA aims to strengthen institutional cooperation to develop harmonised assessment criteria of surface and groundwater quality so that good status of waters could be ensured in the future.
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Network of Service Providers for Eco-innovations in Manufacturing SMEs
The project ECOLABNET helped manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises in bio-based materials, 3D printing, and other business areas to develop eco-innovations.
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Digihealth Nordic Acceleration
Europe’s health and medtech industries are investing in its modernization, including new digital technologies. Digital health and care refers to tools and services that use information and communication technologies to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and management of health and lifestyle and have the potential to innovate and improve the health sector. Digital health involves several stakeholders from doctors and hospitals to insurance organizations, governmental structures as well as research and development institutions, science parks, clusters, SMEs and startups. These stakeholders require support and exchange of best practices. The DNA project will prepare to strengthen EU SMEs by supporting their full value chains.
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Green Silver Age Mobility
The project GreenSAM helped to involve the senior citizens more actively in developing green transportation solutions.
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Water driven rural development in the Baltic Sea Region
The WATERDRIVE project helped local municipalities, farmers and advisories manage water in agricultural landscapes and suggested ways forward to national authorities on how to pursue a strategic water governance vision.
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Age@Work - Building Capacity for Age Management in Human Resources
In times of ageing work force and of skills shortages, it is important for employers to retain qualified staff and enable and motivate them to perform well as they age. Yet few employers implement age management, i.e. a human resource policy that fosters age-adjusted work environments, life-long learning and knowledge transfer. Age@Work aims to familiarise human resource managers and executives with age management and to raise their ability to apply it by way of education, training, counselling and professional exchange.
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GoSmart&Excel BSR

Strengthening smart specialisation by fostering transnational cooperation and practical application of novel solutions for regions and SMEs
GoSmart&Excel BSR helped SMEs and other innovation actors to become more innovative and internalionalised.
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Innovative Solutions for the Rural Food Production Sector to Diversify into Sustainable Culinary Tourism Services
The project BASCIL helps local food producers in rural areas diversify their business into sustainable culinary tourism services, and thus reach new customers.
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Practical implementation of the COMPLETE project outputs and tools
COMPLETE PLUS equipped shipping companies, ports, environmental and maritime authorities with supporting tools to improve biofouling management.

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Decision Aid for Marine Munitions
The Interreg project DAIMON equipped maritime, defence and environmental administrations in decision making tools that help deal with dumped chemical and conventional warfare in the Baltic Sea and the Skagerrak.
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BSR Go-abroad

BSR Go-abroad - building market and supply chain opportunities for micro SMEs within the Baltic Sea Region
The project BSR Go-abroad develops a blueprint for micro SMEs to help them expand business offers and enter new markets across the Baltic Sea region in order to keep their businesses thriving regardless of any disruptions to come.
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Baltic ForBio

Accelerating production of forest bioenergy in the Baltic Sea Region
The Interreg project Baltic ForBio increased production of renewable energy by using forest biomass in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and triggered new business models for small-scale forest bioenergy plants across the Baltic Sea region.
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FanpLESStic-sea – Initiatiatives to remove microplastics before they enter the sea
The project FanpLESStic-sea developed new tools to stop microplastics from entering the sea.
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There are two interlinked developments that accelerate the transition to clean shipping in Northern Europe: the environmental and the economic development. The aim of this project is to contribute to thriving and sustainable shipping through the analysis of different options for decarbonisation and minimizing the harmful impacts to air quality and the marine environment. We will target all aspects of decarbonisation of the maritime cluster, especially the short sea shipping, including a roadmap for emerging technologies.
Read more about the project

BaltSe@nioR 2.0

Innovative solutions to support BSR in providing more senior - friendly public spaces due to increased capacity of BSR companies and public institutions
Manufacturers, public institutions and experts jointly developed solutions for smart senior-friendly furniture in public spaces, while advancing innovative and social business development.
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Baltic Large Scale Computing
BalticLSC helped smaller innovative businesses, startups, research centers and independent innovators take advantage of complex data thanks to the improved access to large-scale computing.
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Technology development and transfer for a thriving Blue Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region
In order to develop robust complete bio-based value chains and promote sustainable Baltic bioeconomy, we need to adapt the proven technological solutions to the needs of Baltic Sea region conditions. To achieve that, the project BlueBioTECH 1) fosters cross-cutting technological innovation 2) models technology champions relevant to the Baltic blue bioeconomy and 3) provides technology transfer facilities to industry end-users and farmers.
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SUMPs for BSR – enhancing effective Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning for supporting active mobility in BSR cities
The project SUMPs for BSR helps smaller municipalities develop and apply sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) to encourage shift towards people's active mobility and thus a healthier lifestyle while reducing traffic emissions at the same time.
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An eco-brand developed by the Interreg RETROUT project enabled to promote the Baltic Sea as a destination for ethical and sustainable coastal fishing tourism.
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BSR Stars S3

Stimulating smart specialization ecosystem through engaging SMEs in open innovation processes
Through the project BSR Stars S3, business support organisations, public authorities and policy makers in several regions around the Baltic Sea know more about how to turn their smart specialisation strategies for advancing bio and circular economies into action.
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City Blues

Bluegreen nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and citizen wellbeing
In the project City Blues, cities develop plans for their urban waters and green areas to better respond to the negative effects of climate change, like floods and pollution, and create liveable areas for people at the same time.
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GoSmart BSR

Strengthening smart specialisation by fostering transnational cooperation
The Interreg project GoSmart BSR helped small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in seven countries to get the needed support, and successfully transformed smart specialisation strategies into practical joint actions of SMEs across the Baltic Sea region.
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Cultural planning as a BSR tool for co-creating collaboration and innovation among citizens and between citizens and authorities, on inclusive, sustainable development of city public space.
Social inclusion is a growing challenge for the Baltic Sea region. A better use of public space in cities is a possible solution to closer connect the people. BSRCulturalPlanning intends to adopt cultural planning as a method to stimulate interactions among varied groups of citizens. The project aims to bring together departments in municipalities responsible for cultural and urban departments as well as experts in cultural planning, and work together on better use of public spaces.
Read more about the project


Pathways and Needs Towards a Baltic Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure for Maritime Spatial Planning
Currently, Baltic Sea region countries lack an efficient tool to share information on maritime spatial planning and, in this way, to support each other in the fast and consistent elaboration of maritime spatial plans. The project paves the way for a standardised and commonly accessible spatial data by elaborating on needs and conditions for setting up such a database, and supporting the collection of best available maritime spatial planning data in the Baltic Sea region.
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Development of Sustainable wetland management by Restoration and biomass utilisation of peatlands in the Neman river catchment to improve water quality of the Baltic Sea
Essential ecosystem services provided by the Baltic Sea, e.g. biodiversity, fisheries and tourism, are threatened by eutrophication caused by excess loads of nutrients to the sea. Discharge from rivers is one of the main pathways how nutrients get to the sea. One idea how to tackle the issue is to decrease the amount of nutrients leaking to the rivers by e.g. reactivation of already drained wetlands. The DESIRE project focuses on the numerous disturbed peatlands in the Neman river catchment and ways to restore some of them to act as wetland buffer zones.
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Climate Smart Baltic Beaches and Tourism
The BEACH-SOS project helps authorities, businesses, and local communities adapt to the changing climate to ensure thriving and sustainable beach recreation and tourism in the future.
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Results stay with the people: listen to our #InterregVoices:

Test Copyright

Thanks to Interreg (...), we created momentum for essential aspects of sustainable water management connected to climate change, for example improving the wastewater and storm water management, reducing water pollution, and increasing the application of circular economy principles.

Agnieszka Ilola 

Head of Secretariat, Union of the Baltic Cities, Sustainable Cities Commission

Test Copyright

I can name a large number of examples of project outputs directly integrated into the regional policy framework. The first one is the recommendation on sludge handling. It was largely based on the PURE project. What’s more, the technologies tested in the project PURE to treat wastewater are in regular use now.

Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky

 Special Advisor to HELCOM

Test Copyright

Thanks to Interreg projects, we have improved our public services for our citizens. Our water treatment facility has been involved in benchmarking water management processes and our water management processes have continuously been improving. Now, we have even better water quality and managed to keep the price of our water services at a moderate level.

Minna Arve

Mayor of Turku, Finland

Interested in #MadeWithInterreg impacts in other topics?

More results with impacts

Learn more about how
Interreg projects change
the baltic sea region for the better.

Smart and attractive cities




Wellbeing and inclusion


Support to SMEs


Wastewater management


Hazardous substances


Blue Bioeconomy


Water management



Energy efficiency


Smart green mobility


Renewable energy