Innovative societies Water-smart societies Climate-neutral societies 

Interreg makes an impact!

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

#MadeWithInterreg solutions for

People’s health and well-being

From novel ways to improve people’s comfort and well-being to empowering public authorities to raise health care services to another level

What are we doing?

By bringing experts from various organisations across sectors and pooling from their experiences, Interreg projects bring health care services to another level. How? By testing and – afterwards – putting into common practice new methods, technologies and approaches to health and well-being. People’s safety and comfort in multiple daily routines and situations have been the guiding stars for many of our projects. Listening to people’s needs and responding to them – by working together – the key to success.

Examples of #MadeWithInterreg solutions:
  • art activities used as medical treatment
  • sensory gardens for children with traumatic experiences
  • interactive gardens to level up health services offer
  • friendlier hospital experience for children
  • new cross-sectoral cooperation for promoting healthy lifestyle
  • novel health applications
  • closer cooperation with laboratories for fast innovation in health
  • safer and more comfortable home environment for the elderly

 

What we’ve done so far

The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), adopted in 2007 by Baltic Sea region countries, activated efforts to save the Sea from pollution by hazardous substances. From 2009 to 2013, Interreg projects assessed hazardous substances already in the Sea prioritised by the BSAP, and those coming from industrial and residential areas, dumped chemical munitions, and contaminated sediments in ports.

Between 2016 and 2021, projects came up with solutions to decrease emissions and prevent discharges. Cities developed chemical action plans, with green public procurement and ways to substitute chemical products in educational, medical, and social care institutions. They improved urban drainage systems to control floods and remove microplastics from urban streams. Municipal wastewater treatment plant operators learned to remove pharmaceuticals and micro-pollutants more efficiently. Dairy and meat processing companies improved pre-treatment of industrial effluents. Cities educated residents to avoid using materials with hazardous substances in cleaning agents, toiletries, kitchenware, and toys. Businesses, like hotels, car repair, laundry services, received tailor-made advice.

Projects addressed hazardous substances already present in the Baltic Sea, such as chemical munitions and derelict fishing gear. Ministries and maritime administrations learned to assess ecological risks and handle dumped munitions. Fishery authorities and industries learned to map, retrieve, recycle, and prevent abandoned fishing gear. Solutions tested by Interreg projects were used to update the HELCOM BSAP in 2021 with measures to be implemented by 2030 to achieve the goal of a “Baltic Sea unaffected by hazardous substances and litter”.

Ongoing projects

The ongoing projects systematically address micropollutants and hazardous substances in the water environment. While each project targets different aspects of water management, they all aim to influence policy-making processes and implement practical measures for long-term improvements. Expanding upon the solutions provided by the projects, there’s an opportunity to construct a comprehensive framework tailored to the Baltic Sea Region. This framework would aim to systematically tackle the complexities posed by organic micropollutants and hazardous substances. It would encompass 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. By integrating these elements, the framework could offer a cohesive strategy for regional and local authorities, as well as wastewater treatment plants to safeguard water quality and ecosystem health across the region.

Explore the project solutions in detail:

AdvIQwater

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.
Read more about the project

APRIORA

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.
Read more about the project

MUNIMAP

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.
Read more about the project

CircularPlace

CircularPlace
A transition to circular economy is unfolding in the Baltic Sea region, but at varying speeds and in varying ways. Closing the full circle of the economy requires involving consumers in circular economy at their local levels. The project CCI can play a key role in making the connections between circular economy and society. The aim of the main project will be to increase capacity building of innovation actors for upscaling circular economy systems in local communities, facilitated by CCIs and with consumers as active participants.
Read more about the project

BSI_4Women

The Baltic Sea Initiative for the Development of Business Activity of Refugee Women
In the project BSI_4Women, public authorities and business support organisations help women refugees from Ukraine and beyond start their own businesses and become active community members.
Read more about the project

BEA-APP

Baltic Energy Areas – A Planning Perspective
The Interreg project BEA-APP compiled experience from eight countries around the Baltic Sea that helps regional planning authorities to accelerate the setup of windfarms, solar parks, biogas plants and the like.
Read more about the project

HAZARD

Mitigating the effects of emergencies in Baltic Sea Region ports
The Interreg project HAZARD made firefighters, coastguards, policemen and others involved in rescue operations in ports around the Baltic Sea more fit to save people and goods when accidents happen: Large scale exercises helped sea port authorities and rescue services to improve their structures and procedures to be better prepared for the next accident to come.
Read more about the project

BIS

Baltic Industrial Symbiosis
By strategically connecting companies from different industries, the project BIS promoted industrial symbiosis and helped boost eco-innovation.
Read more about the project

Age@Work

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.
Read more about the project

Results stay with the people: listen to our #InterregVoices:

©Arts on Prescription

[Healthy Boost] allowed us to discuss with peer cities the challenges and opportunities to better communicate about health and wellbeing services to citizens (...). Through a game, we encouraged Turku city employees to improve cross-sectoral cooperation, enhance their communication skills and involve Turku city residents in decision-making on health-related issues.

Marta Ciesielska

Project partner at Arts on Prescription
Marshal’s Office of the Westpomeranian Region, Poland

©City of Turku

[Healthy Boost] allowed us to discuss with peer cities the challenges and opportunities to better communicate about health and wellbeing services to citizens (...). Through a game, we encouraged Turku city employees to improve cross-sectoral cooperation, enhance their communication skills and involve Turku city residents in decision-making on health-related issues.

Minna Arve

Mayor of Turku, Finland

©CAIDX

The use of AI can be become a safe and feasible reality for European healthcare though CAIDX. We plan to create a set of freely available tools to support hospitals and AI developers (companies) in the must needed collaborative environment towards uplifting the use of AI in clinical diagnostics.

Monica Recabarren

CAIDX Project leader; Aailborg University Hospital, Denmark