21 February 2023

EUSBSR policy area Innovation connects to applicants of core project proposals

Written by Elena Kolosova

The coordinators of the EUSBSR policy area Innovation and the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat of the Programme briefed together developers of innovation-related projects aiming at the second call for core projects.

Innovation in the focus

Project idea developers planning to apply in the second call for core projects address innovation from different perspectives: when building resilient economies and societies, developing responsive public services, advancing blue economy, or supporting circular economy. To support them, the coordinators of the policy area Innovation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat (MA/JS) organised a briefing. More than 80 project developers from around the Baltic Sea joined this briefing to learn more about the policy area Innovation and its priorities.

The Programme has a dedicated priority on building innovative societies. The other two thematic Programme priorities on water-smart and climate-neutral societies welcome as well innovative approaches. Marta Ślężak-Warszycka, Team Leader Project Unit, shared a few examples of the ongoing projects that address innovation:

  • Public administrations receive tools to engage people in creating liveable and attractive city environments adapting to their needs;
  • Business support organisations integrate refugees and immigrants into labour markets and ensure access to the skilled workforce.
Macro-regional perspective on innovation

The EUSBSR policy area Innovation (PA Innovation) has already helped versatile BSR innovation cooperation to evolve into strategic and complementary actions with stronger impact and more scalable results. The coordinators of the policy area continue supporting project developers and help them make their projects stronger in regards to connection to PA Innovation as well as their transnational relevance. The PA coordinators were happy to see such a huge interest in the briefing and the innovation-related topics in the EUSBSR. They encouraged project developers to get in contact with the PA Innovation coordinators while preparing their applications.

Thematically, PA Innovation guides project developers to contribute to the three actions from the EUSBSR action plan: Challenge-driven innovation, Digital innovation and transformation, and Co-creative innovation.

In addition, Esa Kokkonen, the lead PA coordinator, from the Baltic Institute of Finland, highlighted:

“Twin transition and resilience are the key overall concepts that should be actively expedited and strengthened by Baltic Sea region innovation projects during these challenging times. As innovation is a horizontal and cross-sectoral cooperation topic, PA Innovation emphasizes close cooperation and coordination with other EUSBSR policy areas such as PA Energy, PA Transport and PA Bioeconomy.”

The support from PA Innovation coordinators does not stop in the application phase. Esa Kokkonen added:

“During the project implementation, EUSBSR PA Innovation can contribute to the dissemination of project results in the EUSBSR and BSR networks and also to other EU macro-regional strategies, as well as through policy dialogue with and support from the PA Innovation steering group. PA Innovation is also happy to contribute to the project events, and to exploring synergies and exchange opportunities between BSR/EUSBSR projects with a similar or related focus, as well as with projects implemented under other EU macro-regional strategies.”

The deadline for core project ideas passed. What is next?

Last week, the MA/JS closed the submission of the core project ideas in the second call for applications. The applicants are now developing full applications and will need to submit them by 14 March. The applicants are invited to check how their project ideas can support the implementation of the EUSBSR and its action plan. Meanwhile, the coordinators of the thematic policy areas of the EUSBSR support applicants in developing their proposals further. The PA coordinators provide guidance regarding the relevance of the ideas for the EUSBSR and individual actions in the policy areas as well as clarify what the role of the PA coordinators could be after the project is selected for funding.

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