Strengthening smart specialisation by fostering transnational cooperation
GoSmart BSR
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
1 Innovation
objective
1.2 Smart specialisation

GoSmart BSR

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.
The challenge

Smart Specialisation approaches and Strategies (S3) are multiplying across Europe and the Baltic Sea region as a way to infuse innovation and increase competitiveness through beneficial partnerships among business, research and authorities. The most critical and vulnerable group of actors dealing with S3 are SMEs, which largely fall behind other players in terms of innovation activities and investments in research and development. Even though the SMEs get support in idea generation and incubation, the analysis shows that the support funding is no longer available and some support tools need an upgrade.

The project aimed to identify gaps in the available support systems, understand the needs and development barriers.  GoSmart BSR wanted to boost transnational cooperation among industry, the research, and development sector, and authorities in employing smart specialisation strategies in regions in the eastern parts of the Baltic Sea region. It intended to promote mutual learning, sharing best practices, and translating smart specialisation strategies into practical joint actions of SMEs.

Budgets

GoSmart BSR
in numbers
  • 1.76
    Million
    Total
  • 1.42
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.00
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

The project studied the situation of smart specialisation in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Finland and Denmark, identified common priority areas that would enhance development of the Baltic Sea region, tailored an approach for strengthening smart specialisation and developed Transnational Innovation Brokerage System (TIBS).

Valuable exchange among the partner countries

By identifying the gaps of the existing support systems for SMEs, the project GoSmart BSR developed a new transnational approach to S3 and introduced a system of improving SMEs access to international markets. The project integrated countries of low innovation potential of less developed Baltic Sea region (BSR) with countries from better-developed regions. This was achieved through mutual learning, translating S3 into practical joint actions of SMEs, sharing best practices from more developed regions.

Transnational Innovation Brokerage System (TIBS)

The project established the Transnational Innovation Brokerage System (TIBS) in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Finland and Denmark that operated with the support of trained brokers. TIBS concentrated on enabling transnational cooperation activities between companies active in the sectors that were defined as most relevant for the countries (e.g. manufacturing and industry, ICT, sustainable (eco) innovation).

The assisted companies received support to initiate interregional cooperation networks helping them to meet their individual business needs. The aim was to find a tailor-made solution to establish innovation-based cooperation between companies, the so-called Joint Transnational Smart Strategies (JTSS). The project reached out to 998 companies and presented TIBS possibilities, 296 of them were pre-treated according to the original TIBS methodology. By the end of the project, 44 SMEs and other entities were assisted by TIBS services towards JTSS successful development.

The Interreg project GoSmart BSR used EUR 1.71 million from the European Union to identify the shared priorities for continued development of the Baltic Sea region by applying the new transnational brokerage system and supporting SMEs to evolve as a prosperous business.

Outputs

Trans-S3 methodology

The Trans-S3 methodology aims to provide a ‘recipe’ on how to elaborate and manage transnational smart specialisation, while it provides guidelines on how policy recommendations can be formulated. The essence of S3 is the concentration of public resources in knowledge investments on selected activities to strengthen or develop a comparative advantage. Although it was developed within the GoSmart BRS project context, the proposed Trans-S3 methodology can be widely used in any situation when multiple regions attempt to intensify their collaboration based on the smart specialisation concept. This methodology is considered to be a useful policy tool for internationalisation and innovation at the transnational level. Extended work on this approach will be continued in the extension stage project, GoSmart & Excel BSR.

Transnational Innovation Brokerage System Concept

Transnational Innovation Brokerage System (TIBS) is a network of skilled brokers based in Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, and Finland. TIBS brokers evaluate the needs of companies, provide tailored solutions and focus on innovation opportunities through building connections and partnerships with international innovators. The TIBS concept facilitated the implementation of innovations of various scopes and types by the SMEs, while it helped the SMEs to change their perceptions of working transnationally. The SMEs formed partnerships and benefitted from the consultancy support in their growth strategies.

Project Stories

Partners

Bialystok University of Technology

  • Town
    Bialystok
  • Region
    Białostocki
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
327,877.50
53.12750504999999623.147050870161664

Podlaska Regional Development Foundation

  • Town
    Białystok
  • Region
    Białostocki
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
128,205.00
53.12750504999999623.147050870161664

Vidzeme Planning Region

  • Town
    Cēsis, Cēsu novads
  • Region
    Vidzeme
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
224,770.00
57.314536125.2759759

Valga Municipality Government

  • Town
    Valga
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
101,325.00
57.77703426.0315628

Public Institution Lithuanian Innovation Centre

  • Town
    Vilnius
  • Region
    Vilniaus apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
201,545.00
54.687045825.2829111

Kouvola Innovation Ltd.

  • Town
    Kouvola
  • Region
    Kymenlaakso
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
277,020.00
60.870199626.7018042

Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)

  • Town
    Hamburg
  • Region
    Hamburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
247,480.00
53.55034110.000654

Business Aabenraa

  • Town
    Aabenraa
  • Region
    Sydjylland
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
251,545.00
55.04462289.4209667