Business incubator organisations are crucial supporters for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises that drive economic growth and create jobs. Enhanced performance of incubators would result in better conditions for start-up companies and their evolvement into fully- fledged companies. Business growth and prosperity would in its turn enhance the competitiveness of the region making it a hotspot for more investments and talents. This would contribute to the further development of the Baltic Sea region as a dynamic, innovative, and business-driven region.
Aiming at turning incubators into global frontrunners, the project IRIS intended to engage the business incubator organisations and equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to address shared challenges.
0.16MillionEni + Russia
Fourteen business incubators gathered together and gained management and business support capacities by undertaking a series of targeted actions.
Peer exchange matters
The project contributed to strengthening management capacity through joint site peer reviews, thematic workshops and practical tests. The peer review activities improved quality and management performance by providing the incubators with targeted recommendations, so-called management improvement plans. The focus was on the review of governance structures and organisational setup of the involved incubators. Connecting with other incubators, learning best practices and sharing knowledge and experiences, has proven to be a powerful way to develop their capabilities to support start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Transnational perspective in focus
The transnational perspective in all project activities has given most partners a new and different dimension of their everyday work. The IRIS project was instrumental in boosting incubator capacity to offer better conditions and services to their target groups to survive, grow and develop in the Baltic Sea region. The results were further spread among incubators operating in the Baltic Sea region to increase the impact of their support services.
Developments to continue beyond the project
The collaboration with the female entrepreneurs resulted in the establishment of a new concept for a regular workshop. Next, the project established a new advisory board for female entrepreneurs for steering up the strategic processes and streamlining decision-making.
In addition, the partner organisations continue with the health innovation award and Digital Baltic Start-up Day that gather relevant audiences, mark achievements and provide inspiration for new businesses joining the incubator community. Beyond that, the project launched a digital online business internationalisation platform where entrepreneurs, start-ups and small and medium enterprises from different countries could find actual internationalisation offers and support services.
EUR 2.2 million of support from the European Union helped to empower business incubator organisations, facilitate their management and support capacities in nurturing new skills, creating new companies, and opening up new markets across the Baltic Sea region.
Roadmap for enhanced management capacity
Summary of test reports
Guideline to incubator support instruments in five priority areas
Dalarna Science Park
- RegionDalarnas län
- RepresentativeErika Hinz
Turku Science Park Ltd
- RepresentativeErik Lehtonen
Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol Foundation
- RepresentativeMartin Gorosko
Latvian Technological Center
- RepresentativeJanis Stabulnieks
Foundation "Ventspils High Technology Park"
- RepresentativeNatalija Nudga
Kaunas Science and Technology Park
- RegionKauno apskritis
- RepresentativeVygintas Grinis
VšĮ "Startup Division"
Gdansk Entrepreneurship Foundation
- RepresentativeLucyna Formela
Rzeszow Regional Development Agency
- RepresentativeMarek Duda
DESY German Electron-Synchrotron
- RepresentativeKatharina Kull
- RepresentativeAlexander Schwock
SUCCEEDED by PP15 (01.01.2019) Business Development Centre Central Denmark
- RepresentativePeter Ekmann
- RegionKaliningrad Oblast
- CountryRussian Federation
- RepresentativeYulia Kandalova
Business Hub Central Denmark