Baltic Sea Innovation Network Centres
Start date: Dec 31, 2008,
End date: Jan 23, 2012
BaSIC aims to build a “Baltic Sea Archipelago of Innovation” (recommendation of BaltMetInno). The objective is to create a seamless working environment for fast growth innovative SME all over the Baltic Sea Region, embedded in a reliable network of leading Science Parks and clusters. Emphasis is given to identify, select, train and coach SME-gazelles; to provide them harmonized access to markets (establish a tool kit of market access points) and to connect them for access to finance for internationalization and growth. The project consortium consists of leading Science Parks, incubators and innovation facilitators, having a strong support by the 10 Baltic Sea Capital Regions (incl. Oslo and St. Petersburg). This will guarantee sustainability of good project results and their implementation into regional innovation strategies. Feedback from project monitoring and SME experiences will be used for identifying and continued improvement of essential services, infrastructure and management of innovation infrastructure (Science parks/incubators or clusters) in the BSR Capital regions and for establishing partnership agreements between leading Science parks and those under development, to help reducing disparities within regions and to improve competitiveness and dynamics of the Baltic Sea area. The project is open for cooperation and exchange with other projects. In particular, there are strong links and joint presentations of SME to the sister project JOSEFIN, dealing with financing SME (credits, loans etc). The networking and the developed services will be expanded to new partners and to other regions. Agreed joint marketing calendars and activities for innovation sites and events of the partner regions will provide a schedule for the SME to find the most important events, expositions and conferences for their business activities. Selected road shows in the region will support the promotion. The pilot phase (project duration) expects a minimum of 30 trained SME, 3 brokerage events, 3 international training courses. To coach internationalisation of SME 10 market access points (MAP) throughout the Baltic Sea Capital Regions will be installed. 30 success stories will be told. BaSIC will greatly benefit from achieved results of the Baltic Metropolises Innovation Strategy project: Identification and selection of the fast growth SME will be realized by developing and applying entrepreneurial training courses, and by using started cooperation between clusters. Brokerage events in (pre)selected clusters (using BalMet Inno results) support the process. A continuous monitoring will accompany the work progress. Policy recommendations will be derived from the monitoring and the feedback from SME clients; they will be reported to both the JTS and the BaltMet Officials as Steering Group and representatives of the Lord Mayors. This will, next to an excellent quality, ensure a good transferability and a long term sustainability of the project results. Achievements: For SME, the BSR markets are full of hurdles and obstacles for smooth growth. BSR markets are still disconnected, innovative SME suffer from different regional regulation and rules for investing, opening branch offices etc. Therefore harmonized instruments were needed to enable SME to better access international markets. This is where BaSIC was stepping into action, as a pilot for proposing solutions and bridging this gap, to develop tools and instruments for a quick, improved and harmonized market access. In order to make it as easy as possible for innovative technology-based growth companies and entrepreneurs (here: SME) to access BSR markets several information materials were developed: - Cluster Reports (Photonics, Micro- and Nanotechnologies; Information and Communication Technologies; Life Sciences), - Marketing Calendars showing the most important technology oriented events in the BSR regions, - Market Access Guide providing structured market information about legal formalities and requirements, funding/financing possibilities, regulations etc. Several brokerage events for SMEs were organized, mainly by using already established events. These events served as platform for SME to find new cooperation partners, new clients, to present their products/services – to internationalize their business. Furthermore the SME were informed about BSR markets by organizing training seminars and cluster workshops. For the main clients of the project – the SMEs – BaSIC served as - a broker for more than 300 trans-national contacts, - a catalyst for more than 120 bilateral cooperation meetings, - a frontman for more than 30 SMEs presentations on trade shows and congresses, - a door opener to big industry players like Ericsson, Telia Sonera, Microsoft or Google, - a moderator between public and private sector. To make the internationalization support for SME sustainable also after the project lifetime the so-called Market access Points (MAPs) were established in each partner region. These MAPs offer synchronized services related to internationalization needs, qualified staff in the regions and contact points, market information and a physical place for companies when using MAP services. Thus, not only SME benefit from the project results but also the project partners (science parks, economic development org.), because they can improve their services to their clients i.e. by offering these internationalization services as well as a strong reliable partner network in the BSR. The MAPs one the one hand side and the trust that have been built one the other hand side between project partners as well as the knowledge gained about the BSR markets will positively support the cooperation between the regions in the future – supporting SMEs; better cooperation of regional partners with their regional authorities; raising awareness at regional authorities’ level and EU level about Science Parks’ role regarding regional economic development.
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