Smart-Up BSR Mini-Camp in Palanga-Klaipeda, organized jointly by Aalto University, MITA – Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology and Klaipeda Science And Technology Park, on 13-15 June 2018 brought together a group of about 30 dynamic professionals from Baltic Sea harbor areas, universities, cities & municipalities to innovate solutions for grand societal challenges, sustainable port development and sustainable future in Baltic Region.
First results of the working groups are roadmaps for continuing the innovation process in full-scale innovation camps at Tallinn (September 2018) and Brandenburg (November 2018).
The working group on promoting inter-regional collaboration worked around the questions like:
- How to engage and collaborate across regional borders in Baltic Sea Region?
- How to create and develop the spearhead initiatives together in the macro-region?
Successful interregional collaboration includes issues of trust, bridging different business models, finding appropriate partners, collaborating with ‘competitors’, and citizen and stakeholder engagement. If these and other issues are successfully addressed, this project can demonstrate that the BSR is a vital and dynamic idea.
The working group came up with diverse open questions, Big Ideas, and proposals for action. Among the Big Ideas are the importance of mobilizing political leadership, using Associate Partners as resources, and sharing expensive technologies across the BSR.
The five initial proposals for action in Baltic Sea Region:
- Gdansk – Helsinki: explore how to develop a collaborative Maritime Incubator
- Klaipeda – Riga (Univ. Of Latvia): explore possibilities for University collaborations
- Kotka-Brandenburg: co-create business opportunities with recycled materials
- Kotka – Brandenburg: explore how Potsdam Science hub and Kotka’s Acceleration programme can leverage strengths of BSR universities for start-up support
- Kotka – Brandenburg: leverage strengths of BSR Gaming industries in collaboration without competition
The working group on grand societal challenges tackled the question of:
How could smart specialisation approach contribute to solving grand societal challenges?
Smart sustainable cities are the vision and future epicentres for human activities, initiatives, and projects for addressing the grand societal challenges. But lack of awareness and collaboration between different stakeholder groups is a major obstacle undermining sustainable development and cooperation. Smart specialisation approach offers the quadruple helix as a base for more open collaboration.
The working group outlined the key questions for the roadmap of building a smart city:
What is a smart city? What are the indicators for measuring “smartness” and progress? How can a smart sustainable city ensure well-being of its inhabitants?
The results of the working group focus on developing several key elements of the smart cities:
- platforms for citizen participation;
- innovation units for rapid experimenting;
- communication strategy to overcome the divide between the stakeholders.
In the context of Baltic Sea Region, the working group developed a question for addressing in the upcoming innovation camps:
How can a smart city connect and support a smart region?
Klaipeda region brought forward their regional challenge to become a competitive and sustainable port – an important part of Lithuanian national economy:
- How to flexibly transform local maritime industries in tune with global digitization and automation trends?
- How to find its own niche and competitive advantage?
- How to reach stakeholder consensus locally and lobby on national level?
The Mini-Camp started with a visit to Western Baltija Shipbuilding to get the insights on maritime industry development at Klaipeda region.
The working group on Klaipeda regional challenge outlined the importance of joining different key actors to promote and work with maritime industry. This should help to have a critical mass to get maritime industry on national smart specialisation strategy. The working group developed a roadmap for linking maritime industry to RIS3 priority areas:
- Finding key players
- Preparing pitches for industries connected with maritime
- Business cases
- Changing mindsets: e.g. by shock therapy – what if Lithuania had NO maritime industry?