Thursday, November 08, 2012

New opportunities for the Central Baltic maritime cluster

The Baltic Sea is one of the busiest seas in the world, and it has a huge impact on the Central Baltic Sea economy and society. Tightened competition and new legal requirements challenge the competitiveness of the Central Baltic marine cluster, which has always been sensitive to economic ups and downs. When simultaneously markets like Russia or Asia are eager to create a business-friendly environment, there is a strong need for new openings in the Central Baltic Sea Region.

There is no doubt that the competitiveness of the Central Baltic Region marine cluster, containing Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden, has to be improved. However, when doing this, the state of our common Baltic Sea should not be compromised. Marine traffic is an environmentally friendly means of transport, but as the volumes increase, it could also mean increased effects on health and environment. These include e.g. the increased risk of accidents and oil spills, as well as growing greenhouse gas emissions. Solutions need to be sought from smart and environmentally sustainable growth.

Led by UBC Commission on Environment and part-funded by the Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme, the SmartComp project supports smart, environmentally sustainable growth and cooperation of the Central Baltic Region marine cluster. This will be done through triple helix cooperation, meaning that maritime cluster businesses, the public sector and universities are encouraged to cooperate across borders in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.

The project research team will provide new information about the current state and future scenarios of the Central Baltic Region maritime cluster. The research reports recognize the problematic areas and introduce best practices and smart business models, in order to help adopting new solutions in the Central Baltic. The results will also be the basis for the triple helix activities in the project, including consulting days for business representatives and policy recommendations.

 The first project research report, analysing the current state of the Central Baltic maritime cluster is expected to come out in December. Find out more on the project website at!


Text: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila

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