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Monitoring and assessing digital inclusion in the Nordic-Baltic region

Our Nordic and Baltic societies are becoming more and more digital, where digital skills are required to seek jobs and educational opportunities, use health care services or perform economic activities. This leads to a paradox – causing a higher degree of digital exclusion for those who cannot, or choose not, to use these services. Digital Inclusion in Action launches two significant publications during a launch webinar. The event, led by researchers Sigrid Jessen and Maja Brynteson, unveiled a policy report on national digital inclusion initiatives in the Nordic and Baltic countries and a discussion paper on monitoring practices in these regions. The policy report, co-authored by Nicola Wendt-Lucas, Sigrid Jessen and Maja Brynteson, delves into the national policies and initiatives of the Nordic and Baltic countries concerning digital inclusion. It reveals a substantial increase in initiatives related to digital inclusion, evidenced by the publication of 19 new strategies in less than two years. Despite the lack of a common definition of digital inclusion across these countries, there seems to be a shared understanding of its fundamental aspects, emphasising social justice and inclusion. The report also identifies the primary target groups for digital inclusion as older adults and people with disabilities, with some policies also focusing on immigrants, women, younger adults, and lower-income and education groups. A key takeaway from the report is the necessity for more harmonised monitoring to develop in-depth studies and evidence-based policies. The discussion paper, presented by partners from Digital Europe, Louise Palludan Kampmann and Lasse Wulff Andersen, emphasises the importance of monitoring digital inclusion to understand its scale and to foster evidence-based policymaking. The paper suggests that while the Nordic and Baltic countries have made significant strides in digital inclusion at the policy level, there is a gap in implementing corresponding monitoring practices. Key recommendations from…

Enhancing economic competence in Åland: Insights and strategies for policy enhancement

How can Åland improve its economic competence to manage future challenges? A new policy briefing on the topic emphasises the island’s importance of addressing contemporary megatrends, including demographic shifts, globalisation, digitalisation, and climate change. The article is a contribution to the Centrum Balticum Policy Briefing series and is written by Anna Lundgren, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio, and co-author Jukka Teräs at NORCE. Åland, the autonomous region with slightly over 30,000 inhabitants in the Baltic Sea, is both an island economy and strongly interconnected with its neighbours in the global world, for example through international shipping, trade, tourism and international networks. In this policy briefing, the authors explore the implementation of the EU Structural Funds in Åland (2014-2020) and discuss how Åland can improve its economic competence to manage future challenges. The development of firms is closely linked to the macro-level economic development of the region, and to release systemic benefits and foster sustainable development, it is important to analyse current megatrends and engage with stakeholders from different levels of government. Moreover, to improve the organisational, technical and learning capabilities in a small economy such as Åland, attracting talent and competence and fostering place-based solutions is important. Read the policy briefing here.

Nordregio at 5G Techritory – for a connected and digitally inclusive region

5G Techritory Forum in Riga is a forum that brings together the key players in digital innovation and connectivity in Europe – so of course, Nordregio was present to share our latest work. This two-day event, held from October 18th to 19th, was themed “5G in Action”. We took the opportunity to officially launch the 5G Data Hub! Nordregio’s DigiHub, that hosts the 5G Data Hub, offers a platform for our two research projects on the mission to strengthen the Nordic and Baltic region’s connectivity: The Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring tool project and Digital Inclusion in Action. Both projects were represented at Techritory to connect with, and enlighten, stakeholders, partners and potential target groups. Launch of the 5G Data Hub Ana de Jesus, Senior Research Fellow and project manager of our 5G project, officially launched the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring Tool during a launch session. The 5G Data Hub presents a dashboard on 5G in the Nordic-Baltic region that goes beyond observation, showcasing real-world applications across various sectors, offering insights into 5G coverage, testbeds, analytics, and enabling comparisons of 5G activities across the region. What’s more, it’s an open platform where new use cases can be submitted, allowing all users to shape the tool by filling in this form! Watch the launch session here. “The main goal is to have this evidence-based analytics dashboard.” Ana de Jesus “Nordic Council of Ministers, and Nordregio, have a vision for 2030: for the Nordic Region to be most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. This project aims to help the fulfilment of that vision. The main goal is to have this evidence-based analytics dashboard. By doing so, we are fostering knowledge dissemination, innovation and collaboration”, de Jesus declared. During the event, the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring Tool wasn’t just presented; it engaged the community in an interactive session. More than 25 attendees had the opportunity…

eMSP NBSR – towards integrated and ecosystem based ocean governance

In a world struggling with climate change, biodiversity loss and political uncertainty, problems and paths towards sustainable marine solutions are increasingly complex. In order to further study and develop approaches attempting to tackle challenges, Nordregio is a partner in the EU project “Emerging Ecosystem-based Maritime Spatial Planning Topics in the North and Baltic Sea Regions” – eMSP NBSR. The eMSP NBSR project gathers policymakers, practitioners, and researchers of 15 partner organisations from 9 countries and regions. Together, we seek to promote better integrated ocean governance, facilitate learning across use sectors and marine basins, and collaboratively develop strategies to promote a more sustainable use of our shared oceans. Solutions involve numerous actors with different ambitions and mandates, which increases the complexity. By developing capacity for implementing marine/maritime spatial planning and learning across sea basins in the North and Baltic Sea Regions, the project aims to promote a more integrated and long-term sustainable governance. Synthesis workshops and crunch time In the third week of September, Nordregio hosted an international synthesis workshop aimed at advancing the work with eMSP NBSR. The workshop also aimed to draw lessons learned from testing a collaborative learning approach to work with complex issues in marine governance. During the two intensive and interactive workshop days, the participants worked to fine-tune the seven policy briefs – completed by 80% when arriving at Nordregio’s office and crunched towards completion. eMSP NBSR project – a testbed for communities of practice  eMSP NBSR is built around so-called Communities of Practices (CoPs), as a working method and focuses on five critical topics: Ocean Governance, Integrating an Ecosystem-based Approach in Marine Spatial Planning, Sustainable Blue Economy, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Data and Knowledge Sharing. CoPs are an open problem and participant driven form of collaboration that can complement the existing formal procedures and help break…

Nordregio participates in the 5G Techritory

The Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring Tool project will launch the 5G Data Hub during a session at the 5G Techritory event on 18-19 October. Join us and be among the first to explore its capabilities! The Digital Inclusion project will participate in a panel discussing digital accessibility and challenges and opportunities related to compliance. The 5G Techritory on 18-19 October gathers 5G specialists to discuss and strategize about 5G development in Europe and beyond. This year’s theme is “5G in Action,” with discussions covering topics such as defense communications, Open RAN, and the metaverse. The event is organized in Riga and online and is open for registration to all interested participants. Highlights from the 5G Techritory programme: Panel discussion on digital accessibility, 18 October, 13:00 – 13:30, Policy & Strategy Stage Sigrid Jessen, Research Fellow at Nordregio, will participate in the panel discussion on digital accessibility. This session will focus on the current state of digital accessibility, the necessary actions to be taken, and the shared responsibilities among stakeholders in ensuring comprehensive digital accessibility. Our panelists, consisting of experts in accessibility, policy, and technology, will examine the key challenges and opportunities associated with achieving digital accessibility compliance. Gain valuable insights into the implications of the European Accessibility Directive, its requirements, and the roles of various entities in promoting inclusivity and equal access in the digital realm. This session will be streamed on live.5gtechritory.com. Mapping 5G in the Nordic-Baltic countries – Key insights from the Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring Tool project, 18 October, 17:30 – 17:50, Policy & Strategy Stage Initiated in 2021, the Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring project aimed to contribute to the development of a more integrated, connected, and inclusive Nordic Region. We developed an analytical tool to track 5G progress, going beyond mapping to showcase actual applications across various sectors. As we approach…

“We don’t call it waste anymore – we call it resources”

What started with a problem is now an opportunity. Sotenäs municipality’s industrial symbiosis initiative showcases a successful example of how collaboration between businesses and institutions can help materialise a circular economy. Their Center of Symbiosis now serves as inspiration for many, including the latest visitors from Lithuania, in the context of the BioBaltic project led by Nordregio. Nordregio, together with the Nordic Council of Ministers office in Lithuania and academic partners organised a visit to Sotenäs with guests from Lithuania, including local authorities, chambers of commerce, innovation agency and academia. The aim was both to learn about Sotenäs experience and to reflect about the potential of industrial symbiosis in Lithuania. A journey towards industrial symbiosis  Located on Sweden’s west coast in Västra Götaland region, Sotenäs municipality has taken a giant leap forward towards sustainability. The journey began by acknowledging the environmental impact of the local industry and, rather than dwelling on the problems, local stakeholders focused on the opportunities of transforming waste into resources. Their keyword became ‘symbiosis’. Home to some of Sweden’s largest fish industries, including Orkla Foods Sweden AB, Lerøy Smögen Seafood AB and Marenor AB, significant residues found their way onto the sea. However, tightened EU regulations put doubts about the companies’ future development and operations in Sotenäs. It is in this context that the idea of establishing a biogas plant, Renahav AB, came about, which is now the backbone sustaining the symbiotic relations between different industries.  This is how it works in short: the fish industries deliver their waste to Renahav biogas plant, which in turn generates energy for the industries operations, and biogas digestate, which is used as biofertiliser to grow organic rapeseed and other crops at Klevs farms. After these initial symbiotic links, new companies emerged and linked to the network, such as the…

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Sustainable Maritime Spatial Planning in Stockholm

The eMSP NBSR project – Emerging Ecosystem-Based Maritime Spatial Planning Topics in the North and Baltic Sea Regions, is making waves in the realm of maritime spatial planning (MSP) with two crucial gatherings scheduled in Stockholm next week. The project, which unites national and regional authorities, research organizations, and intergovernmental cooperations from the North and Baltic Sea Regions, aims to address climate change and achieve climate-neutrality targets through MSP. Recommendations for MSP authorities and stakeholders On September 20-21, stakeholders of the eMSP NBSR project will convene for a high-impact Policy Brief & Synthesis Workshop at Nordregio. This interactive session will focus on the outcomes of the five Learning Strands and horizontal themes, including Climate Change and the EU Green Deal. The event will focus on the development of policy briefs, and feature stimulating presentations by renowned external experts, from VASAB, among others. VASAB is an intergovernmental multilateral co-operation of the Baltic Sea Region in spatial planning and development. The Community of Practice (CoP) model helps to facilitate collaboration among policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. Through CoPs, the project’s Learning Strands focus on critical maritime spatial planning areas, incorporating science, innovation, and expertise in the following five key emerging topics: During the Stockholm workshop, the Learning Strands will get the chance to develop their work and collaboration – promising interesting discussions and insights. A Prelude to Innovation: Community of Practice on Sustainable Blue Economy The collaboration will kick off on September 19 with a “Community of Practice on Sustainable Blue Economy.” This session, dedicated to exploring multi-use strategies and policy recommendations for a sustainable blue economy in the North and Baltic seas, will employ marine spatial planning and legislation as tools for progress. Building on insights from previous Community of Practice meetings, this gathering will present a policy brief. This document compiles…

Launch of the Nordic-Baltic DigiHub: For a connected and digitally inclusive region

The Nordic and Baltic countries are among the most digitalised and innovative in the world. To leverage our competitive advantage, the ambition is for the region to continue its digital integration. Our vision for the Nordic-Baltic region is that it becomes the most integrated region in the world. To achieve this, collaboration on digital solutions is essential. Welcome to the Nordic-Baltic DigiHub: For a connected and digitally inclusive region! While many successful projects, use cases and trials are already taking place in the Nordic-Baltic region within digital development and integration, access to information is difficult to get and is scattered over several means of dissemination. “We identified a need to showcase more of what is being done when addressing these questions, in a common platform, to enable existing knowledge to be shared and to become more accessible. With these considerations in mind, the Nordic-Baltic Digital Hub was initiated”, says Nordregio researcher Ana de Jesus. The Nordic-Baltic DigiHub is a shared platform that showcases the projects “Digital inclusion in action” and “The Nordic-Baltic 5G monitoring tool” funded by The Nordic Council of Ministers and run by Nordregio. “The hub aims to promote collaboration, digital integration, and sustainable development in the region by sharing knowledge, tools, research, and facilitating exchanges among stakeholders. It focuses on addressing key questions related to emerging digital technologies, environmental impact, societal challenges, and aligning innovation with societal needs”, says Nordregio researcher Nicola Wendt-Lucas. The goal is to support a green, competitive, and socially sustainable digital transformation in the Nordic and Baltic countries, in line with their vision of becoming the most integrated and sustainable region in the world by 2030.

Nordic-Baltic exchange on wood construction: results from study-trip to Latvia  

In late April 2023, the BSRWood project, funded by the Swedish Institute, brought together a diverse group of participants from the Baltic countries, Sweden, and Finland in Latvia. The purpose was to learn from Latvia’s experience with wood construction and exchange learnings from across the pond. The study tour was organized with the assistance of Antra Viļuma from Riga Technical University and Kristaps Ceplis, the Executive Director of the Latvian Wood Construction Cluster (LKBK). The program combined presentations, site visits, lively discussions and, of course, some time to explore the exquisite night life of Riga.  Presentations and site visits: showcasing Latvia’s wood architecture and industry Presentations focused on Latvia’s wood architecture and industry and presented highlights of recent projects, most notably the circular reconstruction projects pushed by Riga municipality and the library in Ogre designed after a participatory process to meet the interests of the users such as young families while incorporating several smart sustainable solutions. Presentations also dealt with developments in fire safety regulations Estonia and fire safe design in Latvia, the upcoming policy push in Lithuania for increased used of wood in publicly procured buildings, and a more overarching presentation of systems innovation in a case study of Sweden’s and Finland’s wood construction development.   During the study visit, participants had the opportunity to explore the Forest and Wood Product Development and Research Institute in Jelgava. We learned about the various lab tests and educational programs in place to develop skills in wood building. The group also visited the ZAZA Timber factory and the impressive 87-meter wooden pedestrian bridge in Tērvete’s Nature Park, which also collects data on how wood adapts to changing weather conditions and vibrations. The following day, the group traveled north to Cēsis, a town renowned for its rich history in wood architecture and industry. Cēsis…

5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration?

As part of the 5G Techritory Forum in Riga on 29-30 November, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation and Nordregio arranged a session dedicated to Nordic-Baltic collaboration on the 5G rollout. Nordregio researchers Ana de Jesus and Oskar Penje were there to present the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring tool project and to gather the project reference group. The 5G Techritory Forum gathered over 2000 participants online and physically to meet leaders and policymakers to discuss the 5G ecosystem trends and co-create the industry’s future. The session “5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration” was hosted by Stefan Eriksson, head of the Nordic Council of Minister’s office in Riga. Project manager Oskar Penje talked about the 5G ecosystem and trends in the Nordic-Baltic countries. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Heidi Himmanen (Chief Adviser, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom), including Annika Svensson (Project Manager, Luleå University of Technology), Markku Niemi (Business Tampere), and Elīna Lidere (Latvijas Mobilais Telefons). Different perspectives were shared as Annika Svensson gave her views on 5G innovations in sparsely populated areas, Markku Niemi discussed 5G as a cornerstone for smart cities, and Elīna Lidere added to the debate on creating connected and data-driven cities using 5G technology. Some of the overarching questions addressed were: What can 5G offer to public services in the Nordic-Baltic countries? What are the benefits for society? What are the success factors in building partnerships and collaborations in 5G? What are the main barriers and limitations to further collaboration? The session is available here. Also, don’t miss the interview with Annika Svensson and Heidi Himmanen. There is a need to showcase more of what is being developed 5G has real benefits for society and solves real problems. It can empower more efficient and…

Exploring the bioeconomy status quo in the Baltics

The BioBaltic project has published a storymap series that overviews the bioeconomy development in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Both – Nordic and Baltic countries are rich in biological and renewable resources and have a long tradition of utilizing them for generating social and economic benefits through the traditional sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as in manufacturing and related sectors such as tourism. As we transition into a green economy, there is a huge potential for innovation to develop new goods and services from biological resources while creating value locally. In the past year, the project partners across the Baltics have investigated the state of the art of bioeconomy and developed their visions for further bioeconomy development. Their learnings have been summarised in the following storymaps. Press on the picture to access the storymaps: About the project The BioBaltic project provides a platform for generating awareness of different bioeconomy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. This collaboration will enable knowledge generation and exchange on different aspects of the bioeconomy transition, including financing aspects, industrial partnerships and symbiosis or the opportunities of digitalisation. Project partners from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are running so-called “Mobile Learning Hubs” and the overall project is coordinated by Nordregio. Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the project runs from October 2021 until September 2023.

Nordregio co-moderates a panel discussion on the topic ´The role of regions in the Green Transition´  

“The transition towards a green economy cannot be achieved with either policy or technological innovations alone. Actions are needed at multiple scales to transform the interlinked social and technical systems. However, rather than aiming for a single grand solution or ‘holy grail’, different regions may find solutions appropriate to the locally available resources, knowledge, and networks,” says Alberto Giacometti, Research Fellow at Nordregio. Giacometti, Nordregio researcher, together with Virginija Kargytė, Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania, will facilitate a discussion on this topic on 5th of May at 10:00 EET at the 3rd International Scientific Conference “Sustainable Bioeconomy Development 2022: Theory and Practice”. As part of the BioBaltic project, this session is meant to provide inspiration on how different regions and municipalities have mobilised change towards a green economy as well as to generate exchange across the Nordics and Baltics. Read more about the session and register here: https://sbd.vdu.lt/panel-discussion/

SHERPA project working towards sustainable multi-actor platforms

Sustainable Hub to Engage into Rural Policies with Actors (SHERPA) arranged a workshop to kick-start the second phase of SHERPA MAPs by introducing new Facilitators and Monitors to the SHERPA tools. The session aimed at ensuring that both experienced and new Facilitators and Monitors have the same information and feel prepared to facilitate and monitor multi-actor platforms (MAPs) – rural interfaces that provide a forum for co-learning and co-creation of knowledge with European, national and regional actors. “Our societies are facing extremely complex problems that are connected to global and interlinked processes, such as climate change, poverty and inequalities. These problems cannot be solved by scientists or politicians alone. It demands different fields of expertise – including citizens and experience-based knowledge – to interact and collaborate for new ideas and innovations “, says Elin Slätmo, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. According to the researcher, if the multi-actor group is open to combining different types of knowledge and experiences, research shows that applying this method to rural areas can help deal with issues of lack of trust between local actors and central governments. Furthermore, it can help create common visions for sustainable regional development with a commitment to implementing and strengthening rural areas’ resilience and economic competitiveness.  “There are, however, no recipes for success – adaptation and constant learning and development is crucial for processes, outputs and outcomes to be sustainable “, adds Slätmo. SHERPA is a four-year project with 17 partners, funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and coordinated by Ecorys in Brussels. The project aims to formulate recommendations to redefine European development policies and research agenda for rural areas. There will be established 40 MAPs for actors from science, society and policy to interact. Nordregio’s role is to develop the theoretical framework for the science-society-policy interface in…

BioBaltic: Nordic-Baltic Cooperation on circular bioeconomy

On the 11th of November, Nordregio together with Baltic partners started a two-year cooperation journey on circular bioeconomy by kicking off the BioBaltic project. Both – Nordic and Baltic countries are rich in biological and renewable resources and have a long tradition in utilizing them for generating social and economic benefits through the traditional sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as in manufacturing and related sectors such as tourism. As we transition into a green economy, there is a huge potential for innovation to develop new goods and services from biological resources while creating value locally. The BioBaltic project provides a platform for researchers, public authorities, businesses and cluster organisations for generating awareness of different bio-economy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. The project activities will be carried out by Mobile Learning Hubs (MLH) in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. MLHs are participatory mobile learning units that collect and disseminate practical and scientific knowledge, in collaboration with local actors. These combine at least one research partner, a business partner and/or local authority in addition to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ offices in each country. Nordregio is leading the project and communications activities, including the production of country-based storymaps. Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the project runs until September 2023.

Nordregio at Rural Research Day 2021

Research has shown that rural areas own enormous development potential when it comes to value creation and employment in green conversion. Public-private partnerships, industrial communities, and sustainability as common goals are among the tools that ensure green success. This topic is the focus of a presentation given by Dr. Karen Refsgaard, Research Director and Deputy Director at Nordregio at the Rural Research Day 2021. Rural Research Day is part of a larger plan to bring together researchers and practitioners from areas that are important to rural development, with the hope of promoting knowledge-based rural development. Proximity, sustainable development in rural areas, and the connection between country and city are among the main themes of this year’s conference hosted by “Landdistrikternes Fællesråd” in Denmark. During the conference, Dr. K. Refsgaard will give a presentation about the green transition in Nordic rural areas and will discuss best practices and paths to success. The Nordregio Research Director will also describe some of the challenges that can hinder the process of a fair green transition. “What is the green transition without rural areas? The bioresources and their related human and institutional resources are very much located in rural and coastal areas in the Nordic countries. Green investments from pension funds are ready to invest in long-term sustainability. Digitalization demands new skills and new businesses for development in rural areas”, says Dr. K. Refsgaard. According to the Nordregio Research Director, the Covid-19 has put in a boost for new working habits and new ways of living in rural areas. She highlights that there is a need for rural areas in order to improve the green transition. In the conference, examples from BeUBio project (Young people leading the way to a sustainable economy) will be highlighted during the presentation. Find more about the project and read…

Youth leadership practices in the circular economy shared with CBSS

Sustainable management and use of Earth’s natural resources have been at the core of public debates aiming for a fast post-pandemic recovery. In the Baltic Sea region, a lot of focus is drawn on resource-intensive sectors such as textiles, food, constructions, plastics and the support to sustainable future proofing companies. The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) is organizing a seminar to promote knowledge and good practices in the region and to take further steps on circular economy and sustainability. The event “Sustainable and green transformations of the resource-intensive industry sectors in the Baltic Sea Region”, taking place on 26 May, gathers representatives from EU organizations, national ministries, academia and business clusters to discuss how different stakeholders could support the green transition. Nordregio’s Research Fellow Alberto Giacommeti is invited to share perspectives on what opportunities and challenges young leaders face while transitioning towards the circular economy in the Baltic Sea Region: “Stories from young leaders across the Baltic Sea Region reveal a generational readiness for moving towards the circular economy, and also that they are capable of leading this transition. While they are rapidly conquering new grounds, young people remain challenged by mental barriers and access to finance. Supporting young leaders will ensure not only increased sustainability but also innovation and competitiveness.” Find out more about the young bioeconomy entrepreneurs on BeUBio platform and more about the event on CBSS website:

Is territorial governance needed in smart specialisation and maritime planning?

What is the role of territorial governance in supporting smart specialisation? Is maritime spatial planning moving towards policymaking that is inspired by territorial governance approaches? Nordregio’s researchers have published two articles on these topics within the fields of EU regional and EU marine policy. – The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital role of local actors and knowledge in helping build regional resilience and deliver effective policies for citizens. Territorial governance and smart specialization can help bring policymaking closer to citizens and rebuild trust in politics. This is particularly important in peripheral and isolated regions where citizens feel like they have been left behind by the forces of globalization and the knowledge-based economy, says Senior Research Fellow John Moodie. Territorial Governance and Smart Specialisation: Empowering the Sub-National Level in EU Regional Policy     The concept of territorial governance has received little attention within political science and EU Studies despite being advocated as a central element of European Regional Policy. This article examines the key dimensions of territorial governance, arguing that it is both distinct and complementary to multi-level governance, as it focuses on the mobilisation of regional actor groups and the integration of endogenous knowledge in policymaking. – For example at Nordregio, the local actor groups contribute to our work with their knowledge. They work to improve local life and thus are key players in territorial governance. We work with Local Action Groups members in our Thematic groups, Swedish fishermen in maritime spatial planning workshops and with an activist in a Copenhagen neighbourhood working on URBACT to name a few, explains Senior Research Fellow, Michael Kull. The article further explores whether there is merit in understanding smart specialisation as a territorial governance-based model by using examples of S3 process implementation in four Nordic regions. The article finds that smart specialisation can be considered a territorial governance approach, as it promotes bottom-up EU policymaking driven by regional and local knowledge. Moreover, by empowering the subnational level, a territorial governance lens may help to bring EU Regional policymaking closer to citizens,…

Nordregio is hiring: Head of GIS Department

Nordregio is inviting applications for a senior position as Head of GIS Department. Working at Nordregio means an opportunity to become part of a truly international research environment with a focus on sustainable regional development in the Nordic region and beyond. It offers significant career development potential in terms of enhancing your competences through applied and policy relevant research, achieving an international network of contacts, as well as getting extensive experience in team and project management. You will also get rich opportunities to collaborate with regional and municipal stakeholders in the Nordic countries. Nordregio is currently seeking a new Head of GIS Department with: Expertise in GIS, geo-data, quantitative analysis, and applied research in the field of regional development. Experience in leading a team and managing projects as well as a successful track record in grant applications. Knowledge in geographies and socio-economic trends in the Nordic Region and beyond. A drive for working in teams and in an international applied research environment. Eagerness to present and disseminate results to different stakeholder groups, both orally and in written format. Competences and qualifications As Head of GIS Department, you both lead and manage the GIS-team by planning and organising tasks and activities, communicate with each team member and contribute to their development. You are also a project manager with responsibilities to attract, initiate and lead externally funded research and innovation projects. The geographic scope of your field of interest includes a European and international perspective and expert knowledge in at least one of the Nordic countries. We appreciate abilities in external networking and in communication with stakeholders. Internally we appreciate analytical and creative skills, complemented by abilities to both cooperate and work on your own. For this position, you have at least 6 years of relevant work experience and an extensive network…

Webbseminarium – Återhämtning efter covid-19 på Åland: Kapital och Kompetensförsörjning

Den 9 september bjöd Ålands landskapsregering in till lärandeseminarium som anordnas i samband med utvärderingarna av Landsbygdsutvecklingsprogrammet (LBU) och Strukturfondsprogrammet. Seminariet med namnet ”Återhämtning efter Covid-19 på Åland: Kapital och kompetensförsörjning” behandlade de ekonomiska och sociala konsekvenserna av Covid-19, hur Åland ska återhämta sig med tanke på kapital och kompetensförsörjning samt vad LBU-programmet och strukturfondsprogrammet 2014-2020 och kommande EU program 2021-2027 kan tillföra? Seminariet hade 65 deltagare och modererades av Elin Slätmo och Jukka Teräs, seniora forskare på Nordregio, och författare av utvärderingarna tillsammans med ÅSUB. Diskussionen inleddes med att Sölve Högman och Susanne Strand, byråchefer på Landskapsregeringen gav sina perspektiv på hur LBU- och strukturfondsprogrammet kan stötta återhämtningen på Åland. Enligt Sölve Högman finns det mycket att lära av jordbrukssektorn eftersom resiliens och återhämtning är en del av vardagen för lantbrukarna som varje år påverkas av väder och klimat. Inom LBU-programmet finns därför stöd inbyggda, även om dessa kan behöva omformas för att bli mer långsiktiga. Susanne Strand, ansvarig för strukturfondsprogrammen, menar att Åland, som alla andra stater och områden med EU-program, i nuläget funderar på kommande programperiod och undersöker vad det finns för behov i regionerna. Huvudtalare för seminariet var Peter Wiklöf från Ålandsbanken. Peter Wiklöf förklarade att Åland vanligtvis brukar klara sig bättre genom kriser än fastlandet Finland eller Sverige men att krisen åsamkad av Covid-19 varit annorlunda. Den åländska arbetsmarknaden, med generellt låg arbetslöshet, har fått uppleva permitteringar, framförallt på grund av minskad turism och minskad efterfrågan på varor. Dessa perspektiv bekräftades senare med statistik från Jouko Kinnunen från Ålands statistik- och utredningsbyrå, ÅSUB, som presenterade siffror på hur Ålands ekonomi och arbetsmarknad påverkats av Covid-19. Några slutsatser är att det är turism- och transportsektorn som har drabbats hårdast och att det framförallt är unga på väg in på arbetsmarknaden som påverkas mest. Både Jouko Kinnunen…

BONUS BASMATI: maritime planning for the future – new issue of Nordregio Magazine

In the latest issue of Nordregio Magazine, we invite you to join on a Baltic journey of developing tools for maritime space planning. Successful planning of maritime space requires accurate data, a diverse group of stakeholders and access to the best available knowledge. The BONUS BASMATI project has contributed to all three areas within a relatively new field of maritime spatial planning based on ecosystem services thinking. Assessing ecosystem services Neither ocean currents nor fish know any borders. Therefore a good maritime spatial planning needs close cooperation between neighbouring countries – says Henning Sten Hansen, BONUS BASMATI project coordinator. Planning new aquaculture farms or offshore wind sites require accurate data on ecosystem services. The project developed a modelling tool to test various planning scenarios in the Baltic Sea region.  Handbook for planners Maritime spatial planning involves a highly diverse group of stakeholders, from fishers and aquaculture, energy and shipping companies to ecologists and those who use the coast and ocean for leisure and recreation. Not to forget the people who live nearby the sea and all the countries that share access to the same sea basin. The BONUS BASMATI project has developed a handbook that helps to organise this complex process involving all relevant stakeholders. Harmonizing data with the Baltic Explorer Countries in the Baltic Sea region gather various data on the marine space. Combining these data could significantly improve cooperation for better maritime spatial planning. The BONUS BASMATI project has developed a tool called Baltic Explorer which helps to harmonize various marine data in real-time. Find out more about the project here: https://bonusbasmati.eu/