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3 Ongoing Projects

Accelerating wood construction across Nordics and Russia

This project has been halted based on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ decision to discontinue collaboration with Russia and Belarus, announced on the 4th of May. The project aims at supporting sustainable and innovative production and use of wood-based building materials across Northwest Russia and the Nordics. Using wood in construction provides multiple benefits to nature and economies. It is by far the most effective way to cut emissions and capture carbon. It also promotes a transition towards green economies, boosts business exchange opportunities and adds value locally. This project focuses on influencing skills development, facilitating business relations and catalysing processes through the exchange of knowledge, technology and practices across universities, businesses and authorities. Activities will be held in Arkhangelsk, Karelia, Murmansk, St Petersburg and the Nordics from December 2021 until December 2022. The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

BioBaltic – Nordic-Baltic cooperation within bio-circular-economy

The project aims at deepening Nordic-Baltic cooperation around bio-circular-economy. Both – Nordic and Baltic countries are rich in biological and renewable resources and have a long tradition in utilizing these resources for generating economic growth through the traditional sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as related sectors including food processing, tourism etc. This 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 among multiple actors, including youth. The collaboration will focus on different aspects of bioeconomy transition, including financing aspects, industrial partnerships and symbiosis or the opportunities of digitalisation. A two-way learning channel will be established between each Baltic country and the Nordic Countries through Nordregio. The ‘Mobile Learning Hubs’ (MLHs), coordinated by the NCM offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will collect and disseminate practical and scientific knowledge on bio-circular-economy, in collaboration with local actors.

Marint Gränsforum Skagerrak – external evaluation

MarintGränsforum Skagerrak aims at cross-border and trans-disciplinary collaboration in order to strengthen Skagerrak as a viable environment and a blue growth region, and in parallel to protect the national parks and their role for a sustainable environment. Nordregio has conducted an external evaluation of the Interreg project “Marint Gränsforum Skagerrak”.

Update of the VASAB-LTP for the Territorial Development of BSR

This project aims to update the strategy VASAB Long Term Perspective (LTP) for the territorial development of the Baltic Sea Region – BSR. The revision of this transnational strategic spatial planning document on territorial integration builds on relevant topics of existing VASAB LTP (1994, 2009) and will incorporate a future-oriented perspective. The revision will consider current and future trends that are likely to influence the territorial development of the macro-region. The update of the long-term vision is envisaged as an iterative and participatory process involving a wide range of relevant stakeholders. Together with Spatial Foresight, Nordregio will develop a background synthesis report that will cover the experience and lessons learned from the current VASAB long-term perspective; important trends shaping future developments in the Baltic Sea Region and key relevant policy documents to which the long-term perspective need to relate to. This report will be fundamental to guide the new spatial vision that will endeavour for a sustainable, inclusive and digital Baltic Sea Region in 2040.

Nordic & Northwest Russia cooperation on wood and construction

This cooperation aims at establishing sustainable Nordic-Russian business-to-business and business – academic partnerships in the wood and construction sector. The objective is to support innovative production and use of wood-based building materials capitalising on the untapped potential for a biobased economy in NW-Russia.

BeUBio – targeting youth in the Baltic Sea Region for the SDG:s and Bioeconomy

BeUBio aims to promote youth involvement across the Baltic Sea Region for transition to a bio-based economy, and create synergies with other actors and initiatives addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A platform for youth involvement will be established to bring young people together with politicians and decision-makers in companies and create synergies with other actors and initiatives enabling youth participation in the development of a circular bioeconomy within the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and other relevant frameworks. Examples of regional initiatives working with similar goals are the ‘Baltic Leadership Programme on Youth’, ‘Bioeconomy (BLP Youth)’, ‘ReGeneration 2030’ and the ‘Baltic Youth Festival’, which we need to connect. There is a need for more and harmonised initiatives and methods for attracting and involving youth. That will be a role for BeUBio. The BeUBio started as an idea within the BLP Youth and has been approved seed money funding from the Swedish Institute to prepare for a larger project concept including identified possible other actors and hopefully more. Visit the Beubio website and get familiar with various youth bioeconomy initiatives.

Trend analysis for Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region

The project aims to investigate the fluctuations and variations of bioeconomy within the Baltic Sea region and pinpoint the most important and relevant macro trends for the area. Nordregio will contribute to the project by updating the mapping of key indicators of Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region and North-West Russia. Furthermore, during the 2019 Nordregio Forum, a survey on the relevance of the identified trends and challenges in the Bioeconomy in the BSR region will be launched. In the survey, trend relevance will be assessed by respondents prioritizing the trends on three dimensions: 1) importance, 2) the ability of stakeholders to leverage or influence the trend, 3) consistency of the trend. The survey will be carried out with the participants at the Forum. In that way also stakeholders from Norway, Iceland and the West Atlantic will be tied to the project. The results obtained through this project will serve as support for policy related dialogue amongst regional and national stakeholders of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Kicking off Bioeconomy in the North

This project is a continuation of the NCM-funded project ‘Nordic-Russian bioeconomy pre-study’ that focused on bioeconomy in Arkhangelsk oblast in Russia. In the second phase of the project, the geographic focus will be expanded by including the Murmansk oblast and the Republic of Karelia in the bioeconomy network analysis. The overall aim of the project is to form a network and assure long-term cooperation between the Nordic countries and Northwestern Russia that will allow companies, authorities and researchers to work on strengthening the local economy due to a bioeconomic transition. The further purpose of the project is to increase understanding of the institutional framework for bioeconomy in Northwestern Russia through conducting a study on the current status of bioeconomy in the Murmansk region and the Republic of Karelia. In spring, 2019, Nordregio is planning to publish a report on the current status and support framework for bioeconomy in the Murmansk region and the Republic of Karelia and a policy brief. Nordregio will also take an active part in the networking meeting in Rovaniemi in autumn 2018 and a final roundtable meeting in Murmansk in winter 2019, where joint project ideas and next steps for cooperation will be discussed.

Advancing the bioeconomy transition in the Nordic Region (BioWiseTrans)

In the long run the aim is to maintain and develop a unique transdisciplinary (interdisciplinary and inclusive of stakeholders) network to study and propel the transition towards a new primarily land and biomass-based bioeconomy. The network is focusing on innovation and adaptation associated with local and regional initiatives, their economic and social impacts and socio-ecological interactions. Importantly, the opportunities and challenges these initiatives pose, and their multileveled governance frameworks are problematized and tackled. The aim of the network is to encourage and empower relevant stakeholders to join research and innovation (R&I) processes as active partners. This will be done by an inclusive and participatory science-based tailoring of the R&I processes at local and regional level. Such an approach is needed because of the diverse context of land use and biomass, the particular institutions and governance structures and the specific needs and interests varying across regions and localities in the Nordic countries. Consequently, our approach combines STI (Science-Technology-Innovation) and DUI (Doing-Using-Interacting Innovation) and synchronized with processes for empowerment. In doing do, we will increase understanding of how positive outcomes are inhibited or encouraged by locally adapted institutional frameworks and thereby influence local economic and social benefits. Importantly, the network will also study the ways in which national and EU regulations and policies affect such processes of local adaptation. This approach is thus in contrast to standardized bioeconomy development processes. Three workshops will be arranged including local field visits to investigate regional opportunities and challenges, to understand the conflicts between different uses and interests and to understand the potential impacts of the transition to a bioeconomy. Planned field visits and workshops involve key stakeholders. The activities of the network include: 1) Kick-off at Nordregio, Sweden, September 2017. Workshop with representatives from the core group in the network, including researchers, PhD students/post docs…

Nordic-Russian bioeconomy pre-study

The project aims at strengthening and specializing networks in bioeconomy; enhancing understanding of institutional framework with regard to utilization of forest and waste resources in Northwest Russia, as well as contributing with concrete ideas and topics for Nordic-Russian cooperation in forest- and waste management. This will be achieved through an in-depth study on the forest- and waste-based bioeconomy in the Arkhangelsk region. A particular focus will be on the key institutions and stakeholders, and an analysis of their role and importance in the region, including an overview of the existing challenges and opportunities for bioeconomy. The study will be conducted jointly by Nordregio and the Russian partners, and will be based on the interviews with relevant actors in the field of forestry and waste management in the Arkhangelsk region. The University of Eastern Finland will host a mid-term meeting in Joensuu, Finland, bringing together Russian and Nordic bioeconomy experts and best practice cases to discuss the results of the study and to share knowledge and expertise. The final meeting of the project will take place in Arkhangelsk in autumn 2017, where issues of mutual interest, concrete collaboration opportunities and learning and research in the field of forest and waste-based bioeconomy will be identified. The project is carried out in the framework of the new co-operation programme between the Nordic Region and Northwest Russia funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

BSR Stars S3 – Smart specialization in bio-, circular and digital economy in the Baltic Sea Region

The concept of smart specialisation has challenged European regions to establish innovation driven development strategies that focus on areas of strength and competitive advantage. The BSR Stars S3 project seeks to enhance growth opportunities in the Baltic Sea Region, focusing on the bio-/circular and digital economy fields. The main objective is to improve capacities of the regions to implement regional smart specialization strategies (RIS3) through tools and methods that engage bio- and circular business and research, support management of innovation processes and enhance transnational cooperation opportunities. The BSR Stars S3 project has received a flagship status and contributes to realising the goals of overall Baltic Sea Region Stars flagship programme and thus to the Policy Area for Innovation (PA INNO) within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The project contributes to realising the expanded scope of PA INNO – addressing the objectives for integrated support infrastructure for SMEs (through Enterprise Europe Network), for a strengthened digital internal market, and for further steps towards facilitating linkages and building longer-­term innovation partnerships. In addition, the BSR Stars S3 project contributes to realising the strategic priorities of the EUSBSR Action Plan Priority Area Bioeconomy (coordinated by the BSR Stars S3 project partner Nordic Council of Ministers). Key activities of BSR Stars S3 project include: Pilot tools and methods that will engage business and public actors also across borders and support development of new business value chains within the bio-/circular and digital economy fields, such as public-research-business matchmaking events, cross-sectoral business coaching, a voucher system for transnational usage of R&D facilities and S3 acceleration camp. Develop and pilot an online innovation process management tool and provide guidelines for the regions to enhance regional innovation process management and support infrastructures Organise regional peer/learning visits and produce policy recommendations to improve the knowledge…