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3 Ongoing Projects

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.

eMSP Project: Emerging ecosystem-based Maritime Spatial Planning topics in North and Baltic Seas Region

The aim of the eMSP project for the North Sea and the Baltic Sea Regions is to enable Maritime Spatial Planners and policymakers to reflect on current MSP practices, to learn effectively from each other, and to collectively identify MSP challenges and solutions. This will provide new knowledge and information to national governments and the European Commission on the development and implementation of effective MSP approaches that can deal with future challenges and opportunities afforded by the sea in a coherent way and with involvement of industry, academia and non-governmental organisations. The project is built around a Community of Practice (CoP) model, which is based on creating forums for policymakers, practitioners and researchers to discuss important MSP developments in key thematic areas. Activities to be conducted through the CoPs will enable maritime policymakers and professionals to adequately address future challenges in the maritime environment by improving the design, implementation and monitoring of Maritime Spatial Plans, and using the best available knowledge from science and innovation. As part of the project, Nordregio is responsible for facilitating CoP activities and drawing lessons learned from how the CoP approach functions in practice and the challenges and benefits such forums present for MSP development and implementation processes. 

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.

GROM – Green transition in the Arctic

The resources in the Norwegian Arctic contribute significantly to the overall Norwegian value creation, and the Arctic’s marine resources play a particular role in further developing the region (Regjeringens Nordområdestrategi 2017). Coupled with the marine resources, the renewable energy potential is significant. Following the Norwegian government’s Arctic strategy (2017) and the EU’s ambition of mitigating emissions by 20% in 2030, the project aim is three-fold: 1) Strengthen the collaborative capacity between commercial and industrial actors in the North of Norway towards an industrial green transition; 2) Building knowledge capacity on private and semi-private companies’ actions regarding choice of technology, production methods and energy sources as alternative to fossil fuels and traditional production methods, whilst clarifying the connections between profit, innovation and the green transition in product and service provision; 3) Increasing the knowledge around the ability of businesses and industries’ to act for sustainable development: their room to manoeuvre – barriers and innovation processes. The project’s main research question is: ‘What are the driving forces behind, and what is ‘the green transition’ in relation to innovation in businesses working in sectors such as maritime industries, waste treatment and logistics in an Arctic context?’ The project subsequently asks the following leading questions: • What characterises innovation processes in businesses working with the ‘green’ transition? • What does the ‘green transition’ mean in relation to the businesses, and what does ‘transitioning to environmental sustainability’ in the maritime sector and in waste management? • Which barriers surface and what are the conditions needed for sustainable transitions? • In what way could experiences from Finnish and Swedish industries and businesses provide increased knowledge capacity for the necessary framework conditions for sustainable and environmental innovation in an Arctic/North-Norway context? The project is a collaboration between research institutions and the industry, enabling insight into the ways…

Economic marine mapping

In this project, Nordregio and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management are working together to identify and collect economic and social data for both, sea and land-based activities. The initiative aims at linking economic data to the existing marine planning data, in order to evaluate environmental, as well as, social and economic aspects when planning for a sustainable use of the sea. The existing tool for Swedish marine planning, called “Symphony”, is an important element of the research, as the gathered data will be incorporated into its work. The indicators and findings of this project are also part of the Swedish contribution to the project Pan Baltic Scope.

Improving Urban-Rural connectivity in non-metropolitan regions (URRUC)

This project aims to develop a transport policy toolkit for stakeholders to support transport policy decision-making and enhance connectivity between urban and rural areas across Europe. Transport accessibility and mobility are central to connecting people to essential services, business and employment opportunities. Provision and accessibility to transport services in peripheral rural areas is significantly worse than in urban. Improving urban-rural connectivity would help promote entrepreneurial investments in local and regional economies as well as increase quality of life for those with inadequate or restricted access to essential services and employment opportunities. The project encompasses 4 European territories with comparable urban-rural transport connectivity challenges in non-metropolitan areas in close proximity to rural spaces namely Scarborough Borough, UK (Lead stakeholder), Marina Alta (Spain), Regione Liguria (Italy) and Västerbotten County (Sweden). The research exercise will involve desk-based research to identify emergent transport policy initiatives and theory that can be implemented by policymakers to improve transport network efficiency in their territories. Case studies from the partner territories will also be undertaken by researchers to identify challenges unique to participants and how these challenges have been met. Opportunities for discussion and collaboration will also be facilitated at 4 network events, encouraging knowledge transfer and consideration of new approaches to transport policy improvement. The end product will be a toolkit containing recommendations based on emergent theory as well as real world experiences that will allow transport policy best practise to be identified, giving stakeholders access to a suite of potential transport policy solutions that can be tailored to their specific needs. Nordregio contribution to the project: Lead partner for WP 2.2. – Analysis of existing and emerging patterns of urban-rural linkages Conducting an extensive case study focusing on flexible urban-rural transport solutions/systems in the Västerbotten county as well as contextualizing the challenges encountered and outlining the…

PanBaltic SCOPE

The objective of the project is to contribute to more coherent maritime spatial planning (MSP) strategies in the Baltic Sea region (BSR) and to build lasting macro-regional mechanisms for cross-border MSP cooperation. To achieve the overall objective the project shall: – Build on the results and experiences from a series of MSP-related projects in the Baltic Sea Region, in particular the Baltic SCOPE project (2015-17), as well as on the national MSP processes; – Establish a Planning Forum for cross-border cooperation; – Facilitate and carry out concrete cross-border activities at different geographical levels in the Baltic Sea Region to meet the needs of the national MSP processes and to support the Member States in successfully implementing the MSP-directive; – Develop approaches and tools at pan-Baltic level to contribute to coherent MSP in the BSR. Coherence is achieved gradually, as countries are at different stages of MSP development and have different needs; – Support practical implementation of an ecosystem- based approach in MSP in the BSR; – Develop methods to build better marine spatial planning processes with land use spatial planning processes to emphasize the land-sea interactions influencing the development of the coastal areas as well as the status of the Baltic Sea; – Share best practices and build new knowledge to inform and support MSP in the BSR. Nordregio roles 1) As leader of Activity 1.1.5 Lessons Learned, Nordregio provides feedback on progress to planners throughout the lifetime of the project, and conducts an overall assessment oflessons learned: A Lessons Learned Report with the focus on a) solutions on improved cross-border cooperation, b) stakeholder mobilization and integration, c) advancing the implementation of the EBA, d) data sharing, e) Land-Sea Interaction; 2) Leading of WP 1.3. Integrating Land-Sea Interaction into MSP. This WP is to identify and practically work with important…

BONUS BASMATI – Baltic Sea Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Ecosystem Services

BONUS BASMATI project aims to develop an innovative decision support system for maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea region. The overall objectives of BONUS BASMATI are to: 1) develop integrated and innovative solutions for maritime spatial planning related to marine and coastal ecosystem services and marine protected areas, 2) develop and apply spatial decision support systems including data discovery and exchange facilities, 3) develop means for interactive multi-level, multi-stakeholder and cross-sector governance. BONUS BASMATI focuses on establishing an innovative decision support system that can facilitate between different actors and stakeholders in MSP and at all stages of the planning process. This involves elements such as data discovery and exchange, integrative analyses related to the ecosystem-based principle and interactive stakeholder involvement. An ecosystem oriented maritime planning support tool needs to respond to a number of challenges to integrated planning and management, such as considering effects of several coincident or alternative economic and other activities in the maritime space – and to discuss benefits, conflicts and trade-offs of different alternatives with stakeholders in the planning phases. Nordregio is in charge of a WP on “Governance and Maritime Spatial Planning” with its 4 main tasks: 1) Assessing Governance Models/Tools and Stakeholder Participation in MSP, 2) Stakeholders Identification and Scenario Design, 3) Case Study Assessment, 4) Developing a Governance Concept for MSP: Lessoned Learned and Best Practice.

Towards coherence and cross-border solutions in Maritime Spatial Planning (Baltic SCOPE)

Pressure on maritime space is increasing and while addressing environmental issues remains high on the agenda, blue growth is gaining political salience as an essential area for promoting economic growth and competitiveness. The project has come to an end and more information including the publications can be found here. Economic activities in the Baltic Sea Region are rapidly increasing. The emergence of new activities, such as the development of offshore wind farms, has enhanced competition for sea space and added additional pressure to the sustainable utilization of sea areas. As both national and sectorial interests increasingly overlap, there is need to adopt a more holistic approach in the development of processes and practices for the sustainable management of maritime spaces. In response to these developments, the EU launched the 2014 Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), directing all EU Member States to establish and implement national Maritime Spatial Plans. Projects such as Baltic SCOPE, financed by DG Mare, contribute to this process by supporting national planning authorities in the development of common processes designed to seek solutions to transboundary issues in the Baltic Sea Region. The Baltic Scope project is coordinated by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SWAM) and focuses on two case studies (see map) in which partners from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Latvia and Estonia discuss and develop potential solutions to cross-border MSP issues in an attempt to increase the alignment of national maritime spatial plans. As one of the main partners in the project consortium, Nordregio´s central role is to examine stakeholder interaction in the two case studies (through participant observation and the implementation of a Delphi survey) in order to distil lessons learned and highlight good practices in cross-border MSP policymaking processes. This is done by adapting and applying the concept of territorial…

Maritime Spatial Planning in Sweden

Nordregio has been commissioned by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management to prepare a background paper concerning Maritime Spatial Planning in Sweden. Based on existing and proposed policies, the project investigates how the planning process could possibly look like, who needs to be involved, when and how as well as how monitoring and international coordination could be facilitated. The outcome of the project is an idea paper that will be presented during a workshop organized by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.