BSR Stars and StarDust Newsletter #1 Dec 2011
News from BSR Stars and StarDust

Worldwide interest for cross country cooperation

Cooperation through strong research and innovation milieus, cluster and SME networks were interesting subjects at TCI's international cluster conference in Auckland at the end of November. Experts, policy makers and practitioners confirmed that cross country collaborations and the macro regional perspective are of high interest for future economic growth.
The flagship BSR Stars and the project StarDust were presented at the conference. The audience showed great interest in the benefits of small countries working together, using cooperation between clusters and smart specialization as tools to increase global competitiveness. This confirms that StarDust’s innovation cooperation between actors in the Baltic Sea region can have an impact both on business development and on future policies.
The European Union has given higher priority to cooperation in the Baltic Sea region with the newly approved Council conclusions. It means that the innovation cooperation also has gained in importance. During 2012, when Denmark chairs the EU, it is expected that the General Council will adopt a new action plan for the BSR Strategy.

I would like to welcome you to the first newsletter from BSR Stars and StarDust and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2012.
Karin Nygård Skalman
Project Manager

Clusters useful in internationalization processes
Companies and research organizations across the Baltic Sea region strongly agree that cluster organizations (or other innovation intermediaries) are useful in facilitating the internationalization of their research and innovation activities. The four functions that they find most useful are intermediaries’ work with providing access to: external knowledge sources, unique market information, new international contacts and cooperation partners, and benchmarking.
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Swedish EU minister stresses need for a “Baltic Sea Spirit”

On November 30th the Swedish EU minister Birgitta Ohlsson met representatives from 34 governmental agencies and 21 county councils during a hearing on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. In October the government gave these agencies and councils the task to create a national network assigned to take active part in the development of the strategy.
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State of the Region Report
“The Baltic Sea Region has come out of the first phase of the global economic and financial crisis better than most of its peers”. This is the overall conclusion of this year’s State of the Region Report, edited by Christian Ketels, Principal Associate, Harvard Business School. BSR Stars and StarDust is the first project presented among the case studies in the chapter about the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
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Baltic Sea Region Innovation Award
BioCon Valley received the Baltic Sea Region Innovation Award at the BDF Summit gala dinner in Gdansk. BioCon Valley, a partner in StarDust, was awarded for its outstanding work with linking the strongest innovation milieus in the Baltic Sea Region within the field of life science and health.
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Innovation camp in Helsinki
The first ever Baltic Sea Region innovation camp for active and healthy ageing was held in Helsinki on the first week of October. The camp brought together development experts, companies, researchers and end-users to discuss the needs and possibilities for new business opportunities in the health and wellbeing sector.
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StarDust supports new innovation initiative
StarDust will participate with other innovation projects in the open call to establish a cooperation on “Tools supporting SMEs as innovation sources”. Nine innovation projects co-financed by the BSR Programme were invited by the JTS during the fall 2011 to discuss possible objectives and outcomes of a cooperation. The initiative aims on making further use of results and established networks delivered by the on-going projects.
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EU strengthens the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
The General Affairs Council, consisting of ministers from all the EU member states, reviewed the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region at a meeting on the 15th of November. The Council approved recommendations for improved implementation.
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Karin Nygård Skalman meets Regional Commissioner Johannes Hahn

Upcoming Events

14-15 December
StarDust Management Meeting
Gävle, Sweden

30-31 January
StarDust Meeting for all partners and associated partners in the pilots
Stockholm, Sweden

February 2012, date TBC
BSR Stars/StarDust High Level Group meeting
Vilnius, Lithuania

26-30 March 2012, date TBC
StarDust Meeting for all partners and SMEs' Days
Vilnius, Lithuania

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