BSR Stars aims at strengthening competitiveness and economic growth in the Baltic Sea Region by linking strong research environments, clusters and SME networks.
BSR STARS S3 focuses in enhancing sustainable growth opportunities in the Baltic Sea Region in fields and sectors where there is growth potential as well as cross-border and transnational collaboration opportunities. The initiative seeks to foster cooperation in the region as well as creating joint platforms for a more synchronized future development in the area in fields with high potential. BSR Stars S3 stimulates transnational and cross-sectoral partnerships, develops integrated innovation support infrastructures and innovation management tools, and increases the capacity of innovation actors to utilize smart specialization strategies (S3). It aims to develop more integrated innovation support infrastructures (e.g. EEN, test/demonstration facilities, innovation platforms) and innovation management tools to leverage complementary competences across borders in the BSR. The project involves 12 partners from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania and Norway. It brings together different innovation actors in the area (SMEs, universities, business development organisations, regional authorities and national policymakers) in order to apply a transnational approach in the implementation of their regional and national smart specialisation strategies.

Resources needed

It is a project supported by the Interreg Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme with 2.6 M euros with the direct participation of the 12 partners’ staff as well as external expertise.

Evidence of success

The project main outputs are a cross-sectoral S3 support programme for SMEs and policy briefs with recommendations that can be used at the regional, national and EU levels for efficient S3 implementation. The project has developed several new innovative tools and instruments for promoting transnational S3 collaboration including; matchmaking events; accelerator camps; an innovation ecosystem management tool; innovation voucher scheme; transnational business coaching and the S3 platform.

Difficulties encountered

Need to raise awareness of key concepts and new possibilities that smart specialisation, innovation and transnational collaboration can offer. Establish permanent regional S3 funding and cooperation platforms with joint innovation actions between private and public actors in the Baltic Sea Region.

Potential for learning or transfer

The project has developed different instruments and tools to enhance cooperation between public and private actors within different S3 development fields such as bio, circular and digital economy. These tools can be applied in different EU regions and S3 fields to promote collaboration in transnational and cross-border cooperation contexts.
Main institution
Baltic Institute of Finland (Suomen Itämeri-Instituutti)
Helsinki-Uusimaa, Finland (Suomi)
Start Date
May 2016
End Date
April 2019


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