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EU Commission signs with ScanBalt to support Small and Medium sized Companies

The EU has signed a contract with ScanBalt as coordinator for the project “Bridging Life Science Research and SME´s in the Baltic Sea Region – Putting Cluster Policies into Practise for the Benefit of SME´s” or in short Bridge-BSR.

The project will identify regional bottlenecks in ScanBalt BioRegion for linking academic research with SME´s in order to enhance innovation, develop an investment structure promoting SME development, integrate Intellectual property management in various networks thereby enhancing commercialization and create a shared SME support structure between regional clusters increasing SME participation in EU programmes.

In addition Bridge-BSR will promote mentoring and bench marking between the clusters in ScanBalt BioRegion. Partners of the project consortium besides ScanBalt are Steinbeis, BioCon Valley, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research in Warsaw, BioForum Oulu, Medicon Valley Alliance, Latvian Biotechnology Association and Estonian Biotech Association.

A key outcome of Bridge-BSR will be a joint innovation agenda for ScanBalt BioRegion targeting SME based innovation. The agenda is to be integrated with regional authorities and their strategies. The coordinator of the project, General Secretary Peter Frank ScanBalt, says “Agreements between the regions on cross-border efforts to strengthen SME based innovation is a significant step to mature ScanBalt BioRegion as a globally competitive hot spot attracting human, industrial and financial resources. The development of shared services between clusters, the common bench mark system to be implemented, enhanced access to financing and integration of intellectual property management in various networks will strongly support this”.

Hans-Robert Metelmann, Professor at Greifswald University, Chairman of ScanBalt, adds “The Bridge-BSR will promote cohesion in the Baltic Sea Region between fast growing tiger economies in the Baltic Countries, Poland and Russia, the Nordic Countries already among the most Innovative in the World and a Germany going through a very positive development. The Baltic Sea Region is on Top of Europe but has ambitions for more. In the future we will see stronger collaboration on common challenges for the populations in the region. Like for example cancer prevention, where coordinated efforts between policy, science and industry in the Baltic Sea Region can enhance life expectancy”.

Official kick-off meeting for Bridge-BSR takes place 6 March 2008 in Riga hosted by the Latvian Biotechnology Association.

Elise Kvarnstroem | alfa
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