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Clusters the Future of the Baltic Sea Region

Competitive regional economic development in the Baltic Sea Region requires strong clusters based on a solid industrial base and with strong links to academic research and regional authorities.

This was the conclusion of a round table discussion held 7 March in Riga, Latvia. Participants were regional and national authorities, the Nordic Council of Ministers, industries, universities and clusters within life sciences and biotechnology.

The round table was organised by the Latvian Association of Biotechnology and ScanBalt as part of an EU funded project “Bridge-BSR” which over the next 3 years shall strengthen bridges between academic research and SME´s in order to promote commercialisation and job creation. Other partners are Steinbeis Team Northeast, Medicon Valley Alliance, Estonian Biotech Association, IPPT-Pan, BioForum Oulu and BioCon Valley.

The coordinator of Bridge-BSR, General secretary Peter Frank, ScanBalt, says “We look forward to establish cross-border support structures for SME´s in the Baltic Sea Region. They need easier access to private-public financing and they need support to participate in EU-programmes. We hope to initiate successfully the necessary structures and intend to create a widely accepted joint innovation plan.

The plan will focus on SME´s within life sciences in the Baltic Sea Region – ScanBalt BioRegion. In addition we will reinforce our efforts to integrate management of Intellectual Properties in academic research in order to promote exploitation. However to be successful requires strong regional clusters throughout the region, this is a prerequisite. We work to promote this development.”

Elise Kvarnstroem | alfa
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