The cluster programme BSR Stars has in many ways model character for the Danube Strategy. Therefore Sigrid Winkler represented the PA 8 Working Group Clusters of Excellence at the BSR Stars Conference “Get Smarter Together in the Baltic Sea Region” on 6-7 November in Malmö, to learn about progress to innovation in the sister region.
With the project Stardust, BSR Stars was over the past few years funding a number of diverse initiatives to bring together innovation actors from all over the Baltic Sea Region. The five transnational sub-projects of Stardust presented their most important outcomes at the conference, for instance kitchen design for elderly people, light-weight ferries, or Demola, a new networking format which offers students the possibility to help companies in the search of solutions for their real-life innovation problems.
Not only the results of the presented projects were impressive, also the conference format as such displayed well the innovative character of the Baltic Sea Region. The projects pitched their main results to the audience as if to sell the ideas to an investor. The audience was well integrated in what happened on stage, it had to choose the best pitch, give guidance to the actors of an improvisational theatre performance to sum up the presentations, and on the second day, after a short introduction to the possible topics of discussion, it was up to the conference participants to select the specific agenda for the rest of the day. The presentations were inspiring, with some even sporting songs or fairy tales.
The same goes for funding opportunities: some of the novelties and simplifications in the new Baltic Sea Programme could be an inspiration for the forthcoming Danube Programme. Also the programme Interreg Europe will contain some new aspects. Sigrid Winkler and representatives of the BSR Stars are already discussing how to use these funds for joint cluster projects.
All the documentation of the conference “Get Smarter Together in the Baltic Sea Region” can be downloaded here: www.bsrstars.se/conference/documents-and-presentations/