Presentation at the 9th Southern Baltic Sea Parliamentary Forum, Gdansk Poland
PRINTED VERSION – CHECK AGAINST DELIVERED PRESENTATION given in Gdansk 4 July 2011
Ladies and gentlemen
On behalf of Region Skåne I would like to thank you for the invitation to the 9th Southern Baltic Sea Parliamentary forum and I would also like to send a special thank you to our host, mr. Jan Kleinszmidt, chairman of the sejmik here in the Pomorskie Voivodeship. Cooperation with our neighbours in the Baltic Sea is a high priority for Region Skåne and this forum is a good opportunity to meet face to face and discuss common challenges.
The topic of this year’s forum is the EU Baltic Sea Strategy. The creation of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy was something we in Skåne, like many other Baltic Sea regions, strongly supported and we are also taking a very active part in the implementation of it. Region Skåne arranges and participates in hearings and conferences on many different levels and we have an ongoing dialogue with the Swedish government and the EU-level both directly and through our membership in organizations and geographical co operations like the BSSSC, CPMR-BSC and STRING.
But of course the most effective way to influence the realization of the Baltic Sea Strategy is to take a practical approach to implementing it and that is why Region Skåne has taken responsibility for and also participates in different flagship projects within the Baltic Sea Strategy.
One of major the major areas of interest for Region Skåne is innovation. Within the area of innovation we are currently involved in three major projects connected to the Baltic Sea Strategy:
• Science Link for research and infrastructure (a part of Baltic Science Link) with the goal to maximize the use of available research centres around the Baltic sea, for instance DESY in Hamburg or the ESS and MAX IV facilities that will be built in Skåne
• Baltic Sea Fund for Innovation and Research with the focus on developing financial instruments for innovation and research tailored to the specific strengths of the Baltic Sea Region and coordinate existing and new funding for innovation and research at the EU, national and regional levels as well as private funding. Region Skåne is lead partner for the flagship.
• BSR Stars – StarDust. BSR Stars is a business-related transnational collaboration covering innovation systems, cluster and SME networks, in order to strengthen economic growth in the whole Baltic Sea Region. BSR StarDust – a pilot project that supports the development of BSR Stars. 34 partners.
Region Skåne is also active in the area of transport/infrastructure within the Baltic Sea Strategy. Some examples:
• TransBaltic gathers 21 project partners and Region Skåne is lead partner. The goal is to create an interconnected transport system, increase the accessibility of territories and the quality of connections, and to master the increasing flows in and across the Baltic Sea region.
• CETC- developing the infrastructure and economic growth along Route 65 stretching from Sweden, via Poland, Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia
• SCANDRIA- Scandria is a cooperation of 19 partners from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway developing a green and innovative transport corridor.
Later today Carina Sühnel from Region Skåne´s department of Regional development will give a presentation on how we in Skåne are working with the Baltic Sea Strategy in a Swedish context and she will go in to more detail about these and other projects and co operations.
In conclusion I would like to say that I am looking forward to today’s presentations and discussions. The Baltic Sea region faces many mutual challenges, the best way to solve them is by cooperation.
Thank you for your attention!
(Adress/Speech prepared by Ingvar Thell, Region Skåne, given by Pontus Lindberg, Chairman of the committee for regional growth, Region Skåne)