Improving smart specialisation implementation of the Baltic Sea Region through orchestrating innovation hubs

October 2017 -
September 2020


Policy area:
1. Innovation 1.2 Smart specialisation

Smart-up BSR

The project helps regions in nine countries to apply research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) by sharing best practices and knowledge of EU RIS3 experts (Committee of Regions, EU Joint Research Centre) and co-creating concepts for the RIS3 implementation. The project focuses on active healthy ageing, digitalisation in smart city, climate change and circular economy.


Engagement for a shared vision

Smart-Up BSR addresses the challenge of making regional research & innovation strategies (RIS3) relevant and effective to a diverse set of stakeholders. It does so by pooling the dispersed knowledge and capabilities together, by engaging different stakeholders such as regional actors, universities, NGOs, politicians and businesses to create a shared vision of regional development and smart specialisation strategies in Baltic Sea regions. Collective vision and strategy development help to create and maintain stakeholder commitment and a sense of ownership.

The way of working

Smart-Up provides a continuity for interaction between stakeholders through a series of innovation camps organised over the span of three years. During Smart-Up innovation camps, participants work around challenges put forward by challenge owners in the Baltic Sea cities and regions. Innovated solutions are about promoting regional smart specialisation, and implementing pilots related to healthy ageing, climate change, circular economy and smart city. In the camps participants learn about local best practices and get inspiration from visiting local initiatives.

Smart-Up BSR: networking for innovation

This thee-year engagement process enables innovative approaches, systematic revision and selection of best regional practices in regional research & innovation strategies’ implementation. It allows Smart-Up BSR partners to build up their networks and establish more solid inter-regional collaborations over the spearhead topics. Project outcomes focus on overcoming the stakeholder divide in the regions, and leveraging collective knowledge to achieve effective regional and transnational collaboration for realising Baltic Sea region policies in practice.

Highlights by mid-term:

The project organised six innovation camps (out of the planned eight ones) so far in different locations of the Baltic Sea region. They fostered bottom-up and needs-driven innovation processes in regions, providing an opportunity for co-creation, experimenting and building trans-regional network for more effective smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) implementation. During Smart-Up innovation camps, the participants worked on the challenges for promoting regional smart specialisations, and planned pilots related to healthy ageing, climate change, circular economy and smart cities. The participants also received advice from experts from the European Committee of the Regions and Joint Research Centre.

In Lithuania, experiences gained during the camps encouraged stakeholders of RIS3 to launch three hackathons. Whereas, the University of Latvia initiated the cooperation with the Riga City Council on the theme of smart city, resulting in the participation of university's representatives in the work group formed by the Latvian Ministry of Economics.

The project also developed the Smart Up Pilot Planning Methodology. This is a compilation of diverse lessons learned through processes on pilots planning in all countries participating in the project. It serves as a valuable source of ideas for pilots that will be implemented at the later stage of the project implementation.


€ 2.40
€ 1.79
Eni + Russia
€ 0.09
€ 0.00



Project manager

Aalto University

Taina Tukiainen

358 405 552 482

Legal representative

Aalto University Foundation sr

Ingmar Björkman

358 9 47001

Financial manager

Aalto University

Tuija Heikura

358 50 464 5568

Communication manager

Aalto University

Angelina Korsunova

358 403 538 008