Elaboration of a joint blue vision in Southwest Finland
The Smart Blue Regions project, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland as well as the City of Turku organised a stakeholder event on 1st February 2017 in Turku (Southwest Finland) dedicated to regional key actors on blue growth. Some 70 participants from the public sector, universities and companies took part to the “Sea Day of Southwest Finland”.
Elaboration of a joint blue vision
The EU Integrated Maritime Policy seeks to provide a more coherent approach to maritime issues, with increased coordination between different policy areas. The Finnish Government has recently established a working group to coordinate the integrated maritime policy issues in Finland. The working group is now focusing on regions’ needs in relation to maritime issues. At the same time the group is collecting feedback on the national Baltic Sea Regions strategy that is currently being updated. Furthermore, the national call for projects to be financed by the maritime and fisheries fund is going to be open soon. The secretary of the working group updated the audience about these current issues. The speakers of the event also included the rectors of two universities, the representative of the Meyer Turku shipyard as well as the representative of a smaller company Clewer specialised in the cleaning technologies e.g. waste water treatment.
The event paved the way to the elaboration of a joint blue vision and action and it has been strongly acknowledged in the region, that cooperation in the framework of smart specialisation is beneficial to all the stakeholders, allowing to combine the expertise from different sectors and across the sectors dealing with blue growth. The aim for the region of Southwest Finland is now to provide joint conclusions and policy suggestions accepted by all relevant stakeholders both at national and European level (e.g. EU Commission DG Mare).
Smart Blue Regions in Southwest Finland
In the afternoon a special session on blue growth was organised. The coordinator of Smart Blue Regions for Southwest Finland, Helinä Yli-Knuutila, represented the project. She briefly clarified the concept of blue growth as such. Besides this, three inspirational speeches were given on blue bioeconomy, blue chemistry and new development areas of shipbuilding.
The aim of the session was to get the participants to widen their horizons and to understand the huge variety of sectors that can contribute to the blue growth. It was noted for example that small companies don’t often realise that they could have expertise that is transformable from land to sea and vice versa. Finally, different cooperation opportunities and new project ideas were discussed during the workshop.
Please find the material of the event (in Finnish) here: http://www.varsinais-suomi.fi/fi/78-tehtaevaet-ja-toiminta/aluekehittaeminen-ja-ohjelmatyoe/1655-turun-ja-varsinais-suomen-meripaiva