The Smart Blue Regions project was very visibly represented during the conference. The project shared a stand with the Regional Council of Southwest Finland, one of the project's partner, at both the fair and at a social event that took place in the evening after the first conference day.
Smart Blue Regions attracted many interested visitors that wanted to learn more about the project, especially after it was brought up as an example of a successful smart specialization project at the conference plenary session by Ms. Ilza Ciganska from the secretariat of Interreg Baltic Sea Region. In a session titled “Collaboration in Smart Specialization Areas across EU Borders”, Ms. Ciganska Highlighted the Smart Blue Regions project as “a good example where involved regions improve the management and the actual implementation of their smart specialization strategies through transnational cooperation”.
Furthermore, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Policy Area Innovation Coordinator Mr. Niclas Forsling mentioned the project in his speech. The project partners met with Mr. Forsling in April 2017 in a workshop to learn more about the Baltic Sea Managing Authority Network and the network’s interest to boost transnational cooperation through national ERDF funds.
The conference also gave the project partners the opportunity to learn a lot from other projects and regional smart specialization programs and from the current issues and EU Commission’s views regarding smart specialization. We are already looking forward for Smart Regions 3.0!