ScanBalt: A Shared Innovation Infra Structure Aiming for Smart Specialization
Authors (alphabetical order): Krzysztof Bielawski, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk; Wolfgang Blank, Biotechnikum Greifswald; Daan Bultje, Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands; Peter Frank, ScanBalt® fmba; Frank Graage, Steinbeis Team Northeast; Lars Lindsköld, Region Västra Götaland; Tero Piispanen, Turku Science Park; Jaanus Pikani, Tartu Biotechnology Park; Bo Samuelsson, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
ScanBalt is a shared (macro-regional) innovation infra-structure between BSR regions with focus on establishing the Baltic Sea region as one test site for health care products and services.
It acts as a smart specialization platform identifying key competencies of the regions and promoting coordinated trans-national investments between ESIF, H2020, regional and national public-private financing.
ScanBalt since 2001 basically has worked according to the 6 steps of developing (macro-regional) research and innovation strategies for smart specialization:
1) Analyzing the innovation potential
2) Setting out the (RIS3) process and governance
3) Developing a shared vision
4) Identifying the priorities
5) Defining an action plan with a coherent policy mix
6) Monitoring and evaluating
ScanBalt is thus a tool for the macro-region and the sub-regions assisting with the design of research and innovation strategies for smart specialization (RIS3).
Analysis and think tank
ScanBalt analyses current health care innovation priorities and policies and identifies good practices as well as proposing priorities and roadmaps for bottom-up trans-regional and transnational cooperation.
The aim is as mentioned to accelerate the development and deployment of the BSR as one test site for health care products and services .
If successful this is a huge benefit for SMEs which faster and easier can bring their innovations to the market and it improves the health care offered to patients.
For the regions it means more efficient use of existing research and innovation infra-structure and economic development.
Regional ownership and smart specialization
Thus the regions can benefit from taking further ownership of ScanBalt as a shared infrastructure to strengthen smart specialization, promoting commercialization of ideas from the BSR health care systems and introduce technological solutions to reduce health care costs, increase efficiency and enhance patient satisfaction.
ScanBalt may be applied to assist solving very concrete societal challenges such as:
• fighting hospital acquired infections and bacterial resistance with new diagnostic tools and services;
• sharing existing health data infrastructures to facilitate innovative health-related product development
• optimize treatment and management of fracture care.
These are just a few examples however project accelerator workshops and the continuous dialogue between regions, clinics, clusters, SMEs and funding sources constantly redefine and update goals and targets according to needs and possible solutions.
It is also a good investment. One Euro invested into ScanBalt gives more than 15 Euro back in terms of mobilized financial resources.
 Driving cross-sectorial innovation in health and life sciences – An Innovation Agenda for the Baltic Sea Region Health Economy, BSHR HealthPort Baltic Sea region programme 2007-2013 (Nov 2013), Read here.