ScanBalt CompetenceRegion: First Results
First results of the CompetenceRegion Project
As one of the key projects of ScanBalt BioRegion, CompetenceRegion will contribute to the development of a metaregion in Life Sciences and Biotechnology in the Baltic Sea Region. The projects objective is to provide a comprehensive and structured mapping of the ScanBalt BioRegion, containing data and information about actors, competencies, framework conditions and other relevant factors on a globally comparable basis. Together with partners from all the Baltic Sea countries, the projects aim is to develop, as a model case, joint regional strategies and recommendations on how to strengthen the competitiveness of Scanbalt BioRegion.
The second project meeting took place in Oslo 24th January and the first project results were presented and discussed, and next steps were scheduled. One of the workpackages is dealing with the linking and integrating of the new EU-Countries. The development of contact points for biovalley structures is an important project milestone. The partners have now created a paper called “Benefits of Biovalleys” which contains a detailed argument of the advantages of biovalleys for industry and public institutions, biotech companies and for research institutes and universities. Here we have input from both sides – the existing Bio-networks gave their experience to the new EU-countries, while these contribute with knowledge about regional peculiarities. The next step is to make an analysis of the needs and demands from the new EU-countries viewpoint.
Other results are related to a workpackage called “Competency Mapping”. This is about the collection, analysis and evaluation of existing mapping with the aim of identifying any lack of information or data. Any gaps will then be filled. All partners have sent the existing mappings, e.g. databases, studies, lists of their region or country to a coordinator for compilation in a table. This phase of mapping collection is nearly finished, and the subsequent analysis, with concrete criteria, has now begun.
The necessary level of cooperation is based on well-coordinated communication. Besides the daily communication facilities via e-mail or telephone, there are efficient dialogues at meetings. There is always, and there has to be, a place for open discussion. This corresponds to the bottom up method, which all ScanBalt projects are based on.
“The new member States of our project have participated in a very active way. During an inspiring discussion, all partners told about their experiences in the respective countries. That is a good basis for the further progress of the project”, said Dr. Wolfgang Blank, CEO of BioCon Valley who is coordinating the project, after the recent meeting in Oslo.