A first in the series, Aarhus Innovation Camp took place on 18-21 March 2018  with the broader theme “From Smart City to Smart Society”. It brought together close to 60 participants from all the Baltic Sea regions, ranging from regional development professionals and politicians to academia and civil society representatives. Click here to see the list of organizations.

Aarhus Innovation Camp outputs are first ideas and rough solutions developed in response to challenges put forward by participant regions.

Central Denmark Region got ideas and solution drafts on how to develop collaboration for smart specialisation between municipalities in the region. The two bigger ideas were: developing an engagement toolbox for stakeholders and creating a “superhero hub” of forward-thinking local individuals on regional level, to support them and their actions on local municipal level.

The City of Tallinn’s challenge was about engaging citizens to the creation of the new development 2020+ plan. The output solution suggested the story-telling approach of recording videos from citizens about “My Tallinn” related to different aspects: transportation, sports, health, etc. This way citizens get to tell what they love and what they want to develop. The videos will be used for inputs to the new development plan, and as a marketing campaign to promote what the city is doing for development.

The City of Kotka got inputs on how to organize a creative process for making Kotka more attractive port city by engaging students and entrepreneurs. The concept is about viewing the City as a “curriculum” for student projects with involvement of start-ups.

Other Camp outputs were about promoting inter-regional collaboration in BSR, e.g. by establishing an annual “Icebreaker” event bringing together BSR politicians, regional actors, academia and NGOs to innovate, network and share ideas and best practices in smart specialisation in informal atmosphere.

EU Joint Research Centre organized a Peer Exchange Learning (PXL) workshop to assist the regions in progressing with their RIS3 strategy implementation. The workshop focused on regional experiences in operationalising entrepreneurial discovery process, designing and implementing policy instruments and monitoring regional RIS3. Altogether five (5) regions presented their progress and challenges in RIS3 implementation and received peer feedback and ideas for development: Helsinki (FI), Pomorskie (PL), Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia (click for ppts).

People discussing
People discussing
People discussing

A common challenge to the regions is how to involve relevant stakeholders, increase their voice and ownership of the policy and enhance the accountability of public interventions. To provide more space and opportunities for continuous entrepreneurial discovery process in RIS3 it is necessary to establish stakeholders’ platforms for on-going discussion on the evolution of priority domains and the identification of new ones. The story-telling approach is helpful in maintaining coherence of the whole system in RIS3-related policy-making, monitoring and implementation.

The summary of key questions, challenges and learnings of the regions is available from Joint Research Centre report (upcoming).

Click here for more information on the methodology of Peer Exchange Learning Workshops by JRC