Achieving a stronger impact by bringing projects together
“Platforms bring together partner organisations from different projects and different funding programmes to streamline their outcomes and achieve a stronger impact in the region,” said Eeva Rantama, team leader of the project unit in the Programme’s Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat (MA/JS) when opening the project platform development seminar.
Officers of the MA/JS explained to the audience the specific rules for platform applications. To inspire platform developers, Carsten Beyer from the SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth explained the process of developing a project platform. Carsten and his organisation are part of the Blue Platform – one of the six already running platforms in Interreg Baltic Sea Region. He stressed: “Project platform is a great way to move away from project thinking to the long term goals”.
Wide variety of topics: good potential for new platforms
Afterwards the participants got the floor to exchange about their ideas. Some of the platform proposals were already quite mature while others were rather at an early stage. The presented ideas covered a wide range. Some project representatives saw a possibility to facilitate more intensive use of innovation laboratories by enterprises and a need to enhance capacity of regional authorities to implement smart specialisation strategies. Others focused on topics related to efficient management of natural resources: strengthening maritime spatial planning, preventing marine litter and increasing energy efficiency in housing.
Coordinators of the EU Strategy actively joined the process of platform development. Policy areas Energy, Transport, Innovation and horizontal actions Climate and Spatial Planning were represented at the seminar.
“We are glad to see that such a new instrument as the platform concept is well accepted and made use of. We hope to see a few more platforms joining the 'club' next spring when the Monitoring Committee of the Programme takes the funding decision”, said Elena Kolosova, project officer of the MA/JS.
Call for project platforms still open
Interreg Baltic Sea Region opened its second call for project platforms in October and is accepting applications until end of January 2019. The Programme invites partners from Interreg Baltic Sea Region and other EU funding programmes to join forces with the EUSBSR coordinators and thematic experts in taking results from individual projects further. New platforms may be developed in five topics: research and innovation infrastructures, smart specialisation, marine litter management, management of marine space, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.