Northern Dimension Newsflash 2/2019
In this issue we give you a few examples of our latest activities.
You can read the individual articles below or download the ND Newsflash here: Northern Dimension Newsflash 2/2019.
Enjoy the reading and have a relaxing summer!
Synergies of Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism: growth factors and known and unknown challenges
The round table discussion “Sustainability and Synergies of Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism” took place within the 10th Northern Dimension Forum on April 4, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The discussion was moderated by Elena Bogdanova, Director of the “Kizhi” Open-Air Museum and Dace Resele, Head of Secretariat, Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC).
With the help of case studies about the Synergies between Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism, the Round Table focused on an analysis of how these two sectors create products that encourage the development of human capital, social inclusion, strengthen connectivity, support responsible innovation and contribute to the development of the region. The focus of the Round Table was public sector and mostly non–commercial activities.
Seven presentations were given during the Round Table, followed by a discussion with the audience. Participants were from Northwest Russia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. At the end of discussion, there were several conclusions that have been drawn:
- Taking into account rapid societal changes and the challenges within the CCI and Creative Tourism sector, one of the prerequisites for its further development is to boost professional capacity. It is evident that there is a lack of trained, educated specialists within these fields. That is why occasionally those are the investors who are upgrading the professional skills of stakeholders.
- Cultural tourism should be more environmentally and socially responsible. That is a relatively recent issue within these sectors, but it goes hand in hand with the common Northern Dimension directives that could be more accentuated in the implementation of future projects.
- In order to encourage local social initiatives, CCI organizations should apply an NGO approach to regional development through work with communities, raising social awareness and supporting individual social or cultural initiatives.
- Collaboration between administration and authorities – local, municipal, regional and international – on the one hand, and NGOs, local businesses, on the other hand, is necessary in order to create the most effective services and products for the benefit of communities. It is crucial to develop specific cooperation mechanisms, e.g. private companies supporting CCI structures whose business values are overlap with theirs.
- International cooperation serves as a quality indicator and helps to evaluate local strengths and weaknesses within the Creative Tourism and CCI sectors.
The ND Business Forum is an annual event and is primarily aimed at fostering cooperation between business, authorities and civil society involved in developing the Northern Dimension area in the changed reality.
Writer is a new head of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) secretariat
Ms. Dace Resele (in the middle) with NDI Lead Coordinator Ms. Riitta Kosonen and Mr. Paavo Lipponen at the ND Business Forum in St. Petersburg.
NDI organized a communications training for researchers on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University. The communications training "Make an impact with science communication" provided inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers and sharing their research results and policy recommendations in an effective manner. Participants got to practice stakeholder communication, coming up with key messages and writing an effective policy brief.
During the day, participants heard and discussed successful real-life examples of co-creation and interaction by decision-makers and researchers. Ms. Tarja Haaranen, Director at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland, shared her experiences in successful communication with experts and researchers. Ms. Armi Temmes, leader of Smart Energy Transition project, Professor of Practice of Corporate Sustainability at the Aalto University introduced the participants how to use co-creation in a research project. Ms. Marita Laukkanen, Chief Researcher and Research Leader at the VATT Institute for Economic Research and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Helsinki spoke from her own experience, how researchers can contribute to societal debate via social media based on their research.
In the afternoon, the training was focused on defining stakeholders and key messages. Participants also learned how to turn their own research results into a policy brief with recommendations for policy actions.
Participants of the training represented the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), the Northern State Medical University, the University of Oulu and the Aalto University.
The training was conducted by Kaskas Media, a Finnish communications agency that specializes in science and expert communication. The training was a part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”.
NDI Think Tank Action focuses on developing and institutionalizing think tank functions of the NDI to provide relevant research-based knowledge and a neutral platform for open dialogue, people-to-people contacts and co-creation among the decision- and policy-makers, civil servants, business, NGOs and the academic community.
The NDI Think Tank Action is a 3-year (2019-2021) project co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.
The NDI Think Tank Action was represented at the 29th Northern Dimension Steering Group meeting, which was held in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 7 June 2019. Project Leader Minna Hanhijärvi presented an insight of the ongoing Action, thematic research and planned activities for the end of the year. NDI will ensure designing thematic co-creation workshops in close collaboration with the ND Partnerships to ensure coordination, and synergies among planned ND events in the fall and relevant topics as well as relevant topics.
Reykjavik, Iceland. Image by Rebecca L from Pixabay
The NDI Think Tank Action was present at the NDPC Steering Group meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, on 3 June 2019. Dr. Päivi Karhunen gave an overview of the Action and discussed synergies between the Action and the NDPC action plan for 2019. It was agreed that the Action will organize a co-creation workshop as part of the NDPC International Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia in November 2019. The Action will also continue its well-started collaboration with the NDPC’s new director Dace Resele. This includes, for example, jointly identifying relevant research on culture and creative industries in the ND area and fostering its communication to decision-makers and the public.
Participants of the NDPC SC Meeting in Rovaniemi
In the current times of economic and political instabilities, it is of utmost importance to seek economic growth to tackle environmental challenges, solve societal problems and provide help and assistance to those in need. Economic growth is not in contrast with the goals of combatting climate change. Rather, arguments for “degrowth” would only weaken societies’ capacity to provide sustainable solutions to the environmental challenges.
Taking the multifaceted nature of vicious environmental challenges, including their social, political and economic dimensions, there is increasing need for the use of research-based knowledge in policymaking. This is where the Northern Dimension Institute could provide more insight and tools for the common good.
The NDI could play a bigger role in boosting growth in various ways.
First, as the vicious environmental problems are characterized by several uncertainties, the NDI has a valuable a role as the provider of trustworthy, neutral and research-based knowledge for the use of private and public sector decision makers. There is increasing need for neutral, objective knowledge in the world, in contrast to fake news and hidden agendas.
Second, the NDI is useful in finding existing knowledge and feeding it to the decision makers. In fact, the world is packed with knowledge, but it is not easily available, or not served in a user friendly, applicable format.
Third, there is also need for new knowledge and targeted research. For example, we do not yet know enough of the sources of black carbon emissions, or the potential benefits of hydrogen as a fuel in the ND area. The NDI operates as a platform to fill identified information gaps.
Fourth, in the world characterized by instability and insecurity, we need more optimism in decision making and forecasting the future. Here, the NDI could play a bigger role in bringing to the fore success stories of economically and socially sustainable solutions to environmental challenges in the ND area. It has been proven that even small actions of modernization can have considerable environmental impacts at the local level.
Fifth, in addition to identifying success stories, the NDI could boost growth by analyzing the scalability of the invented solutions. Several technical and digital solutions, as well as social design innovations, could be more generally applied to boost growth in the ND area or even widely.
Sixth, there is growth potential to be derived from a more effective cooperation among the ND Partnerships. There are several synergies that can be exploited to provide savings and to generate larger societal impact. It is easy to imagine such synergies to be found e.g. among environmental and health-related activities. The NDI could be more effectively used in building bridges between ND Partnerships by identifying synergies and overlaps.
Finally, critical building blocks of sustainable growth are coherent societies with active social dialogue in decision-making. The NDI has already an established role as the platform for dialogue between the providers and end users of knowledge in the academia, Partnerhips, public sphere, business community and civil society. This role could be more effectively used. Here, also NDI’s access and ability to involve young academics and students in public discourse, is vital for the sustainable and legitimate future.
Here is the wish list, what about the funding?
Prof. Riitta Kosonen, NDI Lead Coordinator
ND Newsflash 1/2019
In this issue, we introduce our three-year NDI Think Tank Action and bring you highlights from the Northern Dimension Future Forums. We are also glad to present the first Policy Briefs published by the NDI. Enjoy the reading!
You can read the individual articles below or download the ND Newsflash here: ND Newsflash No. 1/2019 (March 2019).
The Northern Dimension Institute has published four policy briefs based on the Future Forums. All the policy briefs are available on our website (link)
The policy brief: 'Designing innovative public services' is based on the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Culture held on 15 Nov 2018 in St Petersburg which focused on the potential of creative and cultural cross-overs in producing public services that tackle societal challenges more effectively.
The policy brief: 'The curbing of black carbon emissions offers many benefits for the Arctic' is based on the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic held on 19 Nov 2018 in Brussels.
The policy brief: 'Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro-Asian Transport Connections' is based on the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe held on 20 Nov 2018 in Brussels.
The policy brief: 'Healthy Ageing Calls for a Holistic Approach' is based on the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing held on 28 November 2018 in Vantaa, Finland.
The NDI Think Tank Action was launched in a kick-off meeting at Aalto University on 27 February 2019. This 3-year Action, funded by the EU, serves the information needs of the four Northern Dimension partnerships between the EU, Norway, Iceland and Russia. The themes for these partnerships are environment, cultural cooperation, transport and logistics, and health and social wellbeing. The Action is carried out by NDI (Northern Dimension Institute) which is an international network of universities and research institutes.
In the Action, five Finnish, Russian and Austrian universities and research institutes produce research knowledge on diverse societal challenges of the North. The research topics identified together with the NDI partnerships are how to combat climate change and curb black carbon emissions, how to benefit from creative industries in solving societal challenges, how to facilitate healthy aging, and how to ensure the sustainability of emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia.
The NDI Think Thank Action’s lead partner is CEMAT research center, hosted by the Aalto University. The project partners are Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and University of Oulu.
The Action creates a culture of resource-informed policy making in the Northern Dimension area, promoting producers and end-users of research to co-create common understanding. This is achieved by active dialogue throughout the research project, which improves the accuracy of research topics and empirical material, and tailors the publication formats and dissemination platforms to be most applicable to the end users.
During 2019, the Action will produce several policy briefs and research reports for the use of ND environmental, culture, health, and transport and logistics partnerships. On the occasion of Finland's EU Presidency the year will culminate in the ND Future Forum in November. The Forum will be organized by the Action at Aalto University back to back with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ high-level conference on Northern Dimension. The Forum will serve as a platform to collect young people’s visions on the Northern Dimension, and to channel them to the EU decision-makers.
Participants (from left to right) Anni Reissel, Minna Hanhijärvi, Päivi Karhunen, Arja Rautio, Marina Kalinina, Riitta Kosonen, Lassi Heininen, Ludmila Siluanova, Sofia Rekord, Svetlana Popkova, Dmitry Vasilenko and Hanna-Elina Koivisto
The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized four Northern Dimension Future Forums in November 2018.
The first was the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Culture: Creating a better world through cultural and creative crossovers organized on 15 November in St. Petersburg, Russia. The event gathered over 50 participants from 11 countries to discuss and share inspiring experiences and lessons learnt on design thinking approach in public service and cultural and creative crossovers addressing societal challenges. The participants represented universities, cultural institutions, NGOs and governmental organizations.
The second and the third Northern Dimension Future Forums were back-to-back in Brussels. The Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic was held on 19 November. The event gathered researchers, top experts, decision-makers and NGOs to discuss the future challenges as well as solutions available to avert the black carbon impacts of future climate change.
The Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe was held on 20 November. The event gathered over 60 participants, researchers, decision-makers and leading transport companies to discuss the future developments in land and Arctic maritime connections between Europe and Asia.
The last Future Forum in 2018 was held in Vantaa, Finland on 28 November. The Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing gathered researchers, professionals, civil servants and decision-makers to discuss the future challenges and opportunities in providing support, services and environments enhancing health and wellbeing among senior citizens. The event featured three knowledge arenas focusing on the topical themes of loneliness and mental health, managing healthy life-styles and preventing ageing related diseases, and creating environments supporting healthy aging.
The events were organized by the Northern Dimension Institute together with the Northern Dimension Partnerships and financed by the European Commission/DG NEAR and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
You can find all the summaries below:
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Culture: Creating a better world through cultural and creative crossovers
Design Thinking Approach as a strategic tool for ensuring creativity and innovations in public sector
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic
Cutting black carbon emissions is an acute challenge for all in the European Arctic
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Emerging Euro-Asian land and Arctic maritime trade routes open new business opportunities
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing
Bridging the gap between the evidence-based knowledge and implementation in promoting Healthy Ageing
Watch the video from ND Future Forums on Environment & Transport in Brussels:
The second Northern Dimension Day took place in Stockholm, Sweden, back‐to‐back with the 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The ND Day, organized by the Northern Dimension Institute (NDI), focused on envisioning the future in 2030 from the perspectives of the five priority areas of the Northern Dimension cooperation: environment, transport and logistics, public health and social wellbeing, culture and creative industries, and business. The interconnectedness of these areas was clearly evident throughout the discussion.
The panel discussion of ND Day was moderated by Monika Zamachowska and participants were Jaakko Henttonen, NDEP; Marek Maciejowski, NDPHS; Pavel Isaev, NDBC; Ilze Gailite-Holmberg, NDPC and Oddgeir Danielsen, NDPTL (from left to right in the picture).
Director Oddgeir Danielsen of Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics, what do you consider as the most important trend or issue shaping the development in the transport sector in the ND area by 2030?
Ilze Gailite-Holmberg (Senior Adviser of ND Partnership on Culture), what does the future look like in cultural and creative industries in the Northern Dimension area by 2030?
Photo: Senior Adiser Gailite-Holmberg with Northern Dimension Business Council member Pavel Isayev during ND Day.
Various EU-Russia cooperation formats and platforms were discussed at the workshop organized by HA Neighbours during the EUSBSR Strategy Forum in Stockholm. In particular, the Northern Dimension and the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) were raised up as successful cooperation platforms. HA Neighbours is one of the Horizontal Actions (HA) in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). Its aim is to promote cooperation with Russia, Ukraine, Norway and Iceland in order to tackle the challenges and tap the opportunities identified in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
Current and possible future regional challenges to health and social care as well as the economic impacts of population health in the Northern Dimension countries were discussed in a seminar organized by the ND Partnership in Public Health and Social Wellbeing (NDPHS) in cooperation with the eHealth for Regions Network during the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Stockholm.
Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) grant agreements to improve wastewater treatment in the Belarusian cities of Lida and Polotsk were signed on 19 December in Minsk.
The fifth meeting of the Senior Officials of the renewed Northern Dimension (ND) took place in Reykjavík on 14 December 2016. The meeting was hosted by Iceland and attended by the Senior Officials of the four Northern Dimension Partners - the European Union, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation.
The Northern Dimension Partnerships, the ND Institute as well as representatives of the Regional Councils, the International Financial Institutions as well as other delegates from EU states and observers also participated the meeting.
European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) Programming period 2014-2020 will continue European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) with the financing support for the EU’s external actions with its southern and eastern neighbours. The goals are built for the possibilities to improve common interests of developing laws, democracy, human rights and social cohesion.
During the last months new funding portals for the Northern Dimension sub-areas have been published. The funding portals help project organizations to follow up calls in a more efficient manner.
In this issue we bring you views throughout the Northern Dimension, from the Arctic to the Baltic Sea. And don't forget to check out our new video "Exploring Northern Dimension".
We also wish you welcome to discuss the future of Northern Dimension during the EUSBSR Strategy Forum in the events organized by the NDPHS and NDI. See you in Stockholm!
You can read the individual articles below or download the ND Newsflash here: ND Newsflash 3/2016 (September 2016).
The future of Northern Dimension cooperation will be discussed in at least two events during the 7th Strategy forum of EU Strategy for Baltic Sea Region in Stockholm, Sweden, 8-9 November.
The second Northern Dimension Day will take place back-to-back to the strategy forum on 7 November. Following the lines of the Forum, it will focus on envisioning the achievements of ND cooperation by 2030 and topical challenges within the thematic areas of the four partnerships in 2030. For more information and registration see http://northerndimension.info/news/news/613-northern-dimension-day-7-11-2016
As part of the EUSBSR Strategy Forum, the Northern Dimension Partnership on Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) will host a seminar "Where are we heading – wealthier and healthier in the decades to come, or just the opposite?" on 8 November. The seminar, organized in cooperation with the eHealth for Regions Network, will discuss a topic close to the heart of each and every one of us, namely our chances to live a healthy and wealthy life in 2030. For more information see http://www.ndphs.org/?e-news
In academic circles, the Northern Dimension (ND) receives far less attention than the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) or the EU’s enlargement policy. This can be attributed to the specific features of the ND. In contrast to most other EU external policies, the ND does not aim at the export of values and norms but rather offers a pragmatic format for cooperation with its neighbours, in the first place the Russian Federation.
There has been quite a buzz about increasing transportation in the Arctic routes, particularly in the Northern Sea Route during this decade. The NSR has been envisioned to provide a new transport route from Europe to Asia, and Russia and China have both projected a major increase in cargo volumes transported via the NSR in the coming years.
A grant agreement signed between Gatchina Vodokanal and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP)
The second phase of a comprehensive wastewater treatment investment programme in Gatchina, Russia took a major leap forward today when a grant agreement worth EUR 500,000 was signed between the local waterworks Gatchina Vodokanal and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP).
Photo: Patrik Rastenberger/NEFCO ©
Electronic health record and telemedice services have already become essential parts of health care. In the treatment of chronic diseases, eHealth solutions can also be utilised to provide better and more patient centred health care at a lower cost. To achieve this, the user’s needs and competences need to be in focus in the development of eHealth services.
The Republic of Komi is one of the easternmost territories in the Barents region located at the foothills of the Ural Mountains. Research done at the Komi Science Centre, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences – one of the newest members of the Northern Dimension Institute – has already for decades addressed the most acute cultural and socio-economic questions in the Russian European North and also played an important role in the development of the Komi Republic.
The main event of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture - the NDPC annual Forum in St. Petersburg in 2016 will take place in St. Petersburg November 29-30. The Forum will address the theme “Culture as a Factor of Growth”, focusing on the synergies of culture and creative industries (CCIs) and tourism. Special emphasis will be given to gastronomic tourism, innovation in museums and creative clusters.
In this issue we have an Arctic twist. The ND Newsflash brings you highlights from the 7th Northern Dimension Forum and presents you contributions from two keynote speakers of the Forum. We are also glad to present the first High North Hero. In addition, we feature recent achievements from the Northern Dimension partnerships. You can read the individual articles below.
The seventh Northern Dimension Forum focused on discussing the challenges and business opportunities in the Arctic region. The need for international cooperation and sustainable development in the Arctic was highlighted throughout the discussions. The ND Forum – organized by the Northern Dimension Business Council (NDBC) and the Association of European Businesses (AEB) – was held on 7 April 2016 in St. Petersburg with over 200 delegates attending the event.
The world we are living in is facing simultaneously several huge challenges.
The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) is an independent business forum established to facilitate Arctic business-to-business activities, promote and support sustainable business and provide a circumpolar business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council. The AEC currently has members from all eight Arctic countries. In addition, companies from all parts of the world are welcome to participate in its work.
“Cultural tourism is rising in Russia and we need recommendations to find synergies between cultural and creative industries and tourism”, stated NDPC Senior adviser Ilze Gailite-Holmberg in her opening words for the Creative Industries roundtable discussion at the 7th Northern Dimension Forum. The roundtable focused on the interaction and cross-overs of CCIs and cultural tourism, and provided examples of innovative approaches to combining them.
The Gdansk port is a major international transport hub and plays a significant role as a key link to the Baltic-Adriatic Core Network Corridor of the TEN-T policy, connecting the Nordic countries with Southern and Eastern Europe. It also hosts the Gdansk Deepwater Container Terminal, which is among the largest container terminals in the Baltic Sea and the only deep-water terminal in the Baltic Sea having direct ocean vessel calls from the Far East. The ongoing extension of Gdansk Deepwater Container Terminal was started with a grant from the Support Fund of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL).
The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS), in its capacity as the Policy Area “Health” Coordinator within the EU Strategy of the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)organized a conference promoting the policy-to-project-to-policy cycle. The event took place on 28 April and it was hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe at its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference brought together 35 policy and decision-makers, project implementers as well as representatives of academia and funding organizations.
The development of creative and cultural industries (CCI) and cultural tourism has been identified as the strategic focus of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). This includes also the facilitation of cross-sectorial spill-overs and innovation in CCI, as well as usage of CCI innovation in furthering tourism. In order to build up the knowledge base on the prevailing situation and support the future developments, the NDPC has commissioned a study on the topic. The study will be carried out with an aim to learn more about developments in CCI and its cross-sector spillovers with tourism, taking into account innovative case studies and best practices, as well as policy developments. The information will be utilized to develop recommendations for effective and sustainable integration of CCI and tourism sector. The study is carried out by PROMAN – a leading international consulting company specialised in development cooperation – with the funding from the European Commission.
The long-awaited wastewater treatment plant in Kaliningrad started operations on 18 December 2015 at about half of its capacity. By April 2016, the plant has reached almost full capacity processing biologically over 100,000 cubic meters of wastewater per day. The construction of the plant’s sand-filter and UV disinfection units will be finalized during the nearest weeks, and the handling and disposal of wastewater sludge will be solved during the next few months.
The 7th Northern Dimension Forum will take place on 7th April 2016 in St Petersburg. This year’s Forum focuses on discussing business opportunities and challenges in the Arctic. The keynote speeches address Arctic economic growth, sustainable development in the Arctic and investment incentives for foreign and Russian companies in North-West Russia. The speakers include representatives of ND member states and top-level Russian and European businesses, including the Arctic Economic Council. The event is organized by the Northern Dimension Business Council in cooperation with the Association of European Businesses. The Forum is expected to attract more than 250 participants representing Russian and European key actors in the Northern Dimension area.
For more information and registration visit: http://www.aebrus.ru/en/aeb-events/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=2682721.
On 28 April 2016, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) will hold a conference supporting the policy-to-project-to-policy cycle. The event aims to bring together political decision makers and regional stakeholders active in the field of health to discuss project activities necessary to achieve regionally agreed policy goals and means to ensure that suitable project results are transferred to the policy level. The conference is targeted at institutions/organizations with knowledge and expertise in the project area, which have capacity and interest to contribute to the achievement of priorities laid out in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). Thanks to the kind support of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme’s Joint Secretariat, participants will be given the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance on project ideas during bilateral consultations.
The First Northern Dimension Day took place in Brussels Résidence Palace on 9 December 2015. Over 50 interested from the European Commission, European Parliament and other stakeholders from the EU and the Northern Dimension area were present at the event, organized with the intention of spreading knowledge of the Northern Dimension (ND) policy and the ND partnerships.
The Northern Dimension (ND) is an important policy forum for dialogue and cooperation between its partners. This applies also to the regional level. ND partnerships offer possibilities for development in fields that have direct impacts at the regional level, for the people. Coming from – and also representing the Finnish side of – the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA), the ND sometimes seems a bit southern on its orientation. However, I’m glad to see that a lot of attention is put on the northern cooperation networks. Barents cooperation, for example, with a long and fruitful national and regional cooperation between the northern partners of the ND (Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland), has potentially much to offer. Noting also the attention and activities in the Arctic area, there is huge potential that the ND can contribute significantly also to the development of the NSPA.
The Commission of Senior Officials of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) met in Arkhangelsk, Russia, on 22 March 2016 with the participation of representatives of the European Union and ministries of foreign affairs of the Russian Federation, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland. The meeting was held within the frames of the Russian Federation chairmanship in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.
Baltic Sea Region has never before been so vivid and strong in terms of cultural cooperation. Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture plays an important role in this collaboration, providing support for CCI sectors in the region. I am privileged that I could serve as the NDPC Chairman on behalf of Poland since January 2014.
Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture – a regional platform established in 2010 with the aim to support development of cultural and creative industries (CCI) in the Northern Dimension area – acts on two levels: political and practical.
Maritime transport and economic activity is expected to increase in the Arctic. Arctic sea and water areas are environmentally extremely sensitive. To prevent environmental risks, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a Polar Code, which is to enter in force on January 1, 2017. The code is an international binding norm addressed to vessels sailing in Northern Arctic waters and waters surrounding the Antarctica. The code presumes more rigorous safety and environmental regulations for vessels sailing in waters surrounding the two poles.
The health and social well-being of the populations of the Baltic Sea region have significant effects on the economy and related progress. The main impacts include a direct effect on the fiscal positions of the governments of the region and indirect effects through education, labor markets, and social stability. Investments in public health, including actions to limit tobacco consumption, reduce non-communicable diseases, and improve mental health, have high returns in the countries of the Baltic Sea region.
These conclusions have been drawn in the new report “The Importance of Health and Social well-being for the Economy and Other Policy Areas” that was commissioned and published by the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) Secretariat.
NDPHS Strategy 2020: Promoting sustainable development in the Northern Dimension area through improving human health and social well-being
Our Northern Dimension area is facing several pressing health challenges, among them the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and associated infections; the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance; the impact of non-communicable lifestyle-related diseases; social and health harm from alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use; chronic health conditions and demographic change.
With its new Strategy 2020, the NDPHS has committed itself to help address these challenges by providing a forum for concerted action, cooperation, joint capacity-building and coordination of activities within the Northern Dimension area. An Action Plan accompanying the Strategy is just about to be adopted. It is laying out concrete actions, targets and indicators aimed to facilitate the NDPHS efforts.
The Northern Dimension (ND) is nowadays one of the most effective forward-looking formats of regional and trans-border cooperation. The results and achievements of the ND, i.e. better environmental situation in the Baltic and Barents seas, new cultural ties and promotion of cultural industries, improvements in public health protection in the ND area and resolved transport problems, are also well known due to active position of the NDI and its Newsflash, which deserve all the support.
The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) is looking for experienced professional to fill the following vacant post: Accountant. Complete applications must arrive at the NDPHS Secretariat no later than 17 June 2015. More information at NDPHS's website.
The role of cultural and creative industries (CCI) in fostering innovation and regional development was the focus of attention in the Creative Industries round table of the 6th ND Forum.
In the photo: Kenneth Agerholm (ARTLAB Denmark), Elizaveta Kiseleva (MosART), Ilze Gailite Holmberg (NDPC) and Silja Suntola (Creative Industries Finland) discussing during the creative industries round table. Photo: AEB.
The vocational training and education roundtable of the 6th ND Forum focused on discussing the challenges of the Russian educational system from the business perspective. Both Russian and foreign companies are facing severe problems in finding skilled employees. Higher education has become “too popular” while vocational education is often considered an inferior option by the youngsters. In addition, the existing vocational education system does not provide the kind of training and professionals that the industries would need. The Russian educational system could e.g. take advice from the German system where vocational education is conducted in tight cooperation with companies.
Photo: Moderators Maxim Kiselev and Susanne Doenitz discussing with Veronika Chernysheva during the thematic round table ‘Vocational Education and Training’. Photo: AEB.
The Finnish VR Group is engaged in diverse and persevering collaboration with the Russian Railways (RZD). The common track gauge allows smooth rail transport between our two countries. The good and confidential relations between the railway companies promote business on both sides at all times.
The Allegro train started operations from Helsinki to St. Petersburg in 2010. It led to considerably faster passenger traffic between the countries. Allegro takes passengers from city centre to city centre in just 3.5 hours. Meanwhile, the Tolstoi night train operating between Helsinki and Moscow got new rolling stock last summer. The better-equipped cars, the upgraded train restaurant, and personal service are helping put night train travel on a new upward track.
The European Spatial Development Perspective aims at achieving a balanced and sustainable territorial development, in particular by strengthening economic and social cohesion. Urbanization, the use of non-renewable resources and the accumulation of wastes create economic, social and environmental problems. Societies need to adapt cross-cutting sustainable solutions to overcome the limitations provided by the scarcity of resources and the challenges of climate change.
The European Union is active in various regional cooperation formats involving politicians, officials, civil society and people-to-people contacts.
One of them is the Northern Dimension (ND), a joint policy between EU, Norway, Iceland and Russia. It offers a platform for policy dialogue and practical, result-oriented cooperation through four partnerships in environment, transport, health and culture covering geographical area from the Baltic to Barents Seas. In line with the principle of co-financing, the EU has allocated close to €100m in support of the ND in previous years. For 2014-20 financial support comes from ENI Regional East Programme. The ND considerably contributed to improving the environmental situation of Baltic and Barents Seas. It addressed people’s health, transport and logistics and creative and culture industry policy.
In these times of tension between Russia and Western Europe there is a real success story: the Northern Dimension cooperation. It is an equal Partnership between Russia, European Union, Norway and Iceland, concentrating on projects of common interest in four fields: environment, health, transport and logistics, and culture. For each field there is a Partnership with own specific structures. On the political level, the Foreign Ministers´ biannual meetings are the top decision making body for the Northern Dimension. The Ministerial meeting held two years ago under the chairmanship of Lady Ashton was attended by 14 Foreign Ministers.
Russian and European educational experts gathered in Arkhangelsk in April to share the best practices they have achieved in promoting the education sector and participating in the EU programs. The agenda of the international workshop “Internationalization as the Way towards University Excellence” hosted by M.V. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) included also network cooperation between European North-based universities.
ND Forum emphasized the interaction of business, authorities and civil society during harsh economic times
The sixth Northern Dimension Forum was devoted to interregional cross-border cooperation in the changed reality characterised by political tensions and sluggish economic development. The key message from the Forum participants was that maintaining dialogue and cooperation is essential in this situation.
International Forum within the framework of Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) CULTURE AS A FACTOR OF GROWTHwas held in St. Petersburg, December 7–9, 2014.
More than 160 participants representing various fields took part in the forum held at the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts to get informed of the initiatives within the cultural and creative industries (CCI) in the Northern Dimension area. The array of participating organizations was prominent including cultural and foreign ministries, universities, cultural and research institutes, companies and intermediaries in cultural and creative industries, museums, tourism industry, and NGOs from the ND area.
Belarus joined Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) in 2010 and the first phase of wastewater treatment projects in Vitebsk, Grodno and Brest has now entered an implementation phase. NDEP grants of EUR 6 million have attracted IFI loans and additional bilateral grants from Finland and Sweden. The total financing package for the three cities is approximately EUR 70 million. Encouraged by this success, Belarus pledged new funds to NDEP to finance the next phase of additional wastewater treatment investments, potentially worth around EUR 56 million. For this purpose, NEFCO signed a Framework Agreement with the Government of Belarus on 20 January in London to step up their activities to protect the environment in the Northern Dimension Area.
The Northern Dimension area comprises a very heterogeneous region in terms of cultural and creative industries (CCI). The heterogeneity stems largely from the fact that the ND countries are at different stages of development considering the CCIs. The Nordic countries are among the pioneers in CCIs and globally acknowledged in e.g. design and gaming. Germany is one of the biggest exporters of creative goods despite having vast regional differences in CCI policies. During the past five years, the growth of CCIs in the Baltic Countries and Poland has been rapid and CCI infrastructure has been developed with the help of EU Structural Funds. In Russia, the concept of creative industries is only emerging and the CCIs’ economic value has fairly recently started to gain recognition.
Tallinn Business Incubators (TBI) has been providing business support in Tallinn, Estonia since 2006. Over the years, it has helped around 170 companies to enter the market and grow their business. However not everyone makes the cut – more than 400 have applied – as TBI needs to be sure that there is return on every invested euro, either via new jobs that have been created or increased export numbers.
TBI offers real support through business support and advice given by our team and wide network of business mentors, including exporters, experienced fashion industry professionals, marketing experts and law specialists. Each incubee has their own consultant who makes sure that the companies receive tailor-made advice. Strategies and plans are always discussed together.
Finland’s two-year Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) started in late 2013 and has now reached the half-way mark. BEAC is a forum for intergovernmental and interregional cooperation in the Barents Region. As the chair, Finland strives to strengthen the exchange of information and dialogue between the different regional fora. The atmosphere in the Council has been constructive and progress has been made in many issues such as the development of Barents Transport Plan and regional climate strategies.
The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) has been highly successful in co-financing projects to improve wastewater treatment in North West Russia. As a result of NDEP’s 14 year cooperation with St Petersburg Vodokanal, the city is now treating 98.4% of its wastewater. NDEP grants of EUR 40 million, combined with loans of EUR 220 million from the EBRD, EIB, NIB and NEFCO have helped to leverage investments worth over EUR 860 million. Since 2011, all major wastewater treatment plants in St Petersburg have been treating wastewater in full compliance with HELCOM recommendations. NDEP has financed similar investments also in other cities in Russia to protect the fragile ecology of the Baltic and Barents Seas area.
The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) can safely be called a pioneer in the field of eHealth. Numerous study trips to the Scandinavian countries as well as to Estonia are proof for the importance of the region in the field.
At Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (FUAS) we have seen our role as that of an “eHealth bridge” in the BSR in the past and continue to do so. We were the first in Germany to offer a master’s degree programme “eHealth” back in 2007 and we are home to the Management Secretariat of eHealth for Regions, the leading network on the topic. FUAS was the lead partner and thus mainly in charge for several projects within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). November 2013 saw both the foundation of the Institute for eHealth and Management in Healthcare and its re-location to new facilities FUAS has further increased its efforts and involvement in the BSR ever since.
The Northern Dimension (ND) has come a long way since it was renewed eight years ago as a common policy of four partners: the EU, Iceland, Norway and Russia. Over these years it has helped achieve a variety of important results.
NDI coordinator St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON) organized a conference "Integration potential of Logistics in the global economy" on 25 September 2014. The Conference brought together researchers, business and policy makers to discuss issues ranging from logistics corridor developments to the need of integrated solutions to increase the efficiency of logistics in Russia. The impacts of the current trade restrictions on supply chains were in focus.
Communicating projects in cultural and creative industries is complex. The Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and Have Communications have published a manual to assist CCI project managers in project communication. The manual gives advice in the navigation through an increasingly complex media landscape; in picking and shaping the right stories; and in laying out a fruitful path towards as far-reaching and relevant communication as possible of each given project.
Communicating CCI projects – A Manual
The Northern Dimension Partnership on Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) Secretariat has announced an internship programme position. Applications are invited from university graduates with interest in health and social well-being policies and co-operation in the Northern Dimension area, who want to gain hands-on experience in a dynamic work environment. Complete applications must arrive at the NDPHS Secretariat no later than 01 December 2014.
Click here to download the internship announcement and the application form.
For more information, visit NDPHS website.
Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Aalborg University and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in Kaunas have developed a Joint master's Program on eHealth (JMP eH). The program has been developed in the former EU-project ICT for Health – Information, Communication, Technology (2009-2012) and is on a good way to start in 2015.The partners havebuilt the curriculum and are now starting the joint accreditation process.
The JMP eH invites students with background in e.g. nursing, economy, medicine or informatics to study this innovative and job market-oriented master in three universities located around the Baltic Sea.
One of the critical issues for firms’ competitiveness is the availability of skilled labour. In Russia, both domestic and foreign companies are constantly plagued with the shortage of skilled labour. This is due to the profound changes in the Russian education system and the declining interest of school graduates to primary and secondary level vocational education. The demographic decline in Russia further escalates the problem.
Young sectors, such as e-commerce, have grown considerably in recent years in Russia. Online retail has witnessed a huge 25 % annual growth, but is now stagnating – at least temporarily – due to a range of reasons.
Huge growth during the past five years
Internet penetration has been growing rapidly in Russia during the past few years reaching now 59% of the adult population. With over 70 million people using internet monthly, Russia has the biggest online audience in Europe. Also online retail has been growing at least 25% annually. Globally, Russia ranks ninth in total e-commerce turnover (EUR 15,5 billion in 2013, after e.g. USA, China, Japan, Australia, UK, France and Germany), and is the number one emerging e-commerce country in Europe ahead of e.g. Spain and Italy.
Logistics is an important competitive factor for the offshore wind industry. With a share of up to 20% of total cost, logistics expenses have a significant impact on the profitability of a wind farm. However, compared to other industries, the wind energy sector is still far away from transparency in logistics costs. A particular challenge for the maritime supply chain results from the effects of disturbances such as the influence of weather conditions, which considerably complicate the planning of a holistic logistics concept.
Innovations based on tight co-operation between researchers and industry are required to tackle problems like this. A good example of such cooperation is the Offshore Logistics Diagnostic tool developed by the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), Fraunhofer IFF, and Logistics Service Agency Bremerhaven. It was used in practice with the energy supplier EnBW to simulate maritime logistics processes for the construction of the offshore wind farm Baltic 2. It is the first offshore logistics planning tool based on dynamic simulation technology that has been successfully used in practice. The tool supports the planning of logistics concepts as well as the verification of previously proposed concepts for the construction of offshore wind farms. It can therefore support all actors involved, including logistics service providers, energy suppliers, manufacturers, shipping companies, port operators, engineers, or banks and insurance companies.
The mission of the Northern Dimension is to bring together partners in the Northern European area to achieve common practical goals in a number of areas important to us all. Academic cooperation has been a part of the Northern Dimension framework since 2009 when the Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) was set up. This autumn marks major new steps to reinvigorate the work of the NDI.
The Northern Dimension (ND) is a mosaic of diverse histories, traditions, strengths and challenges. ND area has a lot to gain from taking advantage of the diverse capacities within the region. Furthermore, in times of geopolitical tensions, economic problems and social challenges, joining forces for the joint benefit is increasingly pivotal. We have a lot to gain from tackling common problems and pinning down the potential of freely flowing people, goods and ideas.