Rural RDI milieus in transition towards smart bioeconomy clusters and innovation ecosystems, RDI2CluB –project, is part of the Interreg Baltic Sea region project family of 2014-2020 under the Priority 1 ‘Capacity for innovation’ that is dedicated to actions strengthening the ability of the Baltic Sea Region to create and commercialise innovation.

Our mission is to help rural areas in the Baltic Sea Region to reach their full potential in bioeconomy.

Bioeconomy means economic activities that utilise the biological natural resources and turn them into food, energy, and other products and services. It is founded on the use of clean technologies, renewable natural resources and recycled materials. Bioeconomy makes us less dependent on fossil fuels, prevents the degradation of ecosystems, promotes economic development and creates new jobs.The rural areas of Baltic Sea Region (BSR) have a great potential for bioeconomy as they have abundant natural resources. However, the rural regions in BSR struggle to reach their full bioeconomy potential due to limited human capital and the lack of specialised clusters and network effects that are typical for urban areas. In the rural regions, the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in bioeconomy are mostly in traditional, resource-based industries that have not taken full advantage of latest technology and service innovations including digitalisation.

Our approach is to build capacity for transnational cooperation in innovation management and smart specialization in bioeconomy

RDI2CluB unites authorities, research, development and innovation (RDI) institutes and business development bodies from five regions to a joint quest of boosting smart and sustainable bioeconomy development in the rural areas of Baltic Sea Region. The five regions of the RDI2CLuB partnership are:

  • Central Finland/Finland
  • Hedmark/Norway
  • Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship/Poland
  • Vidzeme/Latvia
  • Estonia

Via transnational cooperation, the rural RDI2CluB partner regions will augment their regional innovation system and create a more dynamic innovation ecosystem for supporting bioeconomy business development and innovation. The bioeconomy innovation ecosystem promotes regional economic transition to knowledge-based jobs and bioeconomy products and services with higher economic value. The users of the bioeconomy innovation ecosystem, including SMEs, are invited to join the development process and to pilot the innovation systems created in RDI2CluB.

At the core of RDI2CluB is a transnational learning process that results in regional bioeconomy profiles and joint action plans for building capacity for innovation. Thereafter, the partner regions build a joint innovation model and a digital platform, which are piloted with end-users, SMEs.

The transnational networks, strengthened by the RDI2CluB outputs, enable SMEs to explore their market potential in different countries of BSR. With the transnational innovation ecosystem, the SMEs have more opportunities to find new partners, clients and customers and to develop their bioeconomy products and services for new markets.

Our solution is to create an open transnational digital platform for innovation in bioeconomy

In order to enhance transnational cooperation in bioeconomy innovation, the group of clusters develops and tests a digital collaboration platform and a related operational model for innovation management during the project.

The Open Virtual Biobusiness Hub is a virtual working environment – digital platform – that enables joint development of new products, services and business opportunities. The platform enables matchmaking, collaboration and creative encounters between experts of different fields in regional and transnational context. Furthermore, it can work as an interface to access data on natural resources and socioecological environment. Interaction on the platform can spark ideas with business potential, and support the transition to smart and sustainable bioeconomy.

In conclusion, the digital platform creates an environment for open innovation and user-driven design with feedback loops from civil society and end-users. The platform is open access and targeted for the whole BSR region after the piloting phase.

Project partners

Central Finland

  • JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Higher education and research institution
  • Regional Council of Central Finland, Regional public authority
  • SSYP Kehitys Oy Ltd., Business support organization

Hedmark County in Norway

  • Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Higher education and research institution
  • Hedmark County Council, Regional public authority
  • Tretorget Ltd, Sectoral agency

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship in Poland

  • Regional Science and Technology Center, Business support organisation
  • Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Regional public authority
  • Foundation for Education and Social Dialogue PRO CIVIS, NGO

Vidzeme Region in Latvia

  • Institute for Environmental Solutions, NGO
  • Vidzeme Planning Region, Regional public authority

Estonia

  • Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Center,  Research institution