Successful cooperation with Finland - a showcase project

Interreg Botnia-Atlantica has selected North Sweden Cleantech's collaborative project with the Vasa region, Cleantech Kvarken, to become one of three showcase projects that will be included in the European Commission Inforegio database.

A partnership consisting of business support actors in Umeå, Vasa and Örnsköldsvik saw great potential in collaborating for more business between cleantech companies in the Kvarken region. This was then the idea behind the Cleantech Kvarken project, and after three years the project has achieved very positive results.

Cleantech Kvarken and its collaboration platforms have created cross-border cooperation and knowledge transfer between enterprises, energy companies, water companies, cities and municipalities within the Kvarken region. The project has made it possible for 200 cleantech companies to participate in a joint corporate directory, at fairs, matchmaking and business meetings, creating new opportunities to meet, collaborate and do business with companies on the other side of Kvarken. The project has thus developed trade between the countries within the program area and bridged many of the most common difficulties in cross-border business collaborations, which has led to increased business opportunities for the participating companies.

-It is truly gratifying that the Botnia-Atlantic program secretariat perceives the Cleantech Kvarken as a very good project, which is now being presented as a model for the Commission, says Peter Hedman, project manager for the Cleantech Kvarken.

-Of course, the most important thing, is that the participating companies have experienced concrete business benefits and a clear sign of this is that as many as 97% of the participating companies want to continue the cooperation, Peter continues.

The Cleantech Kvarken project took place between 2015-2018 and was to 60% funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Botnia-Atlantica program. Other financiers were Region Västerbotten, Umeå municipality, Umeå Energi, Örnsköldsvik municipality, Österbottens Förbund, Vasaregionens Utveckling AB (VASEK) and the city of Vaasa.

The Project Cleantech Kvarken is over, but our cooperation with Finland continues. The partnership has been expanded with parties in Skellefteå and Karleby and is now taking the next step with the project Future Cleantech Solutions. Which aims to enable small and medium-sized companies to benefit from the concrete business and collaboration opportunities that arises from the new establishments and investments that are currently taking place on both sides of Kvarken.


Text and photo: Maria Klintenäs


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