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INTERREG “South Baltic Food Innovation Culture Actors”

The main objective of the project “South Baltic Food Innovation Culture Actors” is to improve the capacity to design cross-border cooperation projects among 11 local actors in the South Baltic Area. The project will be implemented between 1stof June 2017 and 30thof November 2018. The partnership consists of 3 partners: Krinova Incubator&Science Park as a Lead Partner from Sweden, PP2 Czarna Dąbrówka Municipality from Poland and PP3 Rietavas Tourism and Business Information Centre from Lithuania and 8 associated partners from these 3 countries, many of them in need of raising their transnational cooperation capacity. The construction of the partnership, involving many NGO’s, will create a base for rich learning experience: introducing local actors, developing new skills and bringing synergy to create new projects. Training sessions will be arranged in Work Package 3, coordinated by PP3. The partnership will go through diverse phases of project development, to design a new transnational project. New project ideas will be generated to be developed in the future. The process of co-learning in form of exchange of good practice, with some experts involved, will be built around a real case – food innovation culture. Study visits will be an important asset in WP3. In WP4 the partnership will built their capacity around on-going events, trying to develop them in a cross-border perspective with more participants from South Baltic countries in the future. In WP5 the partners will investigate future possibilities of using digital platforms for cross-border cooperation.

Through the cross-sectoral cooperation the project will involve institutions that will focus at explaining the cultural differences and the historical changes that influenced both the economics and mentality and created the after-war gap between countries. That’s why all the activities will have a shared value of intercultural dialogue and communication that bring a new cross-border approach to the project and a future cooperation.

Establishing a new partnership between actors from SE, PL and LT brings a new impact to each partner’s organisation – primarily, through the current cross-border setting which is new for all the partners and, secondarily, through involving networks across sectors in the Baltic Sea region. The project’s idea is to answer a question how the actors from 3 different SB countries can build capacity to cooperate in the future. The common cross-border approach is going to be achieved through trainings in project development for the unexperienced partners and investigating possibilities to run joint events and to cooperate via digital platforms. All the partners agree that there’s valuable experience within food area in the other regions around the Baltic Sea. That’s why food themes will be used as joint real case for practical trainings and capacity building. The activities will be aimed at identifying a common challenge within that area of interest. This will enable a joint cross-border perspective on needed solutions. To reach the best cross-border perspective, the work packages will be divided between all three Project Partners. All activities will take place in different partners’ locations, to enable best know-how and exchange of experience. In that way, reciprocal study visits and exchange “on site” will be a great asset to build cooperation across the borders.

> Looking at the South Baltic Sea area from a historical perspective we discover an extensive exchange which lasted until World War II. Mobility of labour, trade and cultural exchanges were common occurrences. Membership in the EU means new opportunities for cooperation across the Baltic Sea. However, a successful cooperation has to overcome various barriers and attitudes among local actors.  That’s why intercultural dialogue and communication will be an important issue in the entire project. This focus can make a difference and bring a new cross-border approach to both the current project and the future cooperation.

The project was developed by a Polish/Swedish/Lithuanian team thanks to seed money from SI. The team has a long-term experience in cross-border cooperation that was set in focus from the beginning of the process and enriched with cross-sectoral approach. A joint development process started in Feb 2016 and a broad investigation among the partners was conducted in order to achieve the most sustainable partnership.