Projects

ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR SME: SUCCESS THROUGH CROSS-BORDER COLLABORATION

CULTURAL AND TECHNICHAL BARRIERS, BETWEEN BALTIC COUNTRIES, CAN BE A CHALLENGE FOR BUSINESS. THIS PROJECT AIMS TO ANALYZE THESE BARRIERS WITH FOCUS UPON ICT COMPANIES.

Cultural barriers have proven to be very challenging to overcome in order to perform business in neighboring countries. One thing we often forget is that we stumble across the same social factors and human codex within our own premises. In many ways, Sweden has a similar business culture as our neighbors in the Baltic Sea region (particularly Finland and Estonia, but also Latvia and Lithuania) even though our historical backgrounds differ. Now we would like to take a proven Swedish SME development success methodology to our Baltic neighbors. This can interact and create bridges between the academia (universities and research institutes), the public sector and the business in the northern most part of Europe to a wider perspective and to involve and create the same casserole of innovation possibilities to other adjacent countries and their SMEs.

The background for this objective is that despite information and communication technologies (ICT) related products and services (such as eHealth, for example) are more borderless than most other types of products/services, and despite the close geographical and cultural proximity between the countries in the Baltic Sea region, there is still far too little cross-border penetration of markets. This constitutes a common challenge for all countries in the Baltic Sea region.

The goal of this seed project is to setup key methodologies, which will include such subjects as organizing SME technical collaboration workshops, feasibility studies of products and services, adjusting technical platforms in new markets, and innovation guidance with navigating through legal, bureaucratic and cultural differences. We expect that this seed project will lead to a full-scale project within the Central Baltic programme 2014-2020, where those methodologies will be implemented

AIM

The aim of this seed project is to address existing technical, administrative, and cultural barriers preventing SMEs in the Baltic Sea region from entering new markets and becoming more competitive nationally and internationally through combining and extending work methodologies of the existing Central Baltic projects (such as CeBa and BALLAD). The short-term goals are to study the challenges in a better depth, prepare key methodology concepts, and  eventually prepare a full-scale project wihtin the Central Baltic programme 2014-2020, where these issues will be addressed in full depth. The project will focus on SMEs whose focus lies with the ICT area, especially on smaller companies (up to 30 employees) focusing on the development of new ICT services.

Project partners

  • Acreo Swedish ICT AB, Stockholm & Hudiksvall, Sweden
  • Fiber Optic Valley, Hudiksvall, Sweden
  • Institute of Baltic studies, Tartu, Estonia
  • Latvian Information Technology Cluster, Riga, Latvia
  • ICT Export Cluster Estonia/Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Tallinn, Estonia
  • Smart City Lab, Tartu, Estonia

This project has been supported by a seed project grant of the Swedish Institute.

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