Innovation power through transnational cooperation Interreg VB – North Sea Region – Northern Connections
After four years of European cooperation on energy and sustainability in the “Northern Connections” project, the “final conference” is both a conclusion and a new starting signal at the same time. The Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster Agency (EEEH) – one of the 21 project partners – reports back on the event.
The final conference on 8 September 2020 was streamed live from Gothenburg (Sweden) to numerous countries, including the project’s seven partner countries Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Anneli Rhedin, Lord Mayor of the Gothenburg City Council, opened the digital conference, in which presenters such as Maria Strömberg (Business Region Gothenburg) and Alex Moreno (Northern Connections Project Manager) drew an enthusiastic conclusion – despite cultural and political differences, the project partners have been able to find common ground, build long-term trust and successfully carry out the project. You can find a recording of the conference and files of the presentations here.
It is high time
Carbon dioxide emissions, which are decreasing to a far lesser extent than has been hoped, are the starting point for Northern Connections. That is why it is high time to act. Cities and regions therefore have the responsible task of creating conditions for companies and innovators that facilitate the development of green innovations and sustainable solutions to the global challenges of our common future. To this end, between 2016 and 2020, European companies, cluster organisations, cities, municipalities and research institutes from the North Sea region were linked together as part of the Northern Connections project.
Innovative solutions by small and medium-sized enterprises
Many innovative solutions developed in small and medium-sized enterprises have far-reaching potential and deserve support. In order to show policy makers how they can use European cooperation for the further development of sustainable innovations and as a motor for green growth, Northern Connections tested a variety of different approaches in so-called living labs. The results and current developments from three out of a total of seven living labs were presented – those set up in Oslo, Alkmaar and Gothenburg
All three living labs have one thing in common: the innovations presented in them frequently exceeded what had been thought possible, thus paving the way for projects which can be implemented in a more climate-friendly way than cities or regions had previously planned. Companies from the EEHH network also contributed, e.g. emutec GmbH at the meeting in Alkmaar or SunOyster Systems GmbH at the event in Brussels.
“Sustainable hospitals” – Online Living Lab Denmark
Innovators and interested parties from the fields of energy use (AI & CTS, indoor climate, flexible use of energy, reuse of energy, energy behaviour) and use of resources (plastic waste streams, upcycling, general waste management, reduction and reuse of water) are invited to sign up free-of-charge here by 18 September 2020 for a final, digital living lab on the subject of “Sustainable Hospitals” on 24 September 2020.