Are you up for an exciting opportunity? The Interreg South Baltic Programme invites the South Baltic region’s 16-26 years old high school senior and university students (individuals or groups) to participate in a video contest producing a short film (up to 3 minutes) on these topics: sustainable tourism, green technologies, sustainable transport in the South Baltic region.
The aim of the contest is to promote South Baltic Programme’s projects, innovative solutions, opportunities for improvement linked with these themes, and helping to tackle potential issues, obstacles.
Prizes for 5 winners:
- 1st prize: Photo camera – Canon EOS 80D + lenses
- 2nd prize: iPad – 9.7-inch Retina display, iOS 11
- 3rd – 5th prizes: Bluetooth wristbands monitoring daily activity + laptop backpacks.
Find out more about this contest on the South Baltic website: https://bit.ly/2sisZmQ
We are happy to publish a report authored by Sven Borén and Henrik Ny at Blekinge Institute of Technology 2018, concerning the Working Package 3.2 of INTERCONNECT project. This report is the final deliverable from activity 3.2 of the INTERCONNECT project. It sums up the ‘raw data’ or outcomes of stakeholder workshops in the pilot areas. This includes regional visionary statements to lay the ground for a vision of sustainable public transport in the South Baltic area. Preliminary paths (plans) for how to reach the visionary statements and the sustainability effects of the current and future public transport mobility patterns are also included. A draft of the common vision is intended to later be put together by the authors of this report based on the visionary statements gathered from the participating regions. You can read the report here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/19C1-BrsZscCO0vpxQMW8QiFze20kFotu/view
INTERCONNECT can be considered as the successor of ‘Interface’ and ‘Interface Plus’ projects. These projects, co-funded by the South Baltic Programme 2007-2013, aimed to help revitalise cross-border passenger traffic without car as a comfortable, cheap and environmental friendly alternative to travel within the South Baltic area. The projects succeeded in introducing an integrated railway-ferry-bus ticket for the ride between the urban centres of Nyköping (Denmark) and Rostock (Germany), operated through an online booking system and supported by the dynamic passenger information system, the first cross-border facility of that kind in the South Baltic area. Now, joint marketing and information activities are being implemented in order this service to become more attractive in the widen public.
Given that, InterCombi Ticket is a initiative that should be showcased as good practise, and as example of successful Multi-modal ticketing system. InterCombi gives the opportunity to passengers to get different means of Transport (ferry, bus, etc) travelling from Denmark to Germany, using just single ticket! More specifically the InterCombi-Ticket is valid for:
- all public transport in Nykøbing (tariff zone 230)
- bus transfer from Nykøbing to Gedser
- crossing the Baltic Sea with a Scandlines ferry to Rostock
- all public transport in Rostock (tariff zone Rostock)
If you want to know more about this initiative, you can check here: http://www.intercombi-ticket.de
Overlapping with the 800th jubilee of the Hanseatic City of Rostock, the international Hanseatic Day (Hansetag Rostock 2018) took place from 21st to 24th June 2018. Among many events, the Hanse Congress 2018, an international economic congress, was organised.
Entrepreneurs and scientists from Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and European Hanseatic cities were invited to participate. HIE-RO took the opportunity to present the Interconnect project.
The idea pitching event was split into 7 cross-industry topics (life science, logistics, tourism economy, renewable energy, food & agriculture, creative industries and maritime economy) and 7 parallel lectures, limited to 800 seconds per lecture and 800 second discussion.
Participants of the Interconnect lecture engaged in the discussions about common ticketing systems and the issues of long distance / cross-border travels via public transport.
What a fantastic 2 days in Klaipeda for ERB Delegation, attending the Annual South Baltic Conference “Unlocking the potential for blue and Green Growth”. The conference was held in Klaipeda, Lithuania the dates 23-24 of May 2018 and it was a valuable experience for the team of Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, consisting of Sebastian Magier, Malgorzata Samusjew, Agata Ludwiczak, Valentina Scandola and Andreas Karadakis.
The Annual Event of the Programme was dedicated to mark the successful implementation of the Programme and to present to the public the most important and interesting joint projects of the Western part of Lithuania and other regions of participating countries - Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Germany. Every year, this event takes place in another South Baltic region’s country participating in the Programme.
The opening session was marvellous. The Mayor of Klaipeda welcomed the participants and Anne Thomas, Head of Euroregion Baltic Executive Board gave an inspirational speech, stressing out the importance of working together for common goals.
On the first day the participants of the Event discussed the progress of the Programme and the future prospects of the South Baltic region after 2020. The thematic areas of the event were: sustainable tourism, transport, green technology promotion in the region, increase of the qualification and cooperation skills of employees, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
Participants of the Event had also the opportunity to take part in the boat tour and see closer a project co-financed by the Interreg South Baltic Programme - the LNG terminal. Another group of participants cycled to the sites of projects that are being implemented in the city of Klaipeda.
During the second day participants were given the chance to attend parallel sessions about 1)communication and dissemination project strategies and 2) clustering of projects.
European and INTERREG projects bring about a positive change in the life of European Citizens and the local communities. During the communication and dissemination session it was stressed that besides good intentions and actions, is equally important for those involved in European projects to effectively communicate and spread the project results and success stories. Also, they were presented efficient communication strategies and more “ catchy” tactics to draw the attention of the widen public.
The session for clustering of projects was very constructive as well! “Project clustering across different priorities could provide additional benefits when the results are linked into add value chain” - said Arturas Razinkovas-Baziukas, Moderator on project clustering workshop.
An example of project clustering that was presented as good practice during this session is the cooperation of 2 projects managed form the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic; CaSYPoT (Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation) and SB YCGN ( South Baltic Youth Core Groups Network). SB YCGN project, sharing similar goals and values with CaSYPoT, is meant of using the survey tool that was developed for the latter to conduct another research that will be finally compared to CaSYPoT’s results. SB YCGN aims to increase capacity building of local actors working with youth, demonstrating the benefits of soft cross border cooperation in solving youth issues. Clustering of CaSYPoT project with GaYa project is worth to be mentioned too. GaYa aims to increase the quality of democratic processes in the Alpine space by enhancing the involvement of young people. The stakeholders of the 2 projects met and exchanged views and insights from their projects providing valuable feedback to each other.
Green Transport Session had a special interest for Euroregion Baltic since the organization is a partner of INTERCONNECT project. During the workshop it was underlined the importance for the stakeholders in the Baltic Sea to search for good practises and innovation in European (public) transport and especially in other INTERREG projects. Also there was a reflection of the Ten T-days Conference for Sustainable Transport that was held in Ljubljana and the projects that were showcased there. Synergies and cross border cooperation are essential elements in order to be developed a joint integration vision for the European regions and to show the benefits of better connectivity to European Citizens. Last, It was emphasised that the goal of one ticket system for various means of transport across Europe should be a priority.
ERB delegation is back in base full of priceless information and experiences, more wise and nuanced, committed to continue working for the achievement of the common goals in the South Baltic towards the prosperity of the region.
INNOBALTICA has announced a tender process for the provision of cloud services directly related to the pilot program, which is one of the essential elements of the INTERCONNECT project implementation. The announcement of the tender process is a milestone in the preparation of a pilot connection between the Pomeranian - Blekinge regions in Sweden. It is also an important element in the implementation of one of the main objectives of the INTERCONNECT project, which is: "Development of solutions that will enable passengers to travel internationally using regional and urban transport based on one integrated ticket (...)"
You can read more about tender process here (in Polish): http://innobaltica.pl/1_12_zamowienia-publiczne.html
As it is regularly scheduled, representatives from the Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (Germany), Region Blekinge (Sweden), Blekinge Trafiken (Sweden), Innobaltica ( Poland), Viimsi Municipality, (Estonia), Euroregion Baltic (Poland), in an on-line meeting regarding INTERCONNECT Project. This was the 4th on-line meeting between the project partners and it was held the 14th of June 2018. The participants went through the schedule and the planned activities of the project, discussing and analysing the progress that has be done and identifying challenges in the implementation of the working packages.
Some important issues that were discussed are:
- A study visit, combined with the benchmark seminar, will be held in Pomorskie, Poland on 6-7 September2018. Furthermore, a study visit - to Helsinki, Tallinn and Viimsi - will be arranged for 2-3 of October;
- The work-plan for the Working Package 5 will be updated and will be spread out to the Project Partners, with first activities to be launched in late 2018.
All the project partners are passionate and committed to continue working systematically in order to find sustainable solutions that will make public transport more attractive to citizens in the South Baltic Sea Area. We promise to keep you updated!!!
The Executive Board of Euroregion Baltic met in Klaipeda on 22nd May 2018 to discuss about the progress, the challenges and the priorities of the organisation in the coming year. The main topic of the meeting was the development of the ERB 2030 Agenda and discussion on the proposals already submitted by some of the ERB members. The discussion served as a source of inspiration and provided relevant content to the development of the document later this year.
The ERB also continued the dialogue on the pontential enlargement of the organisation by inlcuding a new member from Sweden. To this end a representative of the Skåne Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet Skåne) presented the organisation and their expectations towards the ERB as a potential future member organisation. The process is expected to be finalised at the next Board meeting in September 2018.
Much discussion was dedicated to the question of continuation of the South Baltic Programme under the new proposals submitted by the European Commission. It was agreed unanimously that the Programme should continue as an independent financial tools with significant budget allowing its stakeholders to tackle different challenges identified in the region. In order to provide an effective lobbying for the Programme the Board decided to develop a position paper highlighting the achievements of the Programme and lobbying for its continuation after 2020.
Communication manager of INTERCONNECT, Agata Ludwiczak, was also present in the meeting, presenting to the Board the progress and results of the project so far.
The 42nd Annual Congress will be held in Rostock, Germany from 19th to 21st of September 2018 and has the ambition to facilitate the dialogue among all the urban stakeholders irrespective of their scale of involvement and of their sector of activities either private, public or third sector. The Congress in Rostock, in the North East of Germany, is an opportunity to understand the territorial and urban management changes taking place in one of the most advanced industrial countries, and the new relationships that are being established between the central, regional, metropolitan and rural levels in the production of efficient, effective and enjoyable urban society. The East German City Rostock managed the widespread changes in society and economy in a model like way; is prospering, vibrant, works now on new masterplan Rostock 2030 preparing next quantum jump. Moreover, public transport will be a significant topic in the discussion during the Congress. Different Interconnect project partners will active contribute to the workshop4: T4: Sustainable mobility - integrated multimodal public transport;(access by multimodal public transport). Because of lack of integrated transport authority and multimodal services, connections between small and medium-sized areas and with the main urban centres hardly meet customer's expectations who do not see clear benefits of choosing public transport over private car. Planning, market incentives and promotion campaigns to change the travel pattern of people living and working in small and medium-sized areas tend to fail. Would multi-stakeholder governance, and user-adjusted tools such as interoperability of the local and regional transport services, enhance the public transport service and curb the car -reliant mobility? Could every small and medium sized areas afford its own public transport system, how technology can help in organising interregional and cross-border cooperative transport solutions? Herewith, Interconnect has the pleasure, contributing from South Baltic Sea regions perspective to UN discussion of new urban agenda, Habitat III.
Organized by Region Blekinge, PP1 - Leader of Interconnect project
On the 17 th of May 2018, Region Blekinge, PP1 of Interconnect project, have organized study visit to Blekinge. It was the second of the five visits planned in the Activity 4.6 Study visits for public transport system stakeholders in the partner areas.
The main goal of the visit was to highlight the experience and good practice for PT accumulated in Blekinge. Apart from presentations by Region Blekinge and its dedicated managing body for regional PT (Blekingetrafiken), the visit also featured the insights in serving foot passengers in interregional traffic by Stena Line as well as the presentations of PT-related aspects by the relevant organisations cooperating with the host for the visit.
At the Stena Line ferry terminal at Verkö participants had a chance to learn about the PT system in Blekinge, in particular: customer relations, publicity events for the region’s residents – Blekingertafiken, PT and spatial planning, collaborative planning, good practice. They also got better insight into Stena’s Line experience in addressing travel need of foot passengers on the Karlskrona-Gdynia Line.
Environmental aspects and sustainable regional growth are very important issues in Blekinge. That’s why project partners could hear about research and test deployment of electric buses and biogas use in PT services. They also got know-how to implement special PT services – on demand.
Participants could take their local travels in Karlskrona to test the quality of Blekinge PT system (by express PT bus lines). After sightseeing they completed study visit questionnaires. All data will be aggregate in the report - it will give the host organization a fresh insight into how the offered services are perceived by ‘tourists’ and what is their opinion. It is expected that study visit surveys and reports will play an important role in defining tools and procedures to increase the quality of public transport system in partner areas.
Around 100 specialists dealing with the subject of public transport on a daily basis were gathered the 10th May 2018 at the Marshal's Office of the Pomorskie Voivodeship in the frame of the seminar "Common ticket in public transport", where they discussed about common challenges and the integration of ticket systems in public transport in Pomerania and Poland. Invited guests were local government officials, city and municipal office employees and representatives of companies involved in the designing and implementation of electronic ticket systems
As it was stressed in the seminar, the Management Board of the Pomorskie Voivodeship has been implementing a consistent policy for several years, aiming at the development of public transport such us the expansion of the transportartion network and the simplification of payment systems for public transportation journeys. Moreover Wiktor Szydarowsk, representing Region Blekinge and INTERCONNECT Project, was among the speakers and he presented the lecture: “International Interconnect project - towards the integration of public transport systems in the South Baltic Sea region”. You can read more here (in Polish): http://innobaltica.pl/1_60_seminarium-wspolny-bilet.html or http://innobaltica.pl/1_58_konferencja-wspolny-bilet-w-komunikacji.html. Also you can check the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JccBJioNBBk&t=16s
We are very happy to inform you that INTERCONNECT project will be presented in the 9th edition of the TEN-T Days conference that will take place in Ljubljana in 25-27 April 2018, as a showcase and best practise of Sustainable Transport. European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc is inviting Ministers, Members of the European Parliament and key stakeholders to Ljubljana to discuss how to contribute to smart, sustainable and safe Mobility, relying on the trans-European transport network and investments in transport connectivity. The organizers of the meeting created a very beautiful brochure that highlights good examples showing a great variety of actions in the field of transport, and off course INTERCONNECT is presented there as well. You can find the brochure here: Interreg makes a difference in TO7
On 23th of March 2018, representatives from Klaipeda Public Transport Authority, Lithuania, The Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (Rostock), Region Blekinge (Karlskrona), Innobaltica (Gdynia), Viimsi Municipality, (Estonia), Euroregion Baltic (Poland) and the University of Rostock participated in the third online meeting concerning INTERCONNECT Project.
The participants went through the schedule and the planned activities of the project, discussing and analysing the progress that has be done and identifying difficulties and obstacles in the implementation of the working packages of the project. The participants also discussed and gave feedback regarding the meetings they had with stakeholders in the partner areas in order to identify their current and future needs for travelling without a car, help them agree on a vision of sustainable public transport system and a path to achieve it. Therefore, the realization of the project is on track and all the partners are passionate and committed to continue working in order to find sustainable solutions that will make public transport more attractive to citizens in the South Baltic Sea Area.
During the three-day event under the name Transport Week, a seminar was held for companies and institutions that participate in the Interreg South Baltic program. The topic of talks was cross-border cooperation and ways to finance and improve transport solutions.
Transport Week is one of the most popular events devoted to the TSL industry (transport, forwarding, logistics). It took place in Gdańsk on 6-8 March 2018 at the Baltic Philharmonic.
One of the events accompanying the conference was the meeting of companies and institutions implementing EU projects under the Interreg South Baltic program under the name "Cross border cooperation: how to improve and finance innovative transport practices".
After the presentation of selected program assumptions, the representatives of individual projects discussed issues related to how work in teams is organized, about the political and financial issues related to the implementation of tasks, as well as problems arising during the performance of individual elements of the work. It was a great opportunity to make contacts and compare styles of action.
The Interconnect project was represented by Agnieszka Wojtach, project manager of Interconnect in InnoBaltica.
The workshop in Klaipeda within the INTERCONNECT project about better cross-border and regional public transport was facilitated by BTH PhD student Varvara Nikulina, supported by research colleagues Henrik Ny and Sven Borén in the SustainTrans research group.
The team had great support from the hosting team at Klaipeda Public Transport authority, lead by Andrius Samuilovas. The workshop took place in Culture Factory in Klaipeda and was different to the others in Gdynia and Karlskrona as there was simultaneous translation via headphones to both Lithuanian and English, and that the table leaders were from the Klaipeda Public Transport authority and could thereby contribute to the discussions with expertise within the topic.
There where less participants than in the other two workshops, but those who were present represented a great mix of public transport stakeholder, and their knowledge lead to fruitful discussions at each of the three tables in the afternoon. The format of the workshop was the same as the previous, starting with a nice introduction by the vice Mayor of Klaipeda Arturas Sulcas.
The participants then presented their expectations of the day and burning issues regarding regional and cross-border public transport. After a presentation of Strategic Sustainable Development related to public transport by Henrik Ny, the participants brainstormed and concluded upon a visioning statement about public transport for year 2040.
After lunch, the participants discussed and brainstormed current pros and cons regarding public transport and sustainability effects and then solutions towards the vision.
The BTH team are extremely grateful for the help of table leaders and the hosting by Klaipeda public transport. The next task is to write a summary report and then use the results to contribute to the list of solutions towards sustainability and high quality of regional and cross-border solutions in the South Baltic Region, and later this year start the development of the stakeholder collaboration model.