The StarDust project was designed as a project ongoing from 2010 to 2013 in order to learn and be able to draw policy implications for the longer-term development of BSR Stars. The core of StarDust and the “testbed” are five transnational innovation partnerships: Active for Life, Clean Water, Comfort in Living, MarChain and Mobile Vikings. Each partnership brings together researchers, clusters, SME networks and public actors from different countries – combining different perspectives and areas of expertise. Each partnership has had different strategic ideas for their partnership, pursued different activities and methods of developing their collaboration (and has targeted different types of results).
The StarDust project was initiated with expected results in five main areas:
- Establishing open innovation platforms for new innovation collaboration
- Developing and testing various user-driven innovation methods
- Strengthening capabilities and competencies for working with transnational
innovation collaboration (on both policy and operational levels)
- Increasing involvement, information flow and transnational collaboration
- Influencing financial instruments to support transnational collaboration
StarDust is the first stepping stone in the BSR Stars programme and has been led by VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.
The StarDust project has combined strengths and core competencies in nine countries in Northern Europe and brings business, academic and public worlds together to find better solutions for the Baltic Sea Region. The overall objective has been to find new answers for societal challenges that the people in this part of Europe is facing. Increasing water pollution and an ageing population are just two examples of those. StarDust turned these challenges into opportunities for growth.
The project consisted of five sub-projects supported by new tools and methods on open and user-driven innovation. Their cooperation highlighted that common problems must be addressed jointly. Therefore, every project combineed researchers, clusters, SME-networks and public actors from different countries. The projects brought different expertise and perspectives together with a creative approach needed to meet the grand challenges.
The five transnational projects operate in the fields of clean technology & future energy, wellbeing & health, future transport, and digital business & services. New commercial-based concepts and routines relating transnational, national, regional and local levels are indentified and implemented. The projects involve all fields of innovations (scientific, technical as well as non-technical) with the aim of developing business-focused competitive global positions in selected fields. In this way, the project increases the growth of the region by fostering business ideas and setting up competitive partnerships beyond the national borders.
In total, StarDust has mobilized 34 partners from the public and semi-public sector. These partners were supported by 33 associated partners from national, regional and local levels. This set of partners represented all national ministries and innovation agencies in the ten Baltic Sea countries. The five pilots were supported by five work packages, for example regarding their communication or collaboration.
During 2012 and 2013 StarDust has strengthened its partnership by attracting new partners and financiers: the partners received more than 8 MEUR as add-on investment, 15 research institutions and six new cluster and business development organisations joined as associated partners. The five sub-projects are continuing their work by preparing strategic action plans focusing on long term strategy.
The innovation project StarDust has been a transnational project co-financed by the European Union’s Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013, which promotes regional development through transnational cooperation. StarDust was enacted under the priority area 1 aiming on fostering innovation with a total budget of 6,5 million Euros. StarDust builds on earlier cooperation and is in line with the earlier transnational projects (like BSR InnoNet and BSR_CBP projects).