BSR Stars new project umbrella

BSR Stars warmly welcomes the four new projects of the programme: IRIS, LARS, SmartUp Accelerator and SmartUp BSR

date 27.10.2017

BSR Stars is a flagship under Policy Area Innovation within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The core of BSR Stars is to support different projects to be developed within the themes of SME Internationalisation, Innovation Structure Support, and Smart Specialisation Strategies.

As of Autumn 2017, the BSR Stars programme consists of six projects: Innovation Express, BSR Stars S3, IRIS, LARSSmartUp BSR and SmartUp Accelerator. Innovation Express and BSR Stars S3 are the projects that the programme has been consisting of for the past years, while the latter four are new project in the BSR Stars family.

BSR Stars warmly welcomes the new projects of the programme and hereby we introduce them to you:



Incubators are organisations to boost innovation and entrepreneurship. Project IRIS shall strengthen management and support capacity of incubators in Baltic Sea region. This shall lead to enhanced incubator performance, which will result in more surviving start-up companies and growing businesses. IRIS will contribute to development of the Baltic Sea Region as a dynamic, innovative and business driven region.

Existing incubator support instruments will be shared and transferred between partners. New instruments will also be developed and tested. A Guideline with descriptions of useful support instruments will be made available also outside the partnership.

“Peer review” is defined as evaluation of work by professionals of similar competence. Peer reviews are used to enhance quality and improve performance. All IRIS partners will take part in peer reviews to evaluate and improve their capacity. A Road map with conclusions from the peer reviews will be made available also outside the partnership. This output can be used by organisations and policy makers to improve regional innovation systems.

The partnership comprises 14 incubator organisations from all countries of the Baltic rim, including Norwegian and Russian partners. The Nordic Council of Ministers is an Associated Partner to IRIS.

Contact: Erika Hinz, Dalarna Science Park,



LARS, Learning among Regions on Smart Specialisation, is a project which attempts to help the public sector in leading smart specialisation processes in their regions and to connect innovation networks across regions. It helps find solutions tackling the fragmentation of regional systems of innovation looking for entrepreneurial discoveries within such topics as blue growth, bio and circular economy, advanced production methods and technologies for energy efficiency.

Contact: Jerker Johnson, Regional Council of Ostrobothnia,


SmartUp BSR

The project helps regions in nine countries to apply research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) by sharing best practices and knowledge of EU RIS3 experts (Committee of Regions, EU Joint Research Centre) and co-creating concepts for the RIS3 implementation. The project focuses on active healthy ageing, digitalisation in smart city, climate change and circular economy.

Contact: Taina Tukiainen, Aalto University,


SmartUp Accelerator

The project improves the innovation actors’ skills to identify brilliant ideas and foster teams committed to creating new businesses and reducing the environmental burden of consumption. This is done by using transnational training programmes and supporting activities such as bootcamps and testbeds for improving their own practices.

The project implements actions for networking and cooperation, training programmes for intermediaries, SMEs and start-ups. It creates strategic and operational partnerships between organisations and stakeholders and strengthens knowledge and awareness of consumer cleantech within the innovation and investor scene. This is gathered within a model called the SmartUp Accelerator.

Contact: Lennart Walldén, Innovatum AB,