The Baltic Sea Region as a global digital test hub?
Within the framework of the BSR Stars S3 project, Baltic Development Forum has commissioned a discussion paper on sharing test beds across borders. The paper, The Baltic Sea Region: A Global Digital Test Hub, gives a snapshot of digital test and demonstration infrastructures and facilities in the Baltic Sea Region, suggesting that transnational access for SME’s to these centers of excellence can stimulate innovation and smart specialisation.
Test and demonstration facilities, often named Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) play a pivotal role for successful commercialization of new digital products and services, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). There seems to be a strong correlation between competitiveness of technology-based SMEs and their access to test beds. However, for many SMEs it is not economically viable to set up their own testbeds and often they are not aware of available facilities at home or neighbouring countries.
The new report by Baltic Development Forum argues that better access to digital testbeds across borders would benefit the competitiveness of technology-based SMEs and the individual RTOs. The report also provides a snapshot of digital test and demonstration infrastructures available for SMEs in the Baltic Sea Region.
The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) is a frontrunner in the digital economy. An attractive place and potential testing ground for new innovative digital solutions for business and citizens. But it is yet to reach its full potential. Given the short lifecycles of most digital products and services, there is constant need for innovation and adaptation.
The study demonstrates that there are both overlapping and complementary areas of testbed expertise among regions and countries in the BSR. By linking these centers of excellence new opportunities to benefit from complementarities and synergies arise.
The report puts forward several policy recommendations on how the countries in the region could collaborate and network among testbeds to jointly offer SMEs a larger set of testbed services. Such collaborations efforts could be an important step towards positioning countries in the Baltic Sea Region as a global hub for testing digital products and services.
Baltic Development Forum