Author: Riikka Kumpulainen

Benchmarking Online ?

Benchmarking Online ?

Benchmarking online ?

Riikka Kumpulainen, JAMK University of Applied Sciences – Institute of Bioeconomy, RDI2CluB project manager 24.09.2020

How to benchmark in a transnational context if travelling is restricted ?

This was a big question for Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme (EU development fund) funded project RDI2CluB. RDI2CluB-project unites authorities, RDI institutes (Research, Development and Innovation institutes) and business development bodies from five regions (Central Finland, Inland Norway, Świętokrzyskie Poland, Vidzeme Latvia and Estonia) to a joint quest for boosting smart and sustainable bioeconomy development in the rural areas of Baltic Sea Region. In total four benchmark visits were conducted in the project to boost the development of bioeconomy clusters and innovation ecosystems in the partner regions as well as transnational bioeconomy co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region. Fourth and final benchmark trip was planned for 2020, same time as ongoing global pandemic. In this article, we will describe how we conducted our final transnational benchmark visit to Central Finland’s bioeconomy online and our tips for that.

RDI2CluB’s “Online Benchmarking Experience” consisted of four parts:

  1. Video tour
  2. Innovation Ecosystem presentation
  3. Thematic discussions between local SMEs and RDI2CluB partners
  4. On-going online discussion on Biobord-platform

Our experience was that to get a deeper understanding of regions bioeconomy sector, more than just a presentation was needed. Our online benchmarking started with a video tour that introduced different bioeconomy sectors of Central Finland through regional strategy and business presentations. Each business representative was interviewed before filming to see which aspects were most valuable in their business for the transnational audience and which aspects would provide new knowledge. In other words, the organizations presented in the video were involved in the planning process.

* When planning a video tour, frame the topic. And pay lots of effort to planning. What is special (for example in your region) ? What do you wish to showcase ? Can everything fit to the video ? For whom video is made for ?

*Reserve time and resources to produce informative and high-quality video tour. Filming a wide scale presentation of a wide subject, such as bioeconomy, takes time and money. For RDI2CluB, the whole filming project took 6 months. Also, high quality video producer requires more budget. But the result is worth it.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn82o_AlAWI&t=296s

 

The next step of the Online Benchmarking Experience was to see the innovation ecosystem of Central Finland as a whole, as it was one of the main focuses for the RDI2CluB. Traditional presentation was seen to be the best solution for describing.

*Separate, more in-depth presentation of the key aspect of the benchmarking is needed. It could also be part and theme of video tour. In our case we wanted to provide more wide presentation of the region on the video.

Thirdly, to ensure transnational discussion between different actors of our benchmark participants and regional bioeconomy actors presented on the video, we held thematic webinars. We had five thematic webinars between five regional bioeconomy SMEs and RDI2CluB partners. The idea was to, once again, go more deeply into the subject. Regional SMEs presented a topic for the thematic discussion, for example a challenge they are facing or solution that they would like to further develop. RDI2CluB partners had a change to select a thematic discussion/discussion they would have most to give for.

Our thematic discussions were:

  1. How to develop highly sensitive technology business without sharing the main idea behind it.
  2. How to make sheep farming more profitable ?
  3. How to further develop and test a farm-scale machine to separate the hemp fiber from the hemp hurt on field and to be used as a construction material ?
  4. How to move to the export markets with Finnish wood design products ?
  5. How to make products even more sustainable ?

RDI2CluB consists of 12 partners across Baltic Sea Region and the bioeconomy expertise and knowhow is wide. One of the main goals of the project and Biobord-platform, created in the project, is to share knowledge transnationally and find solutions together.

All thematic discussions started with presentations of each organizations present. This gave a good understanding of their expertise and knowledge. Thus, the local SME also presented their business again, more in-depth manner, and shared the challenge they are facing. After introductions there was time for questions and open discussion. Open discussion included examples of same types of businesses from different regions and their best practices. It also included examples from other sectors, sometimes it is beneficial to think outside of the box. When potential solution or idea of next steps where formed, discussion host steered the discussion by utilizing SWOT-analysis method: what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the solution.

*Announce the theme of the discussion on beforehand, so all participants have time to prepare.

*Reserve at least two hours for the discussions. Tight timetable does not leave room for creativity and for new solutions.

*Have a discussion host included that will steer the discussion if needed and takes care of the timetable. Clear instructions and clear process are important.

*Include as many representatives from the same field of business as possible to offer wide and potentially global glance to the business and to potential solution.

*If possible, record discussions and share the recording as well us summary afterwards somewhere, where discussion may continue. In our case we utilize Biobord.eu -platform.

Last step was to summarize the discussion and find a joint place to carry on joint development. For RDI2CluB this is Biobord-platform that has been developed in the project and widely used in the project implementing. Thus, SMEs were invited to register on the platform. Summary, organization presentations and the video recording of the webinar were shared on the Open Biobord, where anyone interested in the topic can join the discussion. Hopefully, new solutions will be found!

Overall RDI2CluB’s Online Benchmarking Experience was successful. The basic principle of benchmarking is to learn from other experts of a particular field of business and to implement lessons learnt to their own business. From RDI2CluB’s online benchmarking SMEs received practical advice to further develop their businesses, as well as found new contacts and new ideas. Thus, RDI2CluB partners received a wider view of that field of business and its challenges. They also received new methods and information to be shared for their region’s businesses. Open Access is a key principle of RDI2CluB and Biobord-platform. The video tour produced for the Online Benchmarking Experience will also be a useful too to showcase the benefits of sustainable businesses and what all is counted to bioeconomy. It may also be used in educational purposes and in region’s marketing.

*Make result durable and multipurpose

Join the discussion on Biobord!

 

Picture by Diana Pitkänen 2019.

From date
2020-09-29
To date
2020-09-29
25 Cases for Bioeconomy Innovation Around The Baltic Sea Region

25 Cases for Bioeconomy Innovation Around The Baltic Sea Region

25 Case for Bioeconomy Innovation Around Baltic Sea Region -publication was prepared in a consortium of 12 organizations from five European countries and with the support of Nordic Council of Ministers. This publication was developed within the Interreg Baltic Sea Region project RDI2CluB, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

This publication contains inspirational stories about how private and public sector players in five European countries have sought and found, and continue to develop knowledge-based, smart and efficient solutions aimed at promoting bioeconomy development – to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services, increase competitiveness of business and unlock the potential of well-known and appearing resources.

In most cases, this positive change grounds on one most effective tools – collaboration, which has no boarders or limits, and which opens horizons for the most novel knowledge and approaches, available inside and outside a regional ecosystem, and creates preconditions for innovation, necessary for the most effective and sustainable development of bio-economy.

 

Find our publication from here

And find the members of RDI2CluB from Biobord-platform.

From date
2020-09-08
To date
2020-09-08
It is time for a rural renaissance!

It is time for a rural renaissance!

The RDI2CluB project has released the Impact Report that highlights the efforts of a growing network of different actors in developing the bio economy innovation ecosystem and solutions around the Baltic Sea Region. The Impact Report has been created in close cooperation with the Finnish start-up company AskKauko and it features a new approach that blends storytelling, visuality, open data and interactivity. The Impact Report is available here.

“It’s time for a rural renaissance. From clean air and water to beautiful, bountiful landscapes, we believe that rural areas are invaluable. Rural communities can also drive economic growth by helping to create smart bio economy solutions,” says the introduction to the Impact Report. For three years, since the launch of RDI2CluB project, the partner regions from Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Norway and Poland have been building a network of actors – researchers, entrepreneurs, business developers, policy and decision makers – and a set of innovative tools and methods to reinvigorate rural areas and nurture their economies while contributing to a more sustainable future for all.

The Impact Report showcases solutions developed as a result of transnational cooperation and co-creation among the bio economy regions of Central Finland, Inland Region in Norway, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship in Poland, Vidzeme Region in Latvia and Estonia:

  • Biobord– an online forum where researchers, entrepreneurs, and business developers can meet and collaborate on innovative bio economy solutions that benefit all of us
  • Waakku – a mobile application for connecting rural entrepreneurs with services and workforce;
  • Promoting biomass heating to improve air quality and living standards for residents in spa towns in Poland;
  • Using advanced technology and knowledge sharing to promote high-value organic farming in Latvia;
  • Developing an international, multidisciplinary and multisectoral network for the sustainable management of wildlife populations in the Northern Hemisphere.

Background

RDI2CluB project (Rural RDI milieus in transition towards smart bioeconomy clusters and innovation ecosystems), is part of the Interreg Baltic Sea region project family of 2014-2020 under the Priority 1 “Capacity for innovation” that is dedicated to actions strengthening the ability of the Baltic Sea Region to create and commercialize innovation.

Our aim is to connect bio economy innovation networks to share ideas, find partners and work together to create business opportunities in bio economy. Together we build knowledge and raise awareness on sustainable and viable bio economy business potential in the Baltic Sea Region. To enable international cooperation, we have created an open international digital platform called Biobord, which is being tested and scaled up together with small and medium size enterprises within the RDI2CluB project.

 

More information:

Riikka Kumpulainen, Project Manager of RDI2CluB
riikka.kumpulainen@jamk.fi

 

From date
2020-04-22
To date
2020-04-22
How to develope bioeconomy online ?

How to develope bioeconomy online ?

How to develop bioeconomy online ?

Current world events have directed us more and more to online working from home and this has created a growing need for alternative solutions for working. How about in the field of bioeconomy ? How can you do transnational innovation and development work if travelling is out of options ?

Interreg Baltic Sea funded RDI2CluB -project has a one solution: an online platform for open bioeconomy innovation – Biobord.eu

Biobord’s mission is to bring together bioeconomy developers to a joint table to solve global and local challenges with bioeconomy innovations. Biobord connects bioeconomy innovation networks around the Baltic Sea Region to share ideas, find partners and work together to create business opportunities. Together we build knowledge and raise awareness on sustainable and viable bioeconomy business potential in Baltic Sea Region.

Biobord offers an open discussion forum that includes matchmaking possibilities, transnational networking, knowledge sharing, joint innovation, a place to announce bioeconomy webinars and many other ways to co-operate with our growing network.

The transnational network consists at this moment of six regions around Baltic Sea Region: Finland, Norway, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and as a latest addition Sweden. Biobord has a vast amount of knowledge from many different fields of bioeconomy, and there are members representing all aspects (local authorities, SME’s …). The network and its knowledge, online tools and the open innovation atmosphere is now in you use!

Registering is easy and doesn’t cost a thing.

Biobord can be used anywhere and anytime with a computer or a mobile device, all you need is an online connection. Perhaps, it is time to move the bioeconomy innovation to an online form as well ?

 

Contacts:
Riikka Kumpulainen
Project Manager RDI2CluB
The Institute of Bioeconomy, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences
riikka.kumpulainen@jamk.fi
Biobord: @riikkakumpulainen

From date
2020-03-18
To date
2020-03-18