North Sweden is a frontrunner in interregional innovation Investments and collaboration in regional development projects for maximized impact. The region of Västerbotten collaborate via the director's network around the Baltic Sea to utilize the possibility of spending funding from the regional development fund out of the own region.
Through the “Article 70" regions can choose to use up to 15% of their funds in other regions. Within the framework of Article 70 a collaboration was made between a number of regional actors which resulted in the North Sweden Cleantech.
North Sweden Cleantech, is a regional innovation and export platform for green technology, clean energy and sustainable solutions from Västerbotten and Örnsköldsvik. In the cities of Umeå, Skellefteå and Örnsköldsvik, there are business developers who provide support for start-ups and international business developers who help SMEs establish their presence in an international market. In addition to business coaching, North Sweden Cleantech organizes ”technical and business visits”, meeting places, workshops and drives processes for internationalization and investments in the region.
The collaboration is an example of interregional innovation investments within existing framework that allows for avoiding geographical constraints of existing programs.
The network of managing authorities around the Baltic Sea is often highlighted as a good example of how managing authorities can collaborate to coordinate calls and enable interregional collaboration based on smart specialization. This example takes place within the framework of trans-regional cooperation within a macro-region. There is no other example today of any similar collaboration that has been carried out at a pan-European level.