ONE BSR Newsletter 2/2014

The ONE BSR project started in September 2012. The objective of the two year project was to market the whole region and its different parts by developing joint promotional services and test them in practice, to make positive publicity of the BSR lifestyles and to encourage the “we-feeling” of the Baltic Sea Region. The final conference of the project celebrated and closed the successful ONE BSR project in Helsinki, on September 4, 2014.

The final conference reviewed what has been achieved and also looked to the future. The conference’s closing session shared the most important participant take-a-ways and future perspectives with the attendants. An extensive article in this newsletter summarizes the talent retention session of the final event. Photos of the conference here:

Read more on the following topics:


The 1BSR website

After the actual ONE BSR project period, all materials produced during the project remain available on the ONE BSR web-site. Videos, toolkits, reports and other outcomes can be watched, read and/or downloaded even after the closing of the actual project time. Please note, however, that the site will not be updated any longer.

Thank you!

On behalf of the whole ONE BSR team we thank you for sharing our thoughts, ideas, perspectives and aims through the whole project period. Strengthened by the networks which have been created during the last two years, we trust that the work for the One Baltic Sea Region will continue and flourish on multiple platforms!


ONE BSR Newsletter 1/2014

Last six months, the ONE BSR project has taken giant steps in branding and marketing of the Baltic Sea Region. A common destination guide is created to attract US tourism operators to the area, and an online map provides useful information for foreign investors interested in the region. Other highlights of this newsletter are

Read the newsletter below or download it as pdf.

ONE BSR project meeting looks to the future

In February ONE BSR project partners gathered in Riga to discuss the status and next steps of the project. As the end of the project is coming closer, the gaze was turned to the future and life after the project. What do we do with the project results? How do we continue the good work for the common Baltic Sea Region? In the opening session, Mr Matti Ollinkari, Senior Expert from the Economic Development Division of the City of Helsinki, reminded the partners of the challenges ahead: they need to look at the scenery after the project, and come up with ideas, what to do in the future.
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Investment promotion players in one map

IPA directory Screenshot_200xThe new Baltic Sea Region IPA Directory lists all Baltic Sea Region investment promotion agencies with the goal of making it easier for the customers to find help when considering the BSR as an investment location. The directory is presented as an interactive map, available at It lets you search for investment promotion agencies by location and by focus areas. Also, any publicly funded investment promotion agency or other non-profit organization actively doing invest in activities is invited to submit their data. The service is free of charge.
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BSR promotion in the US started successfully

Five Baltic metropolises started their common promotion to the US travel trade and media on a common roadshow on 18-20 March. The cities of Hamburg, Helsinki, Riga, St. Petersburg and Warsaw were presented to travel professionals and media in New York, Boston and Chicago. The road show was a success, US media and travel trade were highly interested in the Baltic Sea Region. “By most of the tour operators who attended the roadshow the Baltic Sea Region is considered as a new and mostly underestimated destination to sell”, says Nadja Biebow, ONE BSR project manager with Hamburg Tourist Board.
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Save the date: ONE BSR final event on 4 September

One BSR final event will call together the project partners, stakeholders, and policy makers from all levels of governance to present and reflect upon the outcomes of the ONE BSR project and the future of the region. What are the facets of a common BSR identity and how can they be used for joint marketing and promotion? Concrete examples and tools will be presented by partners working with tourism, talent retention, investment promotion and BSR identity, providing food for thought for panel discussions and workshops. Creative illustrations and performances based on the results will sum it all up in a fresh way that will surprise and inspire us all! More information will be published on soon.

Cities of Baltic Sea Region published common destination guide

Destination-guide_Cover_200xFive Baltic Sea metropoles introduce themselves in a new common destination guide. Hamburg, Helsinki, Riga, St. Petersburg and Warsaw present their advantages and most important sights and must-sees, event highlights and give suggestions for itineraries. The destination guide is produced primarily for the US travel trade in order to attract more tour operators to sell the region.
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Together against talent retention challenges in the Baltic Sea Region

The first meeting of the ONE BSR Advisory Board on talent retention agreed on the need of collaboration in attracting and keeping foreign talents in the region. “It is important that the countries around the Baltic Sea Region collaborate because we need to expand the pool of talents. Otherwise we will lag behind”, says one of the Advisory Board members, Tine Horwitz, CEO of a Danish Consortium for Global Talent.
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Meet the talents in the new ONE BSR film

Who are the talented students and professionals that the universities, companies and cities around the Baltic Sea Region are trying to attract and keep in the area? The ONE BSR –project invited four talents from and outside the region to Gdansk last October to talk about their experiences in studying and working in the area. The latest ONE BSR –film tells about the dreams and motivations of these young professionals.
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Brain drain and talents a challenge for the coherence of the Baltic Sea Region

For the period 2008 – 2013 the divide between the western and the eastern part of the Baltic Sea Region has widened in terms of brain drain. This is a key conclusion based on a compilation of data from the World Economic Forums annual global competitiveness reports for the period. The data compilation is part of a study performed by ScanBalt® fmba for the ONE BSR project, co-financed by the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.
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Live like locals with the Japanese tourists

pic_Livelikelocals-report_200xThe final report of the Live Like Locals project sums up the transnational tourism product development carried out in two projects, BaltMet Promo 2010–2011 and the ONE BSR in 2013. The report gives a detailed description on the background of the pilot project and how it was carried out. It also provides useful tips how similar transnational projects should be organized, and what are their challenges.
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Over the language barrier into the Finnish labour market

For international talent finding employment in Finland is often hindered by a lack of Finnish language skills. Many highly educated immigrants are lost to the Finnish labour market as they must leave the country after being unable to find employment. Experts in the Helsinki metropolitan region created solutions for promoting the Finnish language learning and employability of highly educated immigrants.
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New publication on identity in the BSR and beyond

A new report “Facets of Identity – the Baltic Sea Region and beyond” was unveiled at the one-day conference on Baltic Sea Region identity, branding and communications organized on 9 December in Helsinki, Finland. The One BSR project will complement the scenery by publishing the “Portfolio of BSR identities”, currently being elaborated by the consulting company Tendersor, in 2014.
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BSR Urban Forum on Smart Cities
23 April Riga, Latvia

Baltic Development Forum together with the UBC Board and the City of Turku have taken the initiative to prepare a concept for a “Baltic Sea Region Urban Forum for Smart Cities”. The draft of the concept will be presented and evaluated in a workshop in Riga during the Energy Cities annual meeting. 

Turku Baltic Sea Days
1-5 June 2014, Turku, Finland

During the first week of June 2014, the City of Turku will be the venue for major maritime, business and cultural events as the Turku Baltic Sea Days and its various conferences and events bring experts, decision-makers, political and business leaders from around the Baltic Sea region to the city. The conferences, meetings and events include the 10th Summit of the Prime Ministers of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the 16th Baltic Development Forum Summit and the 5th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, and the XII Baltic Sea NGO Forum.

IPA Forum
9-10 June 2014, Helsinki, Finland

IPA Forum brings together the inward investment promotion professionals from around the Baltic Sea Region – and beyond. The event is targeted at anyone working in the field of inward investment promotion. The program is built around interesting keynotes on FDI trends in the region and examples and possibilities for regional cooperation in the investment promotion work. The official media partner of the event is fDi Intelligence by Financial Times. More information, program and registration will be available in

ONE BSR Final event
4 September 2014, Helsinki, Finland

The final event of the ONE BSR project will present the results of the project and further boost the co-operation through round table discussions, workshops and artistic presentations. The event calls together the project partners, stakeholders, and policy makers from all levels of governance to present and reflect upon the outcomes of the ONE BSR project and future of the region. Further information will be published soon at

ONE BSR Newsletter 2/2013

A lot has happened in the ONE Baltic Sea Region (ONE BSR) project in the last six months. The common activities across the Baltic Sea Region in investors’ and tourism promotion, talent retention as well as in branding of the region have taken concrete steps forward. First research and workshop results have been published and stakeholders involved in many different ways. In this newsletter you can read about the highlights of the last months and the upcoming events, e.g.

Read the newsletter below or download it as pdf.

ONE BSR partners and stakeholders met in Copenhagen in the 3rd project meeting

copenhagen-project-meeting_200xFor two days in September, the Danish capital was the home of the ONE BSR project as the partners gathered in Copenhagen for the third project meeting. In addition to internal working sessions of the project, the Talent and Investment workpackages organized a joint workshop that was also opened up to the Danish stakeholders. The workshop was successful in identifying synergies between attracting talent and foreign investment, as well as the tools to jointly coordinate them. Besides the project partners were also coached for using social media for networking, reaching out to stakeholders and for branding the Baltic Sea Region.
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How well is the Baltic Sea Region known in the US tourism market?

The results of a US Tourism Market Demand study show that the Baltic Sea Region is still rather unknown destination for the US tour operators. The study, carried out by the ONE BSR project, was aimed to gain knowledge of the US market concerning the demand on roundtrips through the Baltic Sea Region and the perception of Baltic Sea Region metropoles. The results show that the most known cities are St. Petersburg, Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm. The study verifies that co-operation and combined routes with common topics or geographical proximity are needed. In addition there are both global and US-Europe specific trends recognized in the tourism business.
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Greetings from the bloggers’ trip around the Baltic Sea

bloggers-trip_200xOn the last week of September, six ONE BSR bloggers were participating in an Experience Trip around the Baltic Sea. Travelling from Warsaw, Poland to the Finnish capital Helsinki, and finishing the trip in Tallinn, Estonia, the bloggers learned more about the three different capitals, their lifestyles, cuisines, traditions and tourist attractions, as well as the different identities and cultures around the common sea. During the trip, the bloggers were commenting their experiences in social media, through Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, and after the trip their stories are shared at the ONE BSR website, blogs and in a film. The bloggers’ experiences will be used in identifying new ideas on how to promote the visited cities and the whole Baltic Sea Region.
See the film from the bloggers’ trip:
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Call for new bloggers

Ten nations and already over 60 stories – but we want more. The ONE BSR bloggers have shared stories from their daily lives since March 2013. Eleven bloggers have posted about specialties and quirks from their respective nations. Their experiences provide readers with a window into what life is like on the shore of the Baltic Sea. While blogging, the writers reach out to a large local and international audience, and become part of an intercultural network of bloggers. To get even more versatile stories, we are now looking for new bloggers. See the conditions at ONE BSR website and apply by 1 November!
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New film: What connects the Baltic Sea Region?

new-film_smallWater, nature, common history or herring – could these elements serve as building blocks for the common Baltic Sea identity? In the new film of the ONE BSR project, people around the area explain what they think connects the different countries, which landmarks best describe the region, and which elements could be used for BSR identity building and branding. The film is the second in a series of four, each filmed at the ONE BSR project’s Policy Round Table events, tackling the issue of identity and branding from different angles.
See the film at
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How to keep talents in the Baltic Sea Region: Policy Round table at the ScanBalt Forum

3PRT_talents1_Dita-Dzene_200x How to attract and keep international talents, students and professionals in the Baltic Sea area was the topic of the 3rd ONE BSR Policy Round Table discussion held in Gdansk, Poland, on 18 October. Experts and talents were brought to the same table to discuss the challenges of keeping international talents in the area, and finding ways for better co-operation. Most of the talents have had problems with the local languages and the lack of language skills. Also the support for the families and partners, as well the overall attractiveness of the place were considered important.
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Investment Promotion Agencies meet to discuss Cleantech and Growth Capital

On 5 November 2013, Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) of the Baltic Sea Region will gather in Copenhagen for the fourth BSR IPAs meeting. The objective of the upcoming meeting is to discuss Cleantech and Sustainability as a prioritized sector for investment promotion as well as to identify the possibilities of Growth Capital investments within the sector, and the opportunities in a wider perspective. As part of the ONE BSR project, the IPAs’ meetings aim to exchange best practice and information on how the investment promotion work is organized, as well as find areas where the IPAs should join efforts to increase the success in attracting investments to the region.
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New business ideas for the Baltic Sea Region

WP_20130928_067Tallinn Business Incubator_200xAs a result of the networking and product development event IdeaMarket, held in Tallinn, Estonia 27-28 September 2013, five new business ideas were created, that are useful for the whole Baltic Sea Region. Among the ideas were a textile brand, an agency for freelancers and a company to reuse coffee packages. Special mention was given to the developers of a digital interactive children books’ platform. For winning idea was awarded a team that produces mobile and flexible massage tables. The IdeaMarket showed that intercultural collaboration results in excellent business ideas.
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Balticlab 2.0 brings young and creative minds together

Young entrepreneurs, artists, creative industry professionals and people with project ideas are encouraged to apply for the Balticlab 2.0. Balticlab 2.0 is a possibility for young people from the Baltic Sea region to explore new perspectives and sources of inspiration, to create collaboration and to find new business ideas. The selected candidates will travel to a networking weekend in Stockholm in December 2013. The application period is open until 8 November 2013.
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ONE BSR presented to high-level politicians and diplomats in Latvia

DSC_0093_Vidzeme-University_Valmiera City Council_200xIn recent months many prominent and high-level political figures have been visiting Valmiera and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA) in Latvia. To raise the recognition of the ONE BSR project and to underline its importance, each of these meetings has been used to promote the ONE BSR project.
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Generation Y as a driver of the successful development of the Baltic Sea Region: St. Petersburg – Young and vivid
31 October, St. Petersburg, Russia

Baltic Sea branding and St. Petersburg’s image will be discussed at this conference organized as part of the cooperation between St. Petersburg and the ONE BSR project. The conference is addressed to Russian and foreign experts, students and young specialists in the fields of journalism, PR, marketing and advertising, sociologists, as well as experts of international relations and entrepreneurship. The conference aims at the opinion exchange on methodology and creative decisions of the territorial marketing, drawing attention to the promotion of the Baltic Sea, analyses of St. Petersburg image and discussion of the most effective communication channels.

A live broadcast of the conference will be held on 31 October 2013 at 10.00 am (Moscow time) at

Talent retention: Advisory Board meeting
4 November, Stockholm, Sweden

The first Advisory Board meeting of the ONE BSR’s Talent Retention workpackage will be held on 4 November in Stockholm, Sweden. The Advisory Board consists of influential policy-makers involved in the talent retention business around the Baltic Sea Region. There are representatives both from governments, universities, business sector and non-profit sector. The Advisory Board follows up the work of the workpackage, and it has an important role in disseminating the results.

Baltic Sea Region’s Investment Promotions Agencies’ meeting
5 November, Copenhagen, Denmark

The objective of the meeting is to discuss Cleantech and Sustainability as a prioritized sector for investment promotion as well as to identify the possibilities of Growth Capital investments within the sector, and the opportunities in a wider perspective.

4th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the BSR
11-12 November, Vilnius, Lithuania

The event, entitled ‘Baltic Sea, Baltic Growth, Baltic Environment’, will focus on the environmental challenges faced by the Baltic Sea region, and the potential to turn these challenges into opportunities for economic growth, competitiveness and job creation. It will bring together the main stakeholders of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region from all countries around the Baltic Sea, representing the governmental sector, business, civil society and regional organisations. As the flagship project of the EUSBSR Horizontal Action “Promo”, ONE BSR project can be found at the joint stand in the “Project Village” of the Forum –see you there!

Visit Europe Media Exchange
18 November, New York, and 20 November, San Francisco, USA

ONE BSR and the Baltic Sea Region will be presented in the Vemex – Visit Europe Media Exhange fairs in New York and San Francisco.

Balticlab 2.0 Networking weekend
13-15 December, Stockholm, Sweden

Balticab 2.0 brings together young and creative minds from around the Baltic Sea region. After the Networking weekend, the collaboration continues in the form of Balticlab Project Development Programme in February 2014. Application period for the Balticlab 2.0 ends on 8 November 2013.

ONE BSR Newsletter 1/2013

Welcome to read the very first newsletter of the “One Baltic Sea Region” project! We aim to boost the competitiveness of the Baltic Sea Region by using its inspiring diversity in the marketing of the Region – both for foreign investors, tourists, talents and locals alike. Come and join us!

The ONE BSR newsletter is published every six months to keep you updated on our achievements and events. Highlights of the first issue are:

Read the newsletter below or download it as pdf.

Ten nations, thousands of stories – See the first ONE BSR film

Baltic Sea Region is the second most popular cruise destination in the world, right after the Caribbean. It may become even more popular if branded and promoted as one unity. The first ONE BSR film suggests some features for a common image of the Region.
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NewsWave – A new BSR news spot has already thousands of followers

waveUnder the umbrella of ONE BSR, Baltic Development Forum has launched a new website, which collects in one place news from around region. Its objective is to improve information exchange between the countries and thus help in developing some sort of a regional identity. Besides news, also opinions, comments, portraits and blog posts are published in NewsWave. News gathering and blogs are partly in the hands of young talents, recruited from all countries around the Baltic Sea. NewsWave was launched in February 2013. During its first months, it has had over 3 000 visitors each month, coming from all over the world.
Read more

Promoting BSR as one tourism destination for the Japanese

ONE BSR packages the region as one appealing destination for Japanese tourism professionals. Around a concept “Live like locals”, three product development workshops are organized in May for local tourism operators in Helsinki, Riga and Warsaw. The products will be launched at the Japanese market during the coming fall.
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Cultural identity of the Baltic Sea Region is not only about the sea

culturalWhat would you show to your Australian friend visiting the Baltic Sea Region for the first time? With this question the participants were led to discuss about their views of the identity of Baltic Sea Region in the ONE BSR workshop. Which places would you visit and why? And what are your personal stories behind these places?
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How to attract Chinese investments to the region?

A big number of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) from the Baltic Sea Region have gathered within the ONE BSR Project in order to generate concrete collaboration projects. The most recent meeting was hosted by the City of Hamburg and Hamburg Business Development Corporation. As part of the main conclusions, five recommendations were given on how to improve investment relationship with China. The IPA club is open to any interested national or regional investment promotion agency.
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Keeping the talents: Overcoming the language barrier

For international talents, finding employment in Finland is often hindered by the lack of Finnish language skills. In ONE BSR, the University of Helsinki is coordinating one of the pilot projects, which aims to increase regional cooperation in order to make a concrete policy change. Influential individuals from higher education institutions and public and private sector are brought together to discuss possible solutions, such as customized language learning paths for different occupations, or better support by colleagues and employers to an international employee in his/her language learning.
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Bloggers share daily lives around the Baltic Sea

ONE BSR project wants to give the possibility to experience the Region as the locals do. For realizing this, the project searched for people who are eager to present their daily lives and who are pulsating things about their region or city. In the first round, 13 bloggers from 8 different BSR countries were selected and started blogging in the end of February. The intercultural blogger community is growing continuously.
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Krumkake, zygmuntówka or vatrushka – Baltic Sea Region on one plate

krumkakeHave you ever tasted kringel, pulla or piragi? These are all delicious pastries from around the Baltic Sea Region, visualized in the ONE BSR postcard. For your and your friends’ fridge!

Download the postcard here






15th Baltic Development Forum Summit
29-30 May, Riga, Latvia

The 15th Baltic Development Forum (BDF) Summit “New Realities – New Opportunities” will take place in Riga on 29-30 May. The main focus of this year’s event will be on competitiveness, investment and business development and the role of the Baltic States in improving the Baltic Sea Region’s overall competitiveness and growth opportunities. The annual event brings together more than 400 stakeholders and provides a unique platform for leaders from government, political parties, business, academia and civil society to discuss these issues as well as cooperation possibilities and growth initiatives in the Baltic Sea Region.

Baltic Development Forum (BDF) Summit
Date: 29-30 May
Place: Riga, Latvia

Bioinnovation & ScanBalt Forum 2013
16–18 October, Gdańsk, Poland

Bioinnovation & ScanBalt Forum 2013 is an international event that gathers technology transfer experts from all around the world. The conference is a unique opportunity to establish international co-operation between business and life science. Researchers can contact with professional technology brokers and top-class experts. The summit is a result of an innovative cooperation between Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology University of Gdańsk, Medical University of Gdańsk, ScanBalt, Innovation Synergy and PRO SCIENCE Poland Ltd.

Bioinnovation & ScanBalt Forum 2013
Date: 16-18 October 2013
Place: The Polish Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, Poland

Baltic Sea Region: Region of Migration in Modern Ages
1820 October, Flensburg, Germany

The conference “Baltic Sea Region: Region of Migration in Modern Ages” brings together younger scholars from the Baltic Sea Region states to discuss the different aspects on the history of migrations, intertwining, integrations and cultural transfers in the Baltic Sea Region. Topics discussed range from questions of migration history of individuals and groups, to political, economic and cultural ex- and interchange processes and presentations dealing with cultural constructions of physical and mental spaces.

Baltic Sea Region: Region of Migration in Modern Ages
Date: 18-20 October 2013
Place: Sankelmark Academy, Flensburg, Germany