International activities


International activities

The smart specialisation strategy is employed in cooperation between regions in Europe and is also increasingly used as a criterion in EU sources of funding in the new programming period. Central Ostrobothnia’s smart specialisation strategy is updated, as necessary. It is linked with the internationalisation strategy of Central Ostrobothnia for the programming period 2021-2027 and in part directs the funding of ERDF projects. Central Ostrobothnia is engaged in cluster cooperation with the European Commission and other regions in Europe in the fields of battery materials, battery cell value chains as well as digitalisation and robotics, for example. Measures will be taken to increase the use of EU sources of direct funding and strengthen synergy between the various funding sources.

The joint smart specialisation strategy for Eastern and Northern Finland, which is based on the priorities of the various regions, is implemented through the ”Elinkeinot murroksessa” project, with the aim of strengthening the clusters and value chains in Eastern and Northern Finland and reforming research, development and innovation activities. Focus is placed on smart specialisation and diversification through cooperation across organisational boundaries. Cooperation between Eastern and Northern Finland offers the possibility to directly increase the recognition of the regions and to highlight the development needs and opportunities of the whole major region in view of the EU.

The East and North Finland EU Office in Brussels monitors EU matters important for the regions that it represents and seeks to influence the related decision-making. The priorities include regional policy, research, development and innovation policy, transport and energy policy, external relations, challenges of population change, industrial policy and international cooperation between regions.

Central Ostrobothnia is involved in the Interreg Nord, Interreg Botnia-Atlantica, Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) and Interreg Baltic programmes. The cooperation includes working in Nordic preparatory groups, national assessment groups and the programme area’s management and monitoring committee.  During the 2021-2027 programming period, the Interreg Nord and Interreg Botnia-Atlantica programmes will be merged with the new Interreg programme for the arctic areas of Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Central Ostrobothnia has received direct EU funding for the international P-Iris project in the Interreg Europe programme. The aim of the project is to promote innovation systems in semi-rural areas and support employment among highly educated young people. The project will end in June 2021. Click this link for further information on the P-Iris project.

The network of northern sparsely populated areas (NSPA) and the AER Assembly of European Regions are key channels of influence for representing the interests of the regions and launching international project pilots. Through its memberships, the Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia continues cooperation and influence in its areas of interest. The Kvarken Council EGTC established in 2020 introduces a new structure for continuing cooperation in the coastal areas of Finland and Sweden. Among others, the OECD’s Territorial Review 2017, which investigated the long-term development of northern EU areas, was implemented through collaboration between northern sparsely populated areas.


For further information, please contact Anne Sormunen, Head of International Affairs, tel. +358 40 6845 997


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