EUSBSR Policy Area Innovation (PA Inno, the Baltic Institute of Finland as the main coordinator) hosted an event focusing on fostering innovation cooperation between Ukraine and the Baltic Sea region (BSR). The event took place in a hybrid format in Warsaw on April 16, 2024. Event brought together innovation actors from the Baltic Sea Region countries and Ukraine.

During the keynote speech, Ms. Nadija Afanasieva, the Director of the Ukrainian Institute for International Politics (UIIP), underlined the importance of the cooperation and exchanging both positive and negative experiences in smart city development between actors in the BSR and Ukraine. EU is also currently backing such exchanges and collaborative efforts through diverse funding mechanisms. The crucial task is to identify the appropriate stakeholders to engage into this cooperation.

During the event, an overview was provided on the existing cooperation between the BSR countries and Ukraine. Topics focused on social innovations, smart cities, and smart specialisation. These topics were explored in depth during the panel discussion, including e.g. presentations of smart city development and policies in Kyiv and Tampere, and focusing on potential topics where the BSR and Ukraine can deepen their cooperation. Discussions underscored the potential for inclusive and sustainable growth across borders. This collaborative approach is not only relevant in the context of the current war in Ukraine but also holds significance in the broader context of rebuilding the country and supporting Ukraine’s EU integration.