Photo: Ardo Kaljuvee/Estonian Foreign Ministry

This year, digitalisation was one of the main themes of the EUSBSR Annual Forum. Plenaries and seminars addressed this topic from various points of view, and also HA Neighbours took part in the discussion by organising a seminar “Digitalising and connecting the neighbourhood: solutions for the BSR”. The seminar focused on digital solutions as a means to increase international cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. As digitalisation is a trend that no society can avoid, it is important to examine the possibilities it can create for cooperation and to ensure that the development proceeds the same pace in the whole region. In addition, in line with the theme “After 2020” of the Annual Forum, the future possibilities and challenges of digitalisation were discussed.

The moderator of the seminar, Darijus Valiucko, Project manager from atene KOM, gave a short introduction to the topic and current stage of the digitalization in the Baltic Sea region.

The panelists Peyman Khodabakhsh (Project Developer and Manager, Atene KOM), Lars Ahlbäck (CEO, Tilaajavastuu), Jury Vorotnitsky (Chairman of the Board, Digitalization Transformation of the State Belarus University) and Svetlana Kochkaeva (Manager for the Center for Science and Technology Foresight Department, ITMO University) represented both business and academia and provided concrete examples on successful projects and cooperation platforms.

Peyman Khodabakhsh analysed that to prepare for the digital world after 2020, regions need digital infrastructure, skills and services. Lars Ahlbäck provided a concrete example of digital services by presenting an online platform for electronic services for data sharing in the real estate and construction sector. Jury Vorotnitsky viewed digitalization from the educational perspective, and proposed master’s programmes as a solution to have skilled personnel in the future. Svetlana Kochkaeva reminded the audience of different possible futures, and for this reason, strategic collaboration in the Baltic Sea region is essential if we aim to remain as forerunners.

Photo: Ardo Kaljuvee /Estonian Foreign Ministry

Juhani Ailio from Centrum Balticum presented a case study from the city of Turku. The idea was to show the implementation of knowledge on the local level. The panelists analysed the situation in Turku and then made some recommendations how to develop this particular city.

The work continues after the seminar: participants will use and test the ideas from the seminar in their current and new projects, and the results will be analysed in the Annual Forum 2019 in Gdánsk.

The session “Digitalising and connecting the neighbourhood: solutions for the BSR” was organised jointly by the CBSS Secretariat (Daria Akhutina), City of Turku (Mikko Lohikoski), Centrum Balticum (Juhani Ailio) and atene KOM (Darijus Valiucko).

HA Neighbours coordination group held also a meeting at the Annual Forum. More information here.

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