The Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020 finances result orientated cross-border cooperation projects in Estonia, Finland (incl Åland), Latvia and Sweden

What kind of projects are needed?

For call specifications, dates and so on, please check the >>> third call page <<<

This page gives an overview of different priorities and also, what type of projects are especially sought after in the third call. Priority and specific objective descriotions are written by corresponding project managers and they reflect the current situation and needs in each area of interest, thus giving more insight than the general priority and specific objective descriptions provided on this website.

During the third call, all priorities and specific objectives are open for applications. For more information, please review the third call page.

Use the following links to jump into different sections of this page:

Priority 1 - Competitive economy
Priority 2 - Sustainable use of common resources
Priority 3 - Well-connected region
Priority 4 - Skilled and socially inclusive region

Priority 1 - Competitive economy

The overall goal for the Central Baltic programme is to strengthen the competitiveness of the region as the place to live, to visit and to do business. The Central Baltic programme intends to contribute to the economic development of the region by 3 specific ways – described by 3 specific objectives of the priority 1.

SO 1.1 New Central Baltic knowledge intensive companies  

We would like to exploit different talents of Central Baltic countries for new business creation, by supporting the projects implemented by professional business development organizations which lead to the new joint Central Baltic companies and more co-operation between them. Successful project is likely to include complex activities combining the awareness raising, training, coaching, mentoring, incubation and accessing financing. Specific focus within specific objective is foreseen to address the challenges of sparsely populated, isolated archipelago and island areas where Programme supports also the development of new business directions of established companies. 

SO 1.2 More entrepreneurial youth

We would like to work with future generation of entrepreneurs in our region. Namely we support projects where young people will have opportunity to together do joint business simulations by creating cross-border student companies. The target group is under 18 years old young people, who should gain valuable contacts, experience and confidence for future career choices. Successful project is likely to use the methodology that follows the logic of business plan creation and leads close to real market test of the product or service of the student company. 

SO 1.3 More exports by the Central Baltic companies to new markets

The Central Baltic programme wants to open the new markets outside of Europe for companies. This is achieved via cluster based co-operation. Based on established co-operation experiences (established clusters), we would like to see the projects of similar and complementary partners achieving sales on new targeted markets by Central Baltic SMEs. For achieving this, the programme supports projects which include complex new market entry activities that combine market research, product/service adaptation, capacity building, human resource development, active sales support activities, advisory services, participation in fairs and product presentations.

In all described intervention areas we would like to use existing strengths and complementarities of the economies around Baltic Sea. Emphasis is on “doing things together and achieving results together”, based on good established capabilities and networks for cross-border co-operation. 

After two successful calls we are well on track in achieving results based on promises and good activity plans of approved projects. For the 3rd call, projects are welcomed in all specific objectives of priority one.

Priority 2 - Sustainable use of common resources

SO 2.1 Natural and cultural resources developed into sustainable tourist attractions

The aim of the specific objective is to develop existing cultural and natural resources into joint tourist attractions and products. There should be a balance between using and developing these resources and preserving them and their environment. Activities of the projects should also contribute to the attractiveness of living and visiting environment. Sustainable economic development should be a guiding principle in developing joint attractions. The programme will target sites of natural and cultural heritage that are joint for one of the sub-programmes of the Central Baltic Programme. There must be potential for developing the resource into a tourist attraction, and also for increasing the number of visitors to that attraction.

Financed projects have been able to define resources and specific attractions that will be composed into a joint tourist attraction. The common thread(s) between the “pieces” of this joint attraction in different countries have been identified and will be used as strength(s) in developing the attraction. Projects have an innovative approach and positive environmental effects. Organisations represented in the partnerships are tourism development organisations, municipalities, universities etc.

A couple of good projects are still needed to fulfil the programme result indicators. Emphasis of the current projects is on cultural heritage, so project ideas targeting natural resources as potential joint tourist attractions are especially welcomed.

SO 2.2 Sustainably planned and managed marine and coastal areas

This specific objective focuses on the coastal and marine areas of the Central Baltic. Thematically, the focus is on joint challenges and issues related to maritime spatial planning of exclusive economic zones of territorial waters and integrated coastal zone management on the land-sea interface. Projects’ results should lead to more sustainable use of the fragile resources of the Baltic Sea and its coastal areas.

Keywords for this specific objective are co-operation, mediation and finding the balance between different sectors that have different, sometimes conflicting, interests towards using the marine and coastal regions and their resources. These include e.g. agriculture and nature conservation, tourism and coastal protection, shipping and fisheries and so on.  Projects should approach the issues in a holistic way both thematically and geographically, rather than focusing on very narrow sectors of human activity or a very small coastal area. Participation of various stakeholders in the planning processes has to be ensured.

The projects that are proposed to be financed are having a cross-border focus on planning for coastal and marine areas. Partners represent national development organisations on different levels, universities and authorities responsible for planning of coastal and marine areas. In maritime spatial planning the project activities should be connected to the official planning processes, preceding or following them, or otherwise bringing added value to the planning process and the resulting plans.

In this SO there is still room for projects targeting for example Latvian and Swedish coasts and marine areas. Participation of national-level authorities is encouraged, as they, along with the regional planning authorities, are important end users of project results.

SO 2.3 Better urban planning in the Central Baltic region

This specific objective targets the challenges and opportunities related to improving the urban  space via joint urban planning activities.

Integrated urban management is understood as broader set of activities than the planning required by legislation. It includes activities preceding the official planning processes and activities following the official planning process. However, it is important that the projects connect to the official planning processes, through which the results will be used or utilised. Large urban areas with more than 50 000 inhabitants (with their hinterlands) are specifically targeted as these are areas where integrated urban management could take place. Smaller urban areas may be involved as well, either by participating in the larger urban areas’ projects or by collaborating with other smaller urban areas.

This specific objective is connected to the SO 3.1 “Improved transport flows of people and goods” of Priority 3 within urban areas and connecting urban areas with their hinterlands. Current projects are focused on brownfield development, campus areas and planning for storm water management in urban environments. Their partners include mainly cities and municipalities, but also regional planning organisations and universities are involved. Some innovative projects carrying out holistic urban planning can still be approved for SO 2.3.

SO 2.4 Reduced nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflow into the Baltic Sea

The goal for projects in this specific objective is to reduce nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflows to the Baltic Sea from all types of land-based sources. Also, moving sources such as ships can be considered. This includes among others the impact of runoffs from agriculture and settlements to the Baltic Sea.

Projects should be focused on achieving reductions of inflows of substances that are harmful for the Baltic Sea. The objective is to support activities which lead to development and implementation of innovative methods and technologies within the Central Baltic region. Worked out and implemented methods and technologies should have potential for being used in other regions and countries.

The projects should be focused on surface waters of the Baltic Sea and its catchment area. A list of priority sources of nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflows to be tackled has been defined in the regional Water Management Plans as well as in the programmes of measures of national marine strategies in each country. Projects should relate to these when planning their activities. The projects should also take into consideration the priorities and targets set by the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. 

Partnerships of the current projects consist of actors from for example the agricultural sector, research and development institutions and NGOs. There is still room for a couple of innovative projects in this specific objective.

Priority 3 - Well-connected region

SO 3.1 Improved transport flows of people and goods

SO 3.1 aim is to improve transport flows of people and goods. To meet the aim, the programme supports projects improving conditions in transport corridors and transport nodes. We support projects that promote the use of public transport, make the switch between different transport modes more comfortable, develop joint ticket systems and so on. In cargo transportation, the aim is to shorten the time goods move from producer to retailer or client. To achieve a shortened time, we support new solutions that eliminate bottlenecks of transport flows in different transport nodes and corridors.

Good and successful project ideas have identified operator-related problems and bottlenecks in transportation systems and provide solutions/improvements in cooperation with municipalities or regional authorities and transport organizations, involving end users.

Each project under this specific objective has to contribute to a result indicator, i.e. the decreased travel or transportation time as a result of the project has to be defined and demonstrated.

So far the programme has supported projects that develop innovative IT solutions for cargo movement and management on North-South corridor across the Finnish gulf and for smooth traffic regulation on Via Baltica, as well as development of new and more efficient sea routes in Stockholm and Åland archipelagos.

There are sufficient resources still available to finance several good projects and a number of transport corridors can be developed to make movement of people and goods more effective, saving time and reducing the negative impact on environment at the same time.

SO 3.2 Improved services of existing small ports to improve local and regional mobility and contribute to tourism development

Specific objective 3.2 aim is to improve services of existing small ports in order to improve local and regional mobility and contribute to tourism development. The Programme supports projects improving services in existing small guest harbours on Central Baltic coastal areas (not inland ports). We support development of port basic services (safe landing, hygiene facilities, waste treatment, fuel and electricity, leisure areas and so on) for maritime tourists arriving by boats or yachts. Our supported investments are meant for improvements on land territory of the harbor and we cannot support dredging or constructing new piers.

The result indicator of the specific objective is the share of small ports with good services, i.e. each project has to improve services in number of ports on the coast of Baltic Sea.

So far the Programme has supported projects that develop small ports’ infrastructure and innovative IT solutions to make access to port services easier for boaters, as well as improving rescue capacity on coastal areas of Central Baltic. The formation of a network of cooperating ports and their joint marketing has been a supported activity, in addition to service development.

There are sufficient resources still available to finance several good projects and many small ports along the Baltic Sea coastline can be improved in next few years.

Priority 4 - Skilled and socially inclusive region

SO 4.1 More people benefiting from stronger Central Baltic communities

The aim of specific objective 4.1 is to find solutions to the social inclusion problems that people living in the Programme area are experiencing, and provide practical “people to people” measures to improve the social inclusion of the selected target groups. The projects are contributing to the programme result indicator by implementing measures to increase the social inclusion of the communities -- their selected target groups.
For example, projects supporting the unemployed to access the labour market, preventing school drop-out, improving social inclusion of person with disabilities or any other groups at risk of social exclusion can be financed from the specific objective 4.1. The project partners can be different organisations working in the field of social inclusion: local municipalities, NGOs, education institutions.
Projects must be very practical and implement activities that support the social inclusion of the target group already during project implementation. It is important that members of the target group – the persons with social inclusion problem – would directly participate in the project activities.
It is advisable to describe the target group, which the project intends to work with, as precisely as possible and plan the activities to help that target group. The main aim of the project should be developing and implementing services for the target group, although the activities can involve some research, analysis or other supporting activities as well. Several current projects are using different training, counselling and group work methods that are adjusted to the target group’s needs. It is also important that the project describes, how the target group will be reached.
In order to fulfill the programme result indicator, project applications are still needed in the 3rd calls. Projects targeting any of the above mentioned risk groups are eligible, especially welcome would be applications preventing the social exclusion and providing employment opportunities for minorities and immigrants. Only small projects are eligible under this specific objective.

SO 4.2 More aligned vocational education and training (VET) programmes in the Central Baltic region

The aim of the specific objective is to support the integration of the Central Baltic labour market by developing and aligning the vocational education programmes in the participating countries. This way, students have better work opportunities in the whole Central Baltic area after graduation .
Projects aligning various vocational education and applied higher education curricula, are financed from the specific objective 4.2. Several projects are also developing and testing training material for the developed curricula.
Each project can decide which curricula they are going to align and the reasons can be different. In some cases the curricula are chosen based on which professions require people to work in international environment together with employees from other countries, e.g. person working on ferries. In this case it is easier to organize the work if employees have similar education. Other reason for aligning the curricula is for the professions where people often move for employment to other Central Baltic countries (for example, nurses). Very common is also to aligning curricula to provide the students similar education and in the future similar quality of products or services, for example in the IT or tourism field.
The partners are mostly vocational and applied higher education institutions. Also universities and other relevant organisations that are active in the field and involved in developing the vocational education, can be involved.
For fulfilling the programme result indicator, it is important that the vocational education institutions are directly involved in the project and can benefit to the aligning of the curricula and start using them in practice already during the piloting phase of the aligned curricula.
In this specific objective, the programme indicators are practically fulfilled by projects from the 1st and 2nd Call. Therefore, not many new projects can be financed in the 3rd Call.