Umbrella 2.0 “BE PART OF THE CHANGE” booklet for the Baltic Sea cooperation newcomers is ready!
The key goal of the Umbrella 2.0 project is to raise awareness and knowledge of the importance and advantages of transnational and cross-border cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), following the principles of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), European Union Green Deal and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Umbrella 2.0 is dedicated to the BSR local authorities, civil society organisations and small institutions of diversified type, especially those who are newcomers to international cooperation. Our aim is to encourage them to be open to the possibilities provided by cross-border and transnational cooperation, to make them aware it is worthwhile to cooperate and that there are financial tools and project possibilities available to them, too. Furthermore, our ambition is to jointly explore the opportunities and benefits of being a part of the BSR and EUSBSR.
We believe that the best way to convince those who are new to international cooperation is by showing them the best examples of what has already been achieved by others. Thus, we have decided to ask directly those we thought could give some inspiration.
Umbrella 2.0 developed this booklet with best practices to further build the capacities of small and local actors and inspire more stakeholders to engage in transnational BSR cooperation.
The stories show examples of successful collaboration, extensive networking and present current and future “hot topics” for cooperation in EUSBSR thematic areas.
We asked partners of Baltic Sea cooperation projects and initiatives to share their stories about what good transnational collaboration can bring to their work, their organisations and local communities. They were all so enthusiastic about their work!
We encourage you to read those stories, get inspired and try to start your own transnational or cross-border activity.
The Umbrella project was meant to be exactly that – an umbrella to gather other projects and a way to connect people through cross-border projects. It was aimed at newcomers who had not yet been involved in projects in the South Baltic Programme. These included small local and regional organisations with an interest in developing a South Baltic identity. Stakeholders were invited to participate in national training courses in project management and offered tailor-made solutions to help build capacity. Different initiatives and micro-activities such as “meet your- neighbour” has helped break down barriers and spread the concepts and values of cross-border cooperation.
A cross-border project to inspire more cross-border cooperation The overall purpose of this project was to enlighten people that cooperation is important for geographic, economic, and social cohesion and that approaching the field of EU grants and projects can be an advantage in local development policies. A gradual process with great potential This development is not without obstacles, and capacity building should not be seen as a goal in itself, but rather as a process. To build a house you need to lay brick by brick, starting from the foundation. That is why the Umbrella project was introduced with awareness-raising events to say: “Hey you! Change is just around the corner! Go out and see what is going on in the region you live in.”
And for those who were already aware of the great potential of the Baltic Sea Region, well, knowledge can always be increased. We have been looking forward to introducing you to the benefits of cross-border cooperation in the South Baltic Sea region. These 12 Interreg South Baltic projects are here to motivate and to inspire – and we are pleased to include our own achievements – and tips & tips on how to be part of the Interreg South Baltic family.
This is our Success Story Book To inspire. To encourage. To bring the action!
This month Umbrella is coming back with the Success Story on INTERCONNECT project. Interconnect supports new and more efficient public transport services both in and between the coastal regions of the South Baltic area – to give the residents and tourists broader and more sustainable options for realising their mobility needs.
Today, the public transport offer in the South Baltic area hardly meets customer expectations for the comfort of making regional and cross-border journeys. Communities of the coastal regions see no clear benefits of choosing public transport over a car for longer trips:
dissatisfied with a shortage of tickets allowing multimodal rides (e.g. bus-ferry-train) across the regional borders,
difficult access to one-spot passenger information
a lack of tailor-made products.
This is particularly visible on ferry links, which see a steadily growing number of cross-border car travels due to customised services and price packages for motorised passengers, while the market segment of foot passengers remains marginal.
Public transport authorities in the South Baltic area require more knowledge about regional and cross-border mobility needs in their communities – both now and in the future – and need deeper expertise on how to match them with sustainable solutions. The usual planning and management tools, market incentives and promotion campaigns in the regional communities to change the travel behaviour tend to fail, as they are usually not preceded by a mapping of no-car travel preferences.
Although many interesting public transport services and products in the South Baltic area have been developed locally, the experience is very scattered and the good practice has not been effectively exchanged at the region-to-region level so far. In addition, some South Baltic regions lack public transport systems and organisations to manage this process.
Read below some useful tips and info from the project partner responsible for the Communication in Interconnect. Answers provided by Ms Ania Dudziak, Project Officer at Euroregion Baltic, Poland.
What has been valuable or what was the most significant asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?
Being a part of this project has given me new self-development opportunities and has widened my knowledge about cross-border cooperation. But most of all, it gave me a chance to meet many great people from different countries.
What have you discovered from working with other nationalities? Is there something you discovered and you considered as a surprise (for its originality, something you discovered about your the country that you did not know before?)
When working in an international environment, you can always discover something new and surprising, something to learn from. I guess every nationality has a lot to bring “onboard the project”, whether it’s cultural, social, or legal issues. The beauty of working with other nationalities is the possibility of creating something unique that might reach beyond any kind of borders.
If newcomer: What was your experience as a newcomer in the Partnership?
As a newcomer in both partnership and international projects, I was amazed by how well people from different environments/institutions can work together, overcoming any boundaries and sharing their experience and knowledge to gain common goals.
What has your organization gained from the project?
The Interconnect project partnership is about being a part of changes that affect our everyday life, e.g. sustainable transport, mobility etc. The partnership gave us a great chance to extend the contact network of experts, local institutions and companies to cooperate with in the future. It is also a significant opportunity to share know-how and international experience in implementing technical solutions when it comes to a particular area of regional development.
How has the project made an impact on your area?
A great success of the Interconnect project is the intense cross-border cooperation and pilot work to implement technical solutions in developing a model of paying for public transport journeys in cross-border traffic between Region Blekinge(Sweden) and Pomorskie Voivodeship (Poland), as well as the development of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship.
Has something changed/ improved thanks to your Project? The process of the implementation of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship has already started, which will have a significant impact on the ease of use of public transport in this area.
Do you have any good advice for potential new organizations that wish to enter into international projects and CBC networks?
No organization should hesitate to enter into CBC networks and transfer their project ideas to the international level. Reaching international partners gives a project better chances of evolvement and implementation.
Another month and yet another Success Story from the South Baltic Programme! This time we wish to inspire you by presenting the BalticMuseums: LoveIT! – Brand, gamification and Apps for museums and tourist attractions project!
Hi, my name is Jurgita Eglinskiene. I’ve been working in international projects at the Lithuanian Sea Museum in Klaipeda for many years.
This year, we celebrate our museum’s 40th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of a series of projects with our BalticMuseums community: since 2009 we’ve been cooperating with other museums, universities and IT specialists in the South Baltic region to exploit chances of digitalization in our visitor services. Back in 2009, we had started with clumsy specialized devices for offering eGuide tours, and now, just ten years later, we jointly develop gamified apps to be used on the visitors’ smartphones. Technology changes very fast, and so do opportunities. With the project, we can share developments and will be able to use the visitors’ own electronic devices instead of providing them as a museum. This means we can concentrate on the content of our museum, to produce the stories around it and focus on how to make the visit involving and mind-changing for our guests.
The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones (Bring Your Own Device BYOD), with gamification elements. To gain input for such app, we wanted to work with external users. We had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! With this example, you can understand how much cooperation is worth.
Our project partners in Gdynia (Poland) – NMFRI Gdynia Aquarium and Experiment Science Center – had already hosted a hackathon in the project. They were supported by two partners from Szczecin (Poland) – University of Szczecin and Netcamp. After that, all learnings were gathered and documented by Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). With this input and the support of our colleagues from Poland, we could organize our hackathon event.
Then, we extracted our learnings and passed the baton on to Malmö Museums (Sweden) and NaturBornholm (Denmark), who hosted the third hackathon. After that, again, a concept revision was made, and the final hackathon was hosted by Business Academy North and Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Here, we opened up and seven museums, which are not partners of the project, participated with their topics in the event. This process helped us to learn as an international team, continuously revising a concept that we created together and then opening it up to others.
Apart from working on the BYOD tools and content, we are also preparing a joint brand for our app, so that we can reach a higher impact within the project community and beyond. In our project, we have strong focus on learning and exchange. In online sessions, we also get input from other organizations outside of our project. We reflect our learning and share it online on a knowledge base (www.knowledge.balticmuseums.info).
In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.
In our museum, many employees are engaged in the project, from the educational department, PR, IT, and project management. Thus, the project provides inspiration to all our organization. But it does not end there. Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It is was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution.
Personally, I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields. Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community. My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!
Photo BM5: BalticMuseums project team meeting in Malmö, Sweden
JURGITA ALSO SHARED WITH US HER THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ON WORKING IN SBP CROSS-BORDER PROJECT! READ HER INSPIRING COMMENTS AND LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE A SIMILAR STORY YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE! WE WILL BE HAPPY TO INTERVIEW YOU AND GET O KNOW BETTER YOUR SOUTH BALTIC PROJECT.
What has been valuable or what was the greatest asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?
I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields. Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community.
What have you discovered from working with other nationalities? Is there something you discovered and you considered as a surprise (for its originality, something you discovered about your country that you did not know before?)
I’d say, we’ve learnt much of each other, for example: from Scandinavian people – to be properly dressed and prepared for any weather conditions, to be open to everything that nature can suggest and award us with; from German people – to be more active and efficient everywhere: at work, during your holiday or in leisure time; from Polish – never to loose good temper and high spirits. To sum it up, it’s a great inspiration for working with people from different national cultures and work backgrounds!
What has your organisation gained from the project?
The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones, with gamification elements. To keep up to date with ever-changing tech developments, the work in our interdisciplinary project team of museums, universities and IT specialists is extremely helpful for us. In this field, change happen so fast, that we need to share developments with other institutions to continuously have an attractive offer for our visitors. In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. In addition, we had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.
Have you experienced any successful spinout of your project /added value? (have you had any successful surprises of your project?/ have you learnt something you could apply/ suggest in your own country?
During our BalticMuseums hackathon event, the technology of hologram was proposed. The idea had won the competition but was not directly applicable to our BalticMuseums project. Inspired by the hologram solution we created another project. To open up our museum, we place a temporary exhibition in Klaipeda City centre. The hologram technology was applied inside a marine shipping container, showcasing an exclusive shell from the museum’s collection. Thanks to the hologram technology the exhibit was very emotionally touching.
What have we discovered working in cross-border cooperation with other nationalities?
Being in an international partnership for many years, we gained a wealth of experiences that allows us to feel confident in any international contacts, activities or relations. We have developed our point and our position, which allows us to act as an equal, reliable and respectful partner.
And finally – on a strategic level:
How has the project made an impact on your area?
Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution. The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” allows us to implement new and modern tools which put us in an advanced situation to provide an engaging museum visit to our visitors.
Has your project had an impact at the policy level?
Not yet, but likely in the future. We focus on the promotion of national maritime history. It is discussed and approved in Lithuania, that school programmes and other sources of education lack information and attention to national maritime history. We hope that our tool will have a further impact on the situation.
Tips & tricks
My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!
This story was delivered to you by UMBRELLA project!