Here you can follow our project meetings, workshops, conferences and various events developing Northern Connections. We meet for transnational working days on the following times


2016: 13-14th December in Aarhus, Denmark  
2017: 12-14th June in Aalborg, Denmark 
2017: December in Schleswig-Holstein
2018: June in Scotland
2018: December in Oslo, Norway
2019: June in Hamburg, Germany
2019: December in Belgium
2020: March in Gothenburg, Sweden


Political highlevels met for Transnational Working Days on 12-14th June 2017


Aalborg, Denmark, set the frame for the first Transnational Working Days in Northern Connections. For two days, more than 60 project partners and specially invited political stakeholders held several sessions in which the political and strategic capacity as well as the cluster capacity, possiblities and barriers where discussed. The political will and engagement is of excellent scope and the potential for innovation in functional regions is very high. The transnational workings days is a recurring biannual event, and this first conference gives a positive indication for further development.

"It means a lot to us to be able to contribute to green transition. I am very pleased to see so many cities, clusters and research institutions participate in this. I can tell that there is a real will to coorperate and to solve the big challenges, that we are facing. I truely belive that this project can move things and create great results," says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, Mayor of the City of Aalborg. 

"I think this project is on a very practical level. It is important that we have all the main stakeholders on board, not least the municipalities, the cities - in the end, they will have to implement, whatever we invent or develop. We have the small and medium entreprises, as those who have to produce, what we implement, and we have a scientific approach. We can learn from each others experiences and exchange knowledge," says Walter Pelka, President of the Hafencity University in Hamburg.

Included in the program was a seperate field trip for politicians and for project participants, visiting Aalborg Portland, the local cement production facility, which is not only located directly ontop the source of the rawmaterial, but in its heat surplus provides 25.000 homes with energy, and has the future capacity for 10.000 more. The combination of heavy industry as energy producer and homes as energy consumers in one of the Danish Living Labs, where inspiration can be brought on many levels. 

Read more about our Transnational Working Days in our next newsletter.



First steps towards Northern Connections taken in December 2017

On December 13-14th, we met in Aarhus, Denmark. We discussed how to expand our knowledge base as to work with Regional innovation strategies in a transnational perspective and how clusters support SMEs in international innovation. Amongst other things, we outlined our tasks on developing the clusters’ capacity to engage enterprises in transnational innovation and what is needed to deliver the necessary innovation support.

We also got the first insight into living labs – what they are and what they are not…from our perspective.

We do not consider a Living Lab to be:

  • A Laboratory e.g. used for physical, chemical or mechanical testing and research at a university/institute
  • A Start-up incubator e.g. used to accelerate growth of entrepreneurial businesses at a university/company
  • Trend topics (only) in a city/region e.g. general discussion circles on smart regional specialization without technical or process demonstration taking place today or planned in the future (and backed up by policy, industry and money)
  • Public entity (only) activities e.g. smart government ICT procurement or applications with only one investor being the government and lack of direct enterprises involvement

In Northern Connections a Living Lab generally have the following basic requirements

  1. Strong backup by local politics and civil servants
  2. Critical mass of companies and general private sector engagement
  3. Real market perceptive shown by first investments taking place with significant investment volume

We also learned a lot more and if you wish to learn more, you can follow us on this webspace for now - or in a short while subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on twitter.

Meanwhile, you can watch our film and hear what our partners are looking for in Northern Connections