Linking sustainable growth & nature protection - The Interreg VB project PROWAD LINK aims to unlock the potential of natural areas as a driver for jobs and sustainable development. We will do this by working with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop nature as a brand to create benefits for both, SMEs and the environment. Partners in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom working with interested SMEs will use the “nature-business-benefit-cycle” concept to develop new, sustainable products and offers.


Natural heritage sites in the North Sea region, such as the Wadden Sea World Heritage, the Geiranger Fjord World Heritage and the Wash & North Norfolk Coast, can be powerful and inspiring brands for innovation and sustainable development. Yet, barriers exist preventing its full use, especially for local SMEs.



PROWAD LINK aims to increase revenue from sustainable offers, support nature conservation, promote investment in sustainability and create long-term collaborations.



The 3 year project starting in September 2018 will be implemented in the pilot regions of the Wadden Sea (DK, D, NL), Geiranger Fjord (NO), Wash & North Norfolk Coast (UK) and provide solutions on brand activation and SME engagement to nature sites on a national, European and potentially global scale.



In co-operation with SMEs the project partners will develop and test innovative tools and strategies to improve access to nature heritage brands, enhance sustainability efforts and develop innovative marketable offers of products and services.


How to get involved

Are you a SME, knowledge institution or nature conservation organisation involved in regional sustainable development on the North Sea coast and want more information about the project? Get in touch with

Dr Harald Marencic, Project Leader
Common Wadden Sea Secretariat
marencic[at]waddensea-secretariat.[dot]org | +49 (0)4421 9108-15


Work packages

Work packages


Facts & figures

Project period: 2018-2022

Total budget: EUR 4.8 million

Contribution by ERDF & Norway: EUR 2.4 million

Contribution by partners: EUR 2.4 million

Lead partner: Common Wadden Sea Secretariat



The following partners from five nations will collaborate to link sustainable growth and nature conservation:


Download project leaflet

PROWAD LINK aims to support sustainable economic growth in the North Sea Region (NSR) by engaging SMEs in nature conservation, unlocking the potential of nature heritage brands as a driver for jobs and sustainable regional development.

The project will develop and test innovative tools and strategies for SMEs in the NSR in order to: improve access to brands provided by natural heritage sites with economic value; enhance SME sustainability in the NSR; and develop innovative marketable offers and products in a co-creation process with knowledge partners.

The main results will be increased revenue from sustainable offers and products which transmit brand values and support protection of natural areas in the NSR, increased investment in sustainability and establishment of long-term collaborations in cross-sector knowledge partnerships at regional and transnational level. Combined, these results will initiate new sustainable economic growth within the NSR and support continued development beyond the life of the project.

The project will be carried out transnationally and implemented in selected pilot areas (Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, Geiranger Fjord World Heritage Site, Wash & North Norfolk Coast European Marine Site) to ensure transferability of all outputs and results to designated natural areas and World Heritage properties on a national, European and potentially global scale.