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Recommendations for cross-border innovation policies in the Bothnian Arc

The potential for cross-border co-operation in innovation in the Bothnian Arc is still under-exploited today. To grasp these opportunities, several new directions are recommended.

Cross-border area: Build on the two urban hubs, collect data and improve internal accessibility to support cross-border innovation potential

  • • Build on the main innovation hubs of Oulu and Lulea, while also connecting firms in more rural municipalities that have distinctly different industrial profiles.
  • • Collect cross-border statistics to help guide a potential strategy for the cross-border area, and document the main areas of expertise (public and private actors) in different sectors.
  • • Identify opportunities for improving internal accessibility within the cross-border area.

Governance: Develop a shared vision and strategy for the Bothnian Arc area, with greater involvement of firms and knowledge institutions

  • • Develop a joint strategy for the Bothnian Arc to drive cross-border innovation action.
  • • Seek the involvement of private actors and knowledge institutions (triple helix) in the development of cross-border activities.
  • • Connect regional and national authorities to the strategy.
  • • Increase resources to the Bothnian Arc Association to augment its capacity for supporting strategic cross-border development.

Innovation policies and instruments: Communicate more about cross-border area opportunities to support strategic programmes and instruments

  • • Communicate and diffuse information on the cross-border area’s innovation potential and successes.
  • • Define strategic programmes and actions to increase cross-border, knowledge-based interactions, learning from other cross-border area experiences.


Ajmone Marsan, G. and K. Maguire (2011), “Categorisation of OECD regions using innovation-related variables”, OECD Regional Development Working Papers, No. 2011/03, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Launonen, M., K. Launonen, H. Sundvall and M. Lindqvist (2013), “Background report for OECD study on cross-border regional innovation policies: Bothnian Arc”, Bothnian Arc, January.

Nauwelaers, C., K. Maguire and G. Ajmone Marsan (2013), “The case of the Bothnian Arc (Finland-Sweden) - Regions and Innovation: Collaborating Across Borders”, OECD Regional Development Working Papers, No. 2013/17, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2013), OECD Regional Statistics (database), data-en.

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