Exploring the Northern Dimension

A new tool to assess off-shore wind power logistics costs

Logistics is an important competitive factor for the offshore wind industry. With a share of up to 20% of total cost, logistics expenses have a significant impact on the profitability of a wind farm. However, compared to other industries, the wind energy sector is still far away from transparency in logistics costs. A particular challenge for the maritime supply chain results from the effects of disturbances such as the influence of weather conditions, which considerably complicate the planning of a holistic logistics concept.

Innovations based on tight co-operation between researchers and industry are required to tackle problems like this. A good example of such cooperation is the Offshore Logistics Diagnostic tool developed by the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), Fraunhofer IFF, and Logistics Service Agency Bremerhaven. It was used in practice with the energy supplier EnBW to simulate maritime logistics processes for the construction of the offshore wind farm Baltic 2. It is the first offshore logistics planning tool based on dynamic simulation technology that has been successfully used in practice. The tool supports the planning of logistics concepts as well as the verification of previously proposed concepts for the construction of offshore wind farms. It can therefore support all actors involved, including logistics service providers, energy suppliers, manufacturers, shipping companies, port operators, engineers, or banks and insurance companies.

Article: E-Commerce in Russia: Rapid Growth (Temporarily?) Challenged

Young sectors, such as e-commerce, have grown considerably in recent years in Russia. Online retail has witnessed a huge 25 % annual growth, but is now stagnating – at least temporarily – due to a range of reasons.

Huge growth during the past five years

Internet penetration has been growing rapidly in Russia during the past few years reaching now 59% of the adult population. With over 70 million people using internet monthly, Russia has the biggest online audience in Europe. Also online retail has been growing at least 25% annually. Globally, Russia ranks ninth in total e-commerce turnover (EUR 15,5 billion in 2013, after e.g. USA, China, Japan, Australia, UK, France and Germany), and is the number one emerging e-commerce country in Europe ahead of e.g. Spain and Italy.

Baltic Sea Campus on eHealth ready for take-off

The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) can safely be called a pioneer in the field of eHealth. Numerous study trips to the Scandinavian countries as well as to Estonia are proof for the importance of the region in the field.

At Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (FUAS) we have seen our role as that of an “eHealth bridge” in the BSR in the past and continue to do so. We were the first in Germany to offer a master’s degree programme “eHealth” back in 2007 and we are home to the Management Secretariat of eHealth for Regions, the leading network on the topic. FUAS was the lead partner and thus mainly in charge for several projects within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). November 2013 saw both the foundation of the Institute for eHealth and Management in Healthcare and its re-location to new facilities FUAS has further increased its efforts and involvement in the BSR ever since.

Boosting Internationalization of Higher Education in Russia

Russian and European educational experts gathered in Arkhangelsk in April to share the best practices they have achieved in promoting the education sector and participating in the EU programs. The agenda of the international workshop “Internationalization as the Way towards University Excellence” hosted by M.V. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) included also network cooperation between European North-based universities.

Bridging firms, policies and academia for the benefit of the Northern Dimension

The Northern Dimension (ND) is a mosaic of diverse histories, traditions, strengths and challenges. ND area has a lot to gain from taking advantage of the diverse capacities within the region. Furthermore, in times of geopolitical tensions, economic problems and social challenges, joining forces for the joint benefit is increasingly pivotal. We have a lot to gain from tackling common problems and pinning down the potential of freely flowing people, goods and ideas.

Business Support for creative start-ups

Tallinn Business Incubators (TBI) has been providing business support in Tallinn, Estonia since 2006. Over the years, it has helped around 170 companies to enter the market and grow their business. However not everyone makes the cut – more than 400 have applied – as TBI needs to be sure that there is return on every invested euro, either via new jobs that have been created or increased export numbers.

TBI offers real support through business support and advice given by our team and wide network of business mentors, including exporters, experienced fashion industry professionals, marketing experts and law specialists. Each incubee has their own consultant who makes sure that the companies receive tailor-made advice. Strategies and plans are always discussed together.

Business views on the Northern Sea Route

Photo: Jarmo Vehkakoski

There has been quite a buzz about increasing transportation in the Arctic routes, particularly in the Northern Sea Route during this decade. The NSR has been envisioned to provide a new transport route from Europe to Asia, and Russia and China have both projected a major increase in cargo volumes transported via the NSR in the coming years.

Creative industries as a driver of economic development

The Northern Dimension area comprises a very heterogeneous region in terms of cultural and creative industries (CCI). The heterogeneity stems largely from the fact that the ND countries are at different stages of development considering the CCIs. The Nordic countries are among the pioneers in CCIs and globally acknowledged in e.g. design and gaming. Germany is one of the biggest exporters of creative goods despite having vast regional differences in CCI policies. During the past five years, the growth of CCIs in the Baltic Countries and Poland has been rapid and CCI infrastructure has been developed with the help of EU Structural Funds. In Russia, the concept of creative industries is only emerging and the CCIs’ economic value has fairly recently started to gain recognition.

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