Exchanging new ideas

Some 150 people networked in Barents Cooperation Forum on December 8th, 2016 in Helsinki.


1. Make a good, concrete project plan and keep it stupid simple.
2. Stick to the plan.
3. Choose the right partners who are committed.
4. Tune your budget well and stick to it. A good project plan will help you do it.
5. Keep everyone informed and on the right track.

These where the “secrets” of a smoothly running project that Project Manager Tomas Lind revealed for the Barents Cooperation Forum participants. In addition to the project tips, people all around the Barents region learned together about financial mechanisms, development activities and opportunities of the Barents cooperation.

The ideas for the programme of the Barents Cooperation Forum were collected through a web survey, the aim of which was to find solutions to overcome the barriers threatening the progress of cooperation initiatives and to activate as many different actors within the Barents region as possible. During the presentation of Mikko Keränen, R & D Director of the Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, about the results of the survey it became clear that there was a need for this kind of event to disseminate information about difficult questions and to search for partners for project implementation.


The Forum served as a platform for creating strategic partnerships. After the common seminar and lunch the participants split up into working groups to discuss new ideas relating to e.g. ICT and data issues, health and related social issues, tourism, green growth, bio economy and environment, transport and logistics as well as cultural cooperation.

The participants had also a chance to take part inbilateral meetings to discuss new ideas and partnerships. All in all 77 participants participated in 75 meetings.


In addition to the networking possibilities it came clear in the discussion that financing mechanisms are crucial for the Barents cooperation. Regarding to that, the new portal of funding sources of IBS were presented in the Forum.

The discussion continues in different forums. Maybe in the future we can hear more presentations how new success stories of the Barents cooperation had their beginning in the Barents Cooperation Forum in Helsinki 2016.

Text: Johanna Westerlund
Photos: Otto Jahnukainen


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