24 / 10 / 2022

The Kvarken Council EGTC has applied for funding for three new projects

The Kvarken Council has on behalf of and in consultation with its members and partners, applied for funding for three new projects from the EU program Interreg Aurora. The projects are the Bothnian Coastal Route, Bothnia Green Energy, and a feasibility study for the Nordic Battery Belt.

The Bothnian Coastal Route is a tourism project with a goal to increase the knowledge of the coastal route across the Kvarken and around the Bothnian Bay as an attractive travel route for both foreign visitors and the local population. The aim is to increase the reasons for visiting the region and create better conditions for growth and sustainable tourism. The goal is to have the project up and running from the beginning of 2023 until the end of 2025. 

– With a strong partnership and with a chain of nearby destinations on the Finnish and Swedish sides, we are moving together into a larger geography within the new Aurora program. The idea of developing tourism along the coastal route around the Bothnian Bay and across the Kvarken seems interesting and up-to-date, and developing local destinations is important for the Aurora region, says Project Manager Marianne Sjöström. 

The partnership in the Bothnian Coastal Route project consists of the city of Kalajoki, Luleå Business Region, the city of Oulu/ Business Oulu, Vaasa Region’s Development Company VASEK, Visit Skellefteå and Visit Umeå with the Kvarken Council as a partner and coordinating beneficiary. 

The aim within the Bothnia Green Energy project is to accelerate innovation and develop sustainable energy solutions. The goal is to organize a common platform that brings the universities, industry, and the authorities together, as well as increase the innovation capacity in small and medium-sized companies and accelerate the green transition through increased commercialization. 

– The global situation with energy shortages and climate goals, sets even greater demands on sustainable, effective, and climate-friendly innovations. A stronger Nordic cooperation for the development of innovation and ecosystems is becoming increasingly important, says Mathias Lindström, the Director of the Kvarken Council. 

The project partnership in the Bothnia Green Energy project consists of Jakobstad Region’s Development Company Concordia, Kokkola Region’s Development Company KOSEK, Merinova, Science City Skellefteå, Umeå Municipality, Vaasa Region’s Development Company VASEK and Övik Energi with the Kvarken Council as a partner and coordinating beneficiary. The project will be carried out during 31.12.2022–30.12.2025, provided that the funding from the Aurora program is granted. 

The Kvarken Council also plans together with Midtskandia to carry out a feasibility study linked to the Nordic Battery Belt, up in the northern Nordic region. The purpose of the feasibility study is to gather the region’s battery technology actors to investigate what the content of a larger implementation project could be. Issues that will be handled within the feasibility study include competence supply, regional marketing, education, transport and effects on social structures, infrastructure, and logistics. 

– With these measures, the goal is to strengthen the region’s position within the value chain for battery production and electrification by identifying and dealing with common challenges in a cross-border perspective, says Lindström.

The Kvarken Council hopes to carry out the feasibility study together with Midtskandia during 1.11.2022–31.3.2023. More information on whether funding is granted for the above-mentioned projects will be received at the end of 2022.