Kvarken Council EGTC and MidtSkandia are currently working with a feasibility study called Nordic Battery Belt. As a part of this study, a workshop on cross-border cooperation in the Nordic Battery Belt, was held April 20th–21st in Umeå, Sweden.
The aim of the workshop was to identify the interest for a new cross-border project in the Nordic Battery Belt region, which issues should be most prioritised to handle in such a project, and what activities are needed to handle the identified issues. During the feasibility study, six main themes for challenges and opportunities have been identified: human capital management, energy supply, housing, transport infrastructure, research & development, and regional marketing.
– We had participants from Mo i Rana in Norway, several participants from areas between Storuman, Skellefteå, and Härnösand in Sweden, as well as Finnish participants from areas between Kokkola, Seinäjoki, and Vaasa. There were lively discussions in the groups and several ideas came up during the workshop. There is a will to work together with our consultants to build a cross-border project that is based on the needs that our members and actors in the Nordic Battery Belt region has, says Hans-Peter Carlson, Coordinator, MidtSkandia.
Background to the Nordic Battery Belt
Battery production is emerging as a key industry in the northern Nordics. With big investments currently under way in northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland, a new battery manufacturing region – the Nordic Battery Belt – is being formed. The large-scale investments bring new opportunities for regional growth, but also implicates challenges that need to be handled.
There are a lot of initiatives in different parts of the region dedicated to handling different parts of these challenges and opportunities. However, while a lot is happening, most of the activities are domestic and there are relatively few cross-border initiatives. Reasons for this could include political and systemic obstacles to cross-border cooperation, but also the perceived competition between the different cities and sub-regions. During the workshop the participants got a chance to influence the study and lay the foundation for continued cross-border cooperation. Through joint forces, we can become a greater unit out in the world.