Baltic Living Labs

Thematic cluster:
Central Baltic Programme
2. Economically competitive and innovative region
Direction of support:
Supporting innovation and improving competitiveness
May 2010 - Dec 2012 (2 years, 8 months)
Total funding:
1 612 910 €
ERDF funding:
1 262 580 €
EUSBSR Priority area
Promote entrepreneurship and strengthen the growth of SMEs
Exploiting the full potential of the region in research and innovation

Development idea

SMEs serve as vital sources of innovations and are essential for the economic growth of a country. The domestic market the SME works on is often limited in size and it is often essential for the SME to reach an international market. It is common that companies develop services for the local market when they would fit as well or even better on other markets. There are significant barriers for SMEs entering a foreign market. The barriers consist of e.g. local regulations, differences in business environment, language differences, difficulties to reach the right customers and the right partners etc.

Aim of the project

The Ballad project created processes and models to support internationalization of digital services from SMEs in the Central Baltic region. In this way, the Central Baltic region can eventually become a single market for digital, ICT-based solutions.

Main project activities

The project started by investigating the Living Labs conditions in the countries. The markets for e-health and e-learning solutions were mapped and analyzed. In the second phase extensive investigation around the SME situation was performed leading to an analysis SME needs for internationalization. These needs were developed to a transfer process model trialed on 11 pilots and supported the creation of a web portal to support the SMEs in their internationalization.


Acreo, but was SICS at the beginning of the project

ERDF funding:
111 740 €
Amount of eligible national funding:
37 247 €

Technology Development Forum

ERDF funding:
236 574 €
Amount of eligible national funding:
41 749 €

Laurea University of Applied Sciences / Unit: User Driven Innovation Centre (Laurea UnIC)

ERDF funding:
305 363 €
Amount of eligible national funding:
101 788 €

Institute of Baltic Studies

Lõuna – Eesti
ERDF funding:
213 043 €
Amount of eligible national funding:
37 597 €

Acreo AB

ERDF funding:
395 856 €
Amount of eligible national funding:
131 952 €


Web portal on digital services in the Baltic Sea region

A portal for information and support on Baltic Sea region markets for digital services

The portal provides a comprehensive information and support source for digital service developers interested in new market opportunities in the Baltic Sea region. The specific focus is on e-health and well-being as well as e-education and lifelong learning. The portal contains 1) information about the support services provided by the Ballad network, 2) supportive market and counseling information for internationalization processes and 3) suggestions and contacts for further discussions.

Report on future Living Labs in the Central Baltic region

The report outlines a vision for future Living Lab collaboration in the Central Baltic area.

Ballad - Visionary summary report (ENG)

A handbook for project implementation

The handbook is a supporting document for project implementation.

The handbook was produced by the project lead partner and the purpose of it was to facilitate project implementation, in particular by providing advice on how to manage three different interfaces: 1) the interaction between the project partners including the lead partner, 2) interaction between the project partnership and funding programme bodies, and 3) the interaction with third parties, e.g. companies and other stakeholders.

BALLAD project handbook (ENG)

Analysis of ICT-related Living labs structures, work processes and methods

The report describes the status and development of Living Labs in Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden.

The report contains an analysis of the existing Living Labs structure and overall industrial context/policies, in particular ICT context. The report also covers an analysis of strengths and weaknesses of the different Living Labs and their work processes as well as the different regions and involved clusters.

Analysis of ICT related Living labs structures, work processes and methods in Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden (ENG)

Report on a SME needs analysis

The report analyses the current situation of SME internationalization and the barriers they face.

The analysis maps the main patterns in development, sales and exports of digital services by the Swedish, Finnish, Estonian and Latvian SMEs. The analysis seeks understanding on the main obstacles to the export of digital services and how these could be solved. Special interest has been put on the role of Living Labs when fostering interaction between the SMEs and the users of their services. 

SME needs analysis (ENG)