The purpose of a special policy for innovation, new ideas, is to promote economic growth and increased knowledge in a country, region or amongst the involved organisations. Some well-known results of innovations, bright ideas, are ball bearings, a zipper that changed fashion, matches or one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, Astra's Losec.

One way of encouraging innovation is by increasing the awareness about the existing research and scientific resources amongst companies. Also one should facilitate access to the valuable resources at hand. By doing so the process of innovation in the region can be accelerated, companies can develop new or improved products that can better compete in the global market. But not all innovation results in a new or improved product. Nonetheless, there is a substantial benefit to gain from cooperation between science and the industry. The benefit of increase knowledge. A benefit that goes two ways.

The challenges to overcome
Geographically seen there is an uneven distribution of the research infrastructure (RI), within photon and neutron resources in the Baltic Sea Region today. A warped geographical distribution of resources leads to a warped usage of the same; today the number of industrial users from the eastern part of the Baltic Sea Region is far too small. Another drawback is that the number of industrial users of the research facilities, mainly of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), is too small. This means a big loss of potential. Industries should be able to better benefit from the world-class research faciliteis at hand - for the development of new products or services for the knowledge of society of tomorrow.

A third aspect to bear in mind is that the upcoming research facilities, MAX IV, ESS (Southern Sweden) and XFEL (Hamburg, Germany), will be situated in the western part of the region which is why it is important to already now encourage and pave way for commercial access to the facilities from all countries in the region. By creating a network that comprises a variety of stake holders Science Link aims to help bridge and eventually also help overcome these challenges.

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