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Project background

The Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) has as two of its objectives to provide its customers with qualitative information regarding intellectual property and to improve conditions for entrepreneurship. To exemplify the usefulness of intellectual property we came up with an idea to examine an area in which intellectual property could be used to improve a common good. One such common good is of course the Baltic Sea, not only because Sweden and eight other countries surround it in a circle, but also because it is in urgent need of environmental action. The Baltic Sea is a well defined geographical area with well defined problems, many of which we thought it would be possible to help solve with the help of technology. So this was the outset, to find out what the issues are and to bring to the surface all technology that could be used to those issues.

In 2007, HELCOM adopted its Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). It adressess all major environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea and the ratifying countries, all nine, agree to follow the action plan so that the the ecological status of Baltic Sea is restored by 2021. We took BSAP and singled out all action points that we thougt would benefit from the use of new technology and created a list of around 40 areas, for each of which we would conduct an extensive technology examination. The BSAP is divided into four main areas: eutrophication, hazardous substances, maritime activities and biodiversity.

In 2009, the European Commission adopted the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region. It is the first multi policy strategy targeted to a macro region and aim at coordinating action by Member States, regions, the EU, pan-Baltic organisations, financing institutions and non-governmental bodies to promote a more balanced development of the Region.  The four cornerstones of the Strategy are to make this part of Europe more: 

  1. Environmentally sustainable (e.g. reducing pollution in the sea);
  2. Prosperous (e.g. promoting innovation in small and medium enterprises);
  3. Accessible and attractive (e.g. better transport links);
  4. Safe and secure (e.g. improving accident response).

Our project relates mostly to the first two cornerstones as we by improving the environment can promote innovations. In cornerstone 1, all work is governed by HELCOM’s Baltic Sea Action Plan and in all four cornerstones there are a total of around 80 flagship project. These are listed in an Action Plan that is updated regularly. When the strategy was adopted, PRV was asked by the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications to participate in its implementation and the Sea of Invention project was made an official part of that process.

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