Internationalisation of the Cultural and Creative Industries in the Baltic Sea Region

Creative Baltic Sea Region

The Baltic Sea Region has a rich creative industries sector, characterized by strong and diverse national and regional cultures. The region provides an ideal model on how an economy based on knowledge and innovation can be developed. Yet it has not exhausted its export opportunities and potential for transnational cooperation.

In view of the high economic value of the Baltic Sea Region’s creative sector, public authorities, business development organisations, incubators as well as cultural institutes, transnational networks and NGOs all have a role to play. Supporting and facilitating the internationalisation of companies is a key priority. Internationalisation and transnational cooperation will enhance the economical possibilities of the creative industries. However, a lack of sufficient international contacts and experience in cooperation processes has significant impact on this being achieved. In addition, cultural institutes, transnational networks and NGOs – though familiar with working on the international stage – generally know less about the specific strengths, weaknesses and needs of the regional creative industries.

Joining Forces

Creative Ports brings all of these different groups together, allowing a bundling of their competencies to better achieve internationalisation goals. Fourteen partners from the countries around the Baltic Sea, funding agencies, municipalities, international cultural institutes, and universities, have joined forces in a consortium led by the Goethe-Institut (DE) and include:

City of Vilnius (LT), Creative Estonia (EE), Danish Cultural Institute (DK), European-Russian InnoPartnership (RU), Filmby Aarhus (DK), Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft (D) Westpomeranian Region (PL), Media Dizajn Szczecin (PL), Media Evolution City Malmö (SE), ARS BALTICA (GER), South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences SBC (FI), TalTech University (EE),Tallinn Business Incubators (EE).

Learn from each other and share

The Creative Ports project aims to improve and encourage collaborations between the actors of the participating countries and to further develop strategies and processes around internationalisation. A range of workshops and seminars will be held throughout 2019-2021, with the partners able to exchange experiences and best practices on internationalisation. The partners will exchange tools of internationalisation, test them in a transnational context, and create and organize lasting relations between actors in the CCI sector. These opportunities will allow space for joint development of training and networking formats, as well as discussions and analysis around methods of supra-regional cooperation. The partner organisations therefore work with local cultural and creative actors and SMEs and bring them to transnational cooperation with peers from other regions. Companies and other players in the cultural and creative industries thereby open up opportunities for internationalisation and initiate joint value creation.

The results of these collaborations and strategy sessions will be documented via a publicly accessible platform and provide learning modules to share lessons learned from the cooperation activities. Organisations beyond the partnership thus can learn and carry out the activities themselves.


You can find the results of the project and learn more about Creative Ports on the project’s website.

Creative Ports is a project funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme of the European Union, running from September 2018 to October 2021. It is a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). You can find more on Interreg Baltic Sea Region here.

More information

Maisa Kantanen
Project manager

+358 40 569 7899

Piritta Parkkari
RDI Specialist



Creative Ports Open Call: Sustainable Design Lab

Are you a designer with visionary ideas, who is into sustainable urban development? Would you like to transform your visions together with fellow designers from Finland and Latvia into captivating prototypes that tackle current problems our cities are facing? Then you should apply for our Sustainable Design Lab.

How does it work?

The Lab is a platform, where you can explore, test and implement ideas with talents from different design disciplines and different countries of the Baltic Sea region. Throughout the program we encourage you to experience new ways of working with skilled designers outside your bubble and to develop your own ideas in an inspiring environment. Moreover, you’ll be able to participate in circular design workshops led by experts and learn more about design markets in different countries.

Over the course of 3 months, you will participate in 3 different digital workshops and informal activities. At our closing event in June, you’ll present your results to a virtual audience open to the public – and celebrate with your teammates. Let’s toast to your ideas that make our cities more sustainable!

The workshops will be held in English and take place on the following dates in March, May and June:

  • Friday, March 19, 4pm – 7:30pm & Saturday, March 20, 10am – 4pm
  • Friday, May 7, 4pm – 7:30pm & Saturday, May 8, 10am – 4:30pm
  • Friday June 11, 1pm – 5pm, final event at 6pm & Saturday, June 12, 11am – 2pm

What’s in for you?

  • The chance to realize your own ideas and develop prototypes
  • Expansion of your (international) network
  • Inspiration from different disciplines and countries
  • Knowledge about sustainable/ circular design

Why the Sustainable Design Lab exists

In 2015, the United Nations committed to 17 global goals for a better future. One of them is goal number 11, and its message comes across quite clear: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The Sustainable Design Lab is our contribution to move a little closer towards this goal. To make it happen, we collaborate with Creative Ports, home of the Cultural and Creative industries (CCI) in the Baltic Sea region. Its humble goal: Working together to unlock the internationalisation potential of creatives in the Baltic Sea region through a variety of different programs. The Sustainable Design Lab is jointly hosted by three creative ports partners: Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, Danish Cultural Institute in Riga and South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk).

Apply now

Apply by March 7, 2021 by sending us an email at Just tell us who you are, what you do and why you are interested in joining the Sustainable Design Lab.

By the way: it neither matters whether you are a student or professional nor which field of design you call your home – we are happy to welcome designers from various disciplines ranging from UX to fashion. Our only requirement is that you have a soft spot for sustainable cities and circular design. We are primarily looking for designers working in South-Savo area.

Piritta Parkkari

RDI Specialist




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Creative Ports - Internationalisation of the Cultural and Creative Industries in the Baltic Sea Region

1 January 2019 – 31 October 2021

Project partners

Lead partner: Goethe-Institut

Other partners: Goethe-Institut, including Danish Cultural Institute, Filmby Aarhus, Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, Nordkolleg Rendsburg, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn Business Incubators, Creative Estonia, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, City of Vilnius, Media Dizajn Szczecin, Marshal's Office of the Westpomeranian Region, Media Evolution City Malmö, and European-Russian InnoPartnership St. Petersburg

Focus areas: Digital economy


Total budget: € 3,079,797.09

Financiers and main source of funding: Interreg Baltic Sea Region