UBC cities open to cooperation and exchange

43 cities have responded so far to the inquiry sent to the UBC cities in November 2017. 41 posts have been published on the UBC website and on Facebook.

The aim of the inquiry was to get broader knowledge about cities’ needs and interests. The cities and city institutions still can send their exchange proposals, partner or investor search queries, etc. to the UBC Secretariat.

Open to cooperation

According to the responses, all cities are open for investments and start-ups. Most common sectors where the investments are welcome are: industry, tourism & wellness, energy, ICT, maritime and logistics businesses, sustainability, circular economy, creative businesses.
The companies in the UBC cities are usually open for cooperation in new markets and with new partners from BSR. The cities provide support to businesses e.g. through investments/start-ups agencies, science parks, special economic zones, business incubators, chambers of commerce, local grant programmes for companies.

Exchange of experiences

Most of the respondents are interested in exchange, especially in the fields of culture, youth or sport. In their opinion,  staff/teachers exchange would be beneficial (e.g. libraries, art schools and other cultural institutions) but there is a question of funding to be solved.
According to the inquiry results, the cities have a lot to offer and are eager to share their knowledge and experiences, but also to learn from others. The most popular fields mentioned in the survey are: civic participation, youth involvement, city planning, safety, integration, sports, gender equality, social services, entrepreneurship.
Also, the cities had a chance to express their expectations towards the UBC. The responses show the variety of needs. Most often, the respondents want UBC to be a platform for collaboration and development of cities around the Baltic Sea, a forum to find partners for projects and interesting best practices, and also an agent that spread out the cities’ innovative solutions. UBC should be in active dialogue with its member cities to support and facilitate development of the city and its areas. Also, more tangible results from cooperation and project work are expected. In the cities’ opinion, UBC should encourage member cities to be more involved in its activities.

Questions asked:

1. Is your city open to investments and startups? If so in which sectors?
2. Are companies in your city looking for new markets / partners in the Baltic Sea region ? Do you have an investment agency?
3. Do you wish your cultural (philharmonic, opera etc) institutions, sport and education institutions, to establish exchange with counterparts in other UBC member cities?
4. Do you need or can you offer expertise in such areas as: civic participation, initiatives for youth, refugees integration, gender equality, sports, environment, city planning, safety issues, entrepreneurship and other?
5. What expectations towards UBC does your city have?