Raising the competitiveness bar in the Central Baltic region

The INNOREG project has boosted both Estonia's and Finland's scientific and technical capabilities by introducing new business models and encouraging cross-border collaboration. 

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A fully automated robotic system able to produce various high-tech components A fully automated robotic system able to produce various high-tech components

" The INNOREG project has created a solid base for the development of high-tech manufacturing in the Baltic Sea region. It has raised both the level of manufacturing and education in mechatronics. Moreover, the project has paved the way for further co-operation between project partners from Finland and Estonia. "

Jüri Riives, Association of Mechatronics

Finland and Estonia have a history of working together in the fields of mechanical engineering and mechatronics - a relatively new approach to product design and development that merges the principles of electrical, mechanical, computer and industrial engineering. However, in the face of increased competition coupled with globalisation, new business models and production structures were needed.

Region of Knowledge

The project team acknowledged this need and worked with technical and scientific experts from academia and industry, gaining expert knowledge through a process of brainstorming, surveys and analyses. Their findings culminated in a so-called “Region of Knowledge” model for use by the manufacturing industry in the region.

This model outlined what was required to introduce effective technology platforms, to create jobs and to promote innovation. These expert results were also disseminated through public relations activities and by holding various seminars.

Robotic manufacturing 

A fully automated robotic system or FSM (flexible manufacturing system) was purchased and installed in the Mechatronicum Innovation Centre in Tallinn. Intended for use by mechanics and electronics companies, the FSM can independently produce various high-tech components according to programmed software, without any human intervention.

Meanwhile, in order to ensure high quality products, a measurement and control centre was set up in Turku and offers high-tech companies assistance in their production processes. Overall, collaboration between companies, scientific institutions and academia across the region was encouraged through networking activities and other meetings.

Various training courses in mechatronics were also organised for interested parties, while a development plan – “The capability and competitiveness of the mechatronics field in the North-Estonia and South-Finland region" – mapped out the mechanical engineering and mechatronics landscape.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the “Development of Innovative Business Models for Ensuring Competitiveness (INNOREG)” project is EUR 2 987 306, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 494 395 from the Operational Programme Central Baltic (INTERREG IV A Programme) for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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