Northern Connections

Strategic Transnational Cluster Cooperation - unlocking the potential for regional innovation

Northern Connections is a partnership of 20 clusters, cities, regions and knowledge institutions working together to create innovation connections between enterprises and clusters in the energy sector.

The joint challenge is to test the use of domestic innovation support measures transnationally and address barriers to competition which exist between clusters and regions. Innovation support is mainly applied within narrow geographies where calls to action are not visible transnationally and cities & clusters lack capacity to involve SMEs broadly.

Our objective is to get more enterprises to participate in transnational innovation collaboration via strengthening transnational cluster and city/region cooperation.

Main output is building capacity and transnational relations of sustainable energy clusters to provide demand-led innovation support. This creates the foundation for involving more SMEs in innovation. Develop broader political backing using northern connections to create coherence between political ambitions and cluster potential for innovation support.

Our approach is to provide a bridge between private and public sector on transnational innovation support. This will be achieved through improving/aligning innovation support measures by creating incentives for transnational SME innovation partnerships to collaborate and establish a critical mass of innovation activity on a transnational basis. We will pilot joint transnational innovation support measures aimed at broadening opportunities for SMEs from different NSRs to participate in regional innovation activities, which ultimately will strengthen their ability to take part in global markets and create new value-chains.


Aalborg Kommune
Region Syddanmark
Region Nordjylland
Region Midtjylland
Aarhus Kommune
Business Region Göteborg AB
Federal State Schleswig-Holstein
Renewable Energy Hamborg
Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
Energy Valley Foundation
HafenCity Universität Hamburg
Innovatum AB
Scottish Enterprise
Sustainable Business Hub
I-Cleantech Vlaanderen
Municipality of Alkmaar
Oslo Kommune
Falkirk Council