Innovations in the Baltic Sea Region and Network Cooperation between Russia and the EUAbstract
Transnational (involving countries) and cross-border (involving adjacent regions of different countries) cooperation and integration are rapidly developing in the Baltic Sea region. Russia lags behind the Nordic countries and Germany as far as innovative development is concerned; yet our national pace here is comparable to that of Poland and the three Baltic States. At the same time, the features of innovative cooperation vary a great deal depending on the group of countries involved in cooperation processes. Independent of its type, however, international cooperation is beneficial for all parties concerned and should therefore be more actively encouraged. Northwestern Federal District traditionally plays a special role in the development of EU-Russia cooperation, since a number of its regions border on the EU countries. The district participates in the development of network innovative structures within the Baltic Sea region. It takes an active part in cross-border cooperation — activities that involve the formation of transborder innovative clusters. There are high expectations associated with the formation of such territorially localised innovative networks, as the Helsinki — Saint Petersburg — Tallinn and Tricity (Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot) — Kaliningrad — Klaipeda transborder innovative clusters. The city of Saint Petersburg and the adjacent Leningrad region, as well as the Kaliningrad region can become innovative development corridors between Russia and the EU and, eventually, develop into the ‘economic growth poles’ of the Russian Federation.