SME Russia Expertise Development Programme
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006
Objective of the project
The main goal of the project was to develop North Karelian SME trade and cooperation with Russia and to improve the conditions for profitable trade across the Eastern border by harnessing business expert and top-level knowledge for expanding export operations and business cooperation.
• Organisation of 11 training events on the challenges and solutions regarding trade with Russia and two INNO studios on design and marketing in order to develop product innovation and functional business models in companies, • Completion of a need charting regarding Russia expertise for 27 companies and a market analysis and/or partnership-searching for eight companies. • Arranging of networking, training and partnership-seeking trips to Russia, one to Petrozavodsk and five to St. Petersburg.
The project activities were divided into three different sections: training, analysis and contacting. The 11 training events organised by the project consisted of seminar and workshop events where participants learned about the challenges and solutions regarding trade with Russia. In addition, two so-called INNO studios were held: one for food industry companies in cooperation with the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance and the other for companies in the tourism industry in cooperation with the Petrozavodsk Slavic International University. The INNO studios applied a working method that combines design and marketing in order to develop product innovation and functional business models in companies. A total of 22 companies participated in the training and the INNO studios. In the analysis phase of the project, a needs assessment regarding Russia expertise was completed for 27 companies and a market analysis and/or partnership-finding mission was completed for eight companies. Contact-making consisted of networking, training and partnership-seeking trips to Russia. The project arranged one trip to Petrozavodsk and five to St. Petersburg. During the trip to Petrozavodsk, 28 Finnish and 30 Russian companies participated in a business forum that was arranged as a joint eff ort by JOSEK, the Petrozavodsk Office of Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Karelia. The discussions led to further action or orders with six Finnish companies. One of the trips to St. Petersburg incorporated a training segment, where topics included St. Petersburg as a business environment, services offered to Finnish companies in St. Petersburg and subcontracting opportunities in Northwest Russia. Of the thirteen companies that participated in the trip, six had negotiations with Russian companies. The other trips to St. Petersburg were related to trade fair participation. A total of 45 companies participated in contact making. The project developed the capacity for functions related to Russia in SME companies and their partner companies in the North Karelia region and strengthened the existing cooperation networks in the area. In addition, the project developed the expertise related to trade with Russia at the North Karelia University of Applied Sciences.
Duration2005-11-01 - 2007-12-31
Total Budget / Programme funding420 026 € / 205 710 €
Lead partnerNorth Karelia University of Applied Sciences
Lead partner web-site
PartnersJoensuu Regional Development Company JOSEK Ltd
Joensuu Science Park
North Karelia Chamber of Commerce
The Interbranch Institute of Professional Skills Improvement and Retraining of Managerial Personnel (MIPK) of St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance