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  • Author: Gunnar Prause x
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The concept of smart specialization as a policy approach for regional development through increased regional productivity and competitiveness in the European context is actively discussed (European Union, 2009; OECD, 2014). Meanwhile, smart specialization has found its way into EU cohesion policy as well as into the European Commission’s Innovation Union flagship programme.

In Eastern Europe, economic growth came to a sudden halt during the financial crisis in 2008/2009, leading to mass unemployment, economic decline and shrinking public spending. The economic downturn in Russia after 2008 was triggered by the outflow of capital and avoided large-scale social consequences.

The paper highlights the main conceptual aspects of the smart specialization approach in the European Union and its implications on future EU Eastern Innovation cooperation with a special focus on EU’s largest Eastern partner Russia.


Green transport corridors represent trans-shipment routes with a concentration of freight traffic between major hubs and long distances of transport marked by reduced environmental and climate impact. Important characteristics of green corridors are their network structures, their transnational character and their high involvement of public and private stakeholders, including political level requiring new governance models. Network-oriented controlling of green transport corridors require new concepts and instruments concentrating on multi-dimensional evaluation of collective strategies and processes in an international environment with a focus on cross-company aspects.

Until now the scientific discussion focusses on different sets of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for monitoring and management of green corridors, which mainly cover sustainable aspects of green corridor development by neglecting a network-oriented controlling approach so that a general concept for green corridor controlling is still missing. The current KPI approaches emphasize the operational aspects of the corridor performance so that a strategic management control system is needed to safeguard an efficient, innovative, safe and environmental friendly long-term development.

The paper will present and discuss a management control system for green supply chains based on the balanced scorecard concept and link the ongoing scientific discussion to recent research results about green corridor management. The presented green corridor balanced scorecard tries to solve the strategic weakness of the existing green corridor controlling approaches by integrating cooperative and network-oriented concepts from supply chain management.


In its White Paper on “A Sustainable Future of Transport”, the European Commission promoted the idea of green transport corridors (GTCs) by establishing trans-shipment routes with concentration of freight traffic between major hubs. GTCs reduce environmental and climate impact of the traffic on these relatively long distances of transport while increasing safety and efficiency with the application of sustainable logistics solutions. The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) enjoys a vanguard position in the development and realisation of green transport concepts within Europe.

Already the GTC definition of the European Commission emphasized the need for a fair and non-discriminatory access to corridors and trans-shipment facilities that enable all customers to participate in the corridor and make use of publicly available benefits. Research results of GTC initiatives revealed that cultural issues, cooperation quality and governance structures play a crucial role in the acceptance and success of the GTC concept.

This paper highlights the current status and discussions on business and ownership models for GTCs and investigates the research question if and to which extent can cooperative concepts be used as a base principle for GTC governance. The authors participated in some of the most important GTC projects in the BSR, which provides them in terms of methodology easy access to literature reviews, secondary data analysis, expert interviews and surveys covering the entire BSR.


The Green Corridor concept represents a cornerstone in the development and implementation of integrated and sustainable transport solutions based on trans-nationality, multi-modality and a high involvement of public and private stakeholders, including the political level. Despite the fact that the Green Transport Corridor (GTC) concept is founded on the three dimensions of sustainability with a strong emphasis on environmental aspects, the corridor hubs as well as the whole transport corridors have to find ways to handle and transport dangerous goods by keeping the high sustainability standards.

The paper addresses the research questions what kind of economical, ecological and social risks might occur in the context of handling and transportation of dangerous goods in a Green Transport Corridor in the Baltic Sea Region, what consequences they might have on the GTC design and how and with which measures they can be managed. Based on this analysis the development of a comprehensive risk management concept for the handling and transportation of dangerous goods in Green Transport Corridors in the Baltic Sea Region based on will be started. The concept will include practical implications and best practices.


In the context of a harmonized transnational transport system the green corridor concept represents a cornerstone in the development and implementation of integrated and sustainable transport solutions. Important properties of green corridors are their transnational character and their high involvement of public and private stakeholders, including political level, requiring new governance models for the management of green corridors.

Stakeholder governance models and instruments for green corridor governance are going to be developed and tested in different regional development projects in order to safeguard a better alignment of transport policies at various administrative levels and a strengthening of the business perspective. A crucial role in this context belongs to involvement of public and private stakeholders in order to safeguard efficient corridor performance.

The paper presents recent research results about green supply chain management in the frame of network and stakeholder model theory and its application to the stakeholders of green transport corridors.


The green transport corridor concept represents a cornerstone in the development of integrated and sustainable transport solutions. Important properties of green corridors are their transnational character and their high involvement of large numbers of public and private stakeholders, including political level, requiring sophisticated approaches for implementation, management and governance. The current scientific discussion focusses on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for monitoring and management of green transport corridor performance emphasizing the operational aspects.

The green corridor balanced scorecard approach tried to mitigate the strategic weakness of KPI concept by integrating cooperative and long-term views in order to come closer to a comprehensive green corridor control system. Until now all discussed KPI sets are too small and narrow for a successful implementation of green corridors so there is a need for the development of an user-oriented model for green corridor control systems based on building blocks integrating existing KPI sets.

The building block approach for implementation has been successfully used for implementation and simulation in supply chain management. Based on these results the paper will present a holistic control system for successful implementation of green transport corridors based on building blocks integrating recent results about KPIs and balanced scorecards approaches. The research will empirically be verified by empirical results from European green corridor projects.


Smart contracts are scripts on the top of the blockchain technology. They represent a form of automation by what the layers of intermediaries can be reduced or even completely replaced. Accordingly, blockchain smart contracting systems decrease transaction and enforcement costs as well as process time.

Moreover, we argue, blockchain and smart contracts can facilitate cross-organisational collaboration and their underlying business processes. Hence, they are able to support the integration of entrepreneurs and SMEs into trans-national supply chains by reducing high entry barriers and weakening the dominating position of big players.

This paper discusses the research questions how blockchain smart contracting can facilitate the implementation of collaborative logistics structures and how the integration of SMEs into sustainable maritime supply chains can be safeguarded. The research bases on expert interviews and case studies. The results showcase the potentials of using blockchain smart contracting in the environment of trans-national and multimodal supply chains.


The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) stands for a flagship maritime region in Europe with dominating SME sector. Nevertheless, compared with other European regions, the cooperation and promotion activities of companies that belong to the Blue Economy in South Baltic Sea Region (SBSR) are not sufficient. As a response to this, the EU-project INTERMARE South Baltic aims to support the maritime economy in the SBSR by the creation of a network of companies and stakeholders.

In line with the project, this study aims to analyse the future potential of the maritime economy and to identify trends that impact the sustainable development of the blue sector in SBSR. Based on primary data from a SBSR wide survey, descriptive statistical analysis is applied and Compound Annual Growth Rate is used as an indicator. The findings reveal need for actions regarding the sub-sectors Transport, Offshore oil & gas, Aquaculture, Fishery, Mineral resources and Biotechnology.


To reduce the Sulphur emission from shipping and ensure clean shipping, a number of Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) were enforced in special areas around the globe. From 2015, in SECA, ship owners are not allowed to use fuel with more than 0.1% Sulphur content. One of the major concerns for the SECA regulation is that maritime stakeholders have had to take into consideration the costs as well as the tolerable risks of their compliance investment options. Besides that, low freight rates have increased the competition and had caused financial pressure on ship owners so that lower capital reserves and low credibility levels limit the manoeuvring space for investment activities.

The indications from BSR after 2015 showed that the low fuel price has eased the economic effects of the SECA regulation and as a result, most ship owners have delayed their investment decisions. Even though the postponement of emission abatement techniques seems to have reduced the compliance expenses for SECA, they, however, did not improve the position of shipowners relative to their competitors. Consequently, new policy instruments to stimulate innovation, to raise competitiveness and to comply with the new environmental regulations are needed. It would have been easier to hedge fuel price volatility and offer maritime logistics services for a lower price, but to be able to ensure sustainable results in long-term, maritime stakeholders must be ready to device astute strategies that can propel them to unparalleled advantage.

This research first appraised the investment risks and payback period associated with the scrubber using different capital budgeting methods. It further illustrated the Maritime Energy Contracting (MEC) model as a market mechanism for the delivery of a cost-effective emission reduction using the scrubber technology as well as an instrument to realise a competitive advantage for ship operators. The results are empirically validated by case studies from BSR.


After three years of 0.1% Sulphur limit of the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) enforcement, empirical results have shown that the fears that SECA regulation would be a disadvantage for the Baltic Sea maritime sector are unfounded. Results have also shown commendable compliance rate and improved environmental conditions for the BSR. Nonetheless, there is still a need to clear the air regarding the costs information obligations that are required from maritime actors regarding their compliance activities. These activities are arguably obviously needful but could also lead to an unintended increase of costs of regulations.

Using a BSR-wide survey and case studies, the paper identified SECA information obligations related to the shipowners from shipping line whose vessels ply the SECA waters. The authors further evaluated the costs of the administrative burden related to these tasks.

The results show that the administrative burden for SECA regulations is different for shipowners and maritime authorities.