Development doesn't come by itself!
This was the message from Jakob Svane, consultant at The Confederation of Danish Industries (DI) at a recently held workshop. The workshop’s focus was the expected opportunities from the upcoming fixed connection between Denmark and Germany.


Jakob Svane explained by saying that there has to be some potential to take advantage of before, during and after the tunnel is built - dynamic effects must be activated. The value of this new connection will not present itself by itself. These are lessons learned from the Öresund region. Particularly as the effects of the Öresund bridge only started to show after it's opening and therefore took an unexpectedly long time to capitalize on, both commercially and socially. Therefore we must begin utilizing the possibilities of the Fehmarn connection already now. We must create potentials in advance and develope them both before, during and after the construction. Otherwise the tunnel will simply be a means for time reduction and nothing else.


After this presentation the 14 specially invited participants from business organisations, knowledge institutions, and public authorities went on to discuss selected findings of a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the STRING region both in terms of infrastructure standards, nodes, cross-border cooperation, freight flows, intermodality, logistics and transport, education and environment. The challenge of this discussion was to obtain a common understanding of how we look at the STRING region and its potential both before and after the tunnel is ready for use. Furthermore the participants also gave valuable input to the analysis through their own knowledge and expertise.


Brainstorming and wish list


The workshop then moved on to a brainstorming session where participants were asked to make a wish list of project ideas - big or small - that can be carried out both before, during, and after the construction. These ideas have been made into a project data base and we expect more to be added during future workshops to be held in the STRING Logistics Platform which is part of the Green STRING Corridor project. A total of 24 ideas were identified and the platform is now going to look into developing some of these further.


"I am confident that we are going to see the development of several projects during the remaining running time of the project", says Marianne Jakobsen from Roskilde University and adds: "reason being that we already have an extensive network of interested actors in the region and this is indeed a window of opportunity that we need to tap into. Cluster development and academic cooperation must be strengthened to get a competitive advantage as we will not be able to compete on labour costs in the future". "So why wait?" she asks.


The platform is going to be pivotal for the engagement of companies, knowledge institutions, and public authorities in carrying out real life projects that will have special focus on green and efficient logistics which in turn hopefully will add to the entire region's competitiveness and attractiveness for doing business.


During 2013 the platform is expected to initiate a series of workshops hopefully leading to further project development and establishment of a project consortia. Already on March 7th a workshop on development of dry port concepts in the Öresund region will be held. In late spring yet another workshop will be held where biogas for the transport sector and LNG to short sea shipping is on the agenda.


By Marianne Jakobsen