The Interreg Baltic Sea Region funded project (2017-2020) Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network (BSUIN) succeeded to achieve the main targets and provided a great learning experience to the consortium, its associative members and other stakeholders.
The aim of the project was to make the underground laboratories in the Baltic Sea region more accessible for innovation, business development and science by improving the information about the underground laboratories (ULs), the operation, user experiences and safety and to network the ULs for better visibility. This was done by characterization of the ULs, developing their services, improving the underground environments and by networking and outreach activities.
Behind the target was the challenge, that the consortium had become aware of. Namely, the under-utilization of underground infrastructures in the Baltic Sea region, the unique knowledge base and various possibilities in innovations and growth of underground businesses through cooperation.
The permanent outcomes of the BSUIN project are
1) the web-based tool, which is an open access platform for all the information of the ULs and a place for the ULs to market their services and facilities. https://undergroundlabs.network
2) the European Underground Laboratories association (EUL), which was founded in November 2020 to continue the collaboration.
The new association was founded by seven BSUIN partner organizations and two associative organizations. It is established under the German law, and it is open for new stakeholders linked to the underground laboratories & facilities (organizations and individuals). The EUL association coordinates the open access platform, collaborates with the BSUIN project partners, and actively seeks for new members. The platform hosts information, reports, guidelines, UL business models and service designs. The UL site characterization information helps the laboratories’ potential utilisers find optimal facilities for their purposes. It aids the UL operators & managers to develop their facilities and service offerings.
Numerous outreach activities during the project explained the benefits and capabilities of ULs to potential future users, politicians and the larger public. Webinars, conferences, workshops, promotion of the events and social media activities (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) have made the ULs more visible. Also a remarkable number of scientific conference abstracts and scientific articles have been published to achieve the potential UL users in the academic research world. In this sense a great achievement was to get the “Underground laboratories” session accepted for the EGU General Assembly 2020. It succeeded so well, that it led to three sessions to the EGU2021, and to new associative organizations joining the network.
The consortium, led by the University of Oulu, had 12 other partners from 8 countries.
Learn more about the results: