What is the key to successful cooperation?

2 June 2020
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Fruitful collaboration can be undermined by a number of factors including differing interests and corporate culture, local regulations and even simple misunderstandings. When two companies are divided by a governmental border the range of possible obstacles only expands. Complications may be caused by a language barrier, cultural differences, export/import regulations and many other circumstances. INCROBB project is aimed at researching this issue and improving future collaboration between companies from Russia, Finland and other bordering countries.

The goal of INCROBB (Inclusive cross-border business networking of tomorrow) lies in researching different factors and obstacles that influence cross-border cooperation. The project also aims at facilitating such cooperation through working with different businesses and business owners and helping companies in finding partners and specialists across the border.

The project was launched on 21.01.2020 bringing together representatives from LUT University, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Saint-Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Etelä-Karjalan Yrittäjät ry, and SaimaanVirta. After the initial meeting came the first major step, the development of a survey aimed at researching the opportunities and barriers for SMEs’ successful cross-border collaboration.

A meeting with SaimaanVirta, a recycling company from Finland, at the Saint Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry marked the completion of the first version of the SME questionnaire. The next step was a conference with more than 40 managers of small and medium-sized enterprises. This event proved to be a crucial source of information about further improvement of the survey and difficulties that SMEs experience in cross-border collaboration. A similar workshop with local SME managers was conducted in Finland later in March.

Meetings between SaimaanVirta, "Spasibo!" Project and Neorecycling were another noteworthy step in the history of INCROBB. In spite of originating from different business environments these companies found solid common ground in regards to their business models and heavy focus on recycling. All companies agreed on the importance of collaboration between bordering countries and decided to plan a visit from Russian managers to Finnish companies.

The topic of cross-border collaboration continues to be highly relevant in today's market and therefore the INCROBB project has many steps and events ahead. Join the INCROBB Facebook page to follow the news and updates about this project.