At our Baltic Sea Solutions Lab in October 2018, we took the opportunity to invite an entrepreneur and a city representative to share what they believe is needed for businesses and cities to co-create effective solutions for the Baltic Sea.

Karl Vene is one of the founders and CTO of Flydog Marine, an innovative company from Estonia, offering monitoring solutions such as data buoys equipped with sensors to capture information about water quality. Dalia Gurskienė is a city representative from Panevėžys – the fifth largest city in Lithuania located about 230 km from the Baltic Sea and strategically located between the two Baltic capitals of Vilnius, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia. The river Nevėžys flows through the heart of the city. In working with the city’s blue strategy, the river was one of the cornerstones. The city is also known among Nordic investors for the value it places on improving water basins and water quality. Citizens are also important city customers. Panevėžys identifies itself as a pioneering city, willing to try new technology and solutions for water management and water treatment.

 

Mindset and Smart Solutions

A city with a mindset and willingness to try new technology appeals to Flydog Marine as these are the type of partners they actively seek. “Customers who are brave and who to some extent are prepared to take a risk, characterise what it takes to move from the traditional buyer-seller relationship to a partnership”, says Karl Vene.

Flydog Marine claims that placing mobile data loggers in the sewage system 20 meters underground is a viable option to monitor water, providing a smart and cost-effective solution. “Technology is growing so fast and data can enable us to have a deeper understanding of the water systems and to pinpoint the problems. The more you know about the systems, the more precise actions you can take,” continues Karl.

Courage and goodwill is also part of the decision-making process for the city of Panevėžys. “Without braveness, you cannot break any ice,” says Dalia Gurskienė, Chief of Communication, City of Panevėžys. “Cross-sectoral solutions are needed.”

One of the main questions for Flydog Marine is how Panevėžys finds entrepreneurs and companies to work with. Panevėžys works on different levels, from EU projects to piloting test projects “in reality”. If the solutions work, the city adopts and applies the technology.

Take a look at a short video of the conversation.