D8.57 Support to the implementation of good practice examples in the Western Balkans

This deliverable outlines four pilot-projects presented in four parts: Strategic Innovation, Innovation officer, Voucher scheme, and Soft Landing Platforms.

As a follow-up activity of T8.2, further support to the implementation of adaptation schemes developed in the frame of Work Package 8 was foreseen in this task T8.5. A two-step approach was followed: in a first step, task force meetings for selected innovation measures (for one or two WBC partner countries per scheme) were planned. In a second step, a WBC exchange platform should provide to all WBC partners information (experiences made, lessons learned etc.) and the possibility to exchange information and experiences.

Part I focuses on the pilot project Strategic Innovation to be possibly implemented in Montenegro. It has the objective to introduce a system that would allow large numbers of SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) to make steps forward to improve their innovation capacities. It is important for catching-up countries to increase the number of innovative firms. Up-grading existing firms by stimulating and coaching them in developing a strategic approach to innovation, is a very effective and efficient way to increase the share of innovative firms.

Part II describes the pilot project of the measure Innovation Officer which aims at stimulating innovation in SMEs by overcoming their lack of time and qualified personnel. Innovation officers will influence a large number of topics, enhance actual innovation outcomes, and assist in overcoming the time bottleneck of SMEs. Their roles are highly diverse, but often emphasise the importance of external contacts for innovation.

Part III focuses on the pilot project for the innovation voucher scheme for Croatia and Kosovo[1]*. The pilot-project Innovation Voucher Scheme has the objective to introduce a system that would allow large numbers of SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) to utilise external sources of expertise. Because SMEs generally lack the necessary manpower and resources, they run into seriously delays when it comes to developing their own know-how, and such delays cause them to miss out on market opportunities or to exploit them only to a limited extent. The point of the project is to convince SMEs that much of the knowledge and expertise that they require has already been developed by so-called knowledge institutions, consultants and (large) companies, where it is in plentiful supply and, above all, available to them. By drawing on or, if need be, purchasing existing know-how, SMEs can develop more quickly in ways that would be unattainable to them on their own. Expert, independent, external input can also act as a tonic, quickly giving companies new ideas and fresh inspiration. External contacts often provide an impetus for new ways of thinking within companies, so that on balance, they can take the know-how they have to a higher level than if they had developed it on their own. Various studies have emphasised the importance of regional exchanges of knowledge, both for companies and for the region itself.

Part IV describes the pilot project of Soft Landing Platforms in Albania and FYR of Macedonia. SOFTLANDING has the objective to offer companies professional consulting and management services, which are necessary for a company to become established and begin commercial activities in an international scale. The pilot-project SOFTLANDING aims for the internationalisation of an innovative business. The created collaborations with partners from different regions and countries contribute to economic growth. Recently, this has proven to be an effective mechanism for improving the innovative application of research results, for business development support to start-ups and existing SMEs, and consequently for contributing to socio-economic development.


[1]* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.


WBC-INCO.NET (2014): Support to the implementation of good practice examples in the Western Balkans - Pilot Projects: Strategic Innovation, Innovation Officer, Innovation Voucher, Soft Landing Platforms. 86 pages.

Document type
  • Deliverable - wbc-inco.net


Publication Year


Kutlaca, Wintjes, Kunze (WBC-INCO.NET T8.5-Team) and many experts contributing (see document revision history)
Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Ulrike Kunze on May 6, 2014
Modified on May 6, 2014