[FOCUS ARTICLE] Turning Research and Innovation Results into Sustainable Solutions - Knowledge Valorisation and IPR in the EU and in the Western Balkans

The EU Knowledge Valorisation Week 2023 took place between 25 and 28 April and this year the European Commission has chosen sustainability as a special focus for this event, thus contributing also to the European Green Deal, which is the Commission’s answer to tackling climate change, one of the civilisation’s greatest challenges.

In the opening session of the event with Marc Lemaître (Director General of DG Research and Innovation) highlighted the need to act and innovate in order to maintain a sustainable planet was highlighted, and ’valorisation’ means for example to provide older technologies a second youth, to improve the management of our intellectual assets, to strengthen our entrepreneurial culture and to involve citizens and local communities in the process.

Various key documents have been published in the past months: Guiding Principles for Knowledge Valorisation) represents a European commitment to accelerate the translation of research and innovation results into solutions. With an aim to support practitioners in the implementation of this recommendation, the European Commission has adopted the Code of Practice on intellectual assets management and a Code of Practice on standardization on 1 March 2023, while during the EU Knowledge Valorisation Week separate sessions were held to present these supporting documents. Videos of the sessions are being made available – for more information see here.

On 26 April, which was also the World Intellectual Property Day, the session ‘Counting stars: pioneering concepts for more impact through research’ was chaired by Sinisa Marcic, Senior Expert on Human Capital Development of the Regional Cooperation Council . This webinar was showcasing two examples on how to successfully bring research results to the market with an open science approach.

To highlight the importance of knowledge valorisation and to introduce the latest policy developments in the topic, the Commission calls all interested stakeholders, including those from the Western Balkans, to join its awareness raising campaign, supporting one of the strategic objectives of the new ERA for Research Innovation to turn R&I results into economic and social growth. Another initiative to foster this process is the EU Knowledge Valorisation Platform, which aims at connecting European actors to work jointly on transforming research results into sustainable products and future solutions.

Knowledge Valorisation and IPR in the Western Balkans

Starting with campaigns to promote Knowledge Valorisation and IPR issues, a variety of initiatives can be highlighted from the Western Balkans. These are particularly important as there is still a lack of awareness and education in the region leading to a lack of action to protect IP. Often access to IPR protection is also difficult as resources are needed that SMEs don’t have. The IPR legal and institutional frameworks are still under development and in some cases, counterfeiting and piracy happen when enforcement is weak. In order to address this skills and knowledge gap, some current activities can be highlighted. For example,

The University of Sarajevo recently hosted a three-day capacity building event ‘How to recognize and protect a scientific discovery? – A short course on the patent life cycle, in the frame of the POLICY ANSWERS project. The focus of the event was knowledge and experience sharing on boosting academia to industry collaboration and capacity in the innovation and technology transfer. POLICY ANSWERS interviewed Maja Arslanagić-Kalajdžić, Head of the R&D Centre at the University of Sarajevo, organizer and speaker of this capacity-building event, who also highlighted the need to carefully evaluate that for which discoveries it is worth undergoing the expensive process of patenting.

In the frame of the World Intellectual Property Day, several events and initiatives have been organised in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well. The Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the project ‘EU Support to Intellectual Property Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ financed by the European Union organised a conference related to ‘Woman and Intellectual Property: Improving Innovation and creativity’. As part of the conference the winners of the tender for visual and/or textual representation of ‘Women and intellectual property’ in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been announced and the awards were presented at the conference in Mostar.

Also in Serbia, the Association of Business Women in Serbia in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia organized an event promoting women entrepreneurs holding patents

POLICY ANSWERS’ partner organisation, the Foundation for Management and Industrial Research (MIR), in collaboration with the Youth Entrepreneurial Service Foundation (YES), developed and piloted an IPR program in 2022 as part of the first Green Business Acceleration Programme to support circular business ideas. MIR invites interested green-entrepreneurs to join this free training and mentoring program by contacting mir@mir.org.mk.

MIR provides further opportunities as well: another online course on ‘Intellectual Property’ is offered jointly by MIR and Enterprise Europe Network in Macedonian language, designed primarily for company representatives, and in collaboration with the Council for Women Entrepreneurship in Skopje, an IPR clinic for women entrepreneurs will be held in Skopje in May 2023.

In addition to the events ongoing in the Republic of North-Macedonia, POLICY ANSWERS invited Radmil Polenakovikj, who is professor at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje and one of the key experts in the Western Balkans Region on innovation and entrepreneurship to a short interview in which he also highlights the complexity of the system for IPR that needs to be navigated and how to find competent support.

In Kosovo* a comprehensive website on the Intellectual Property Rights System was launched in 2022, developed in the framework of the Project “EU Support for the Intellectual Property Rights System in Kosovo”. As intellectual property is “not talked about enough”, the project created a set of animations, easily digestible reports, learning materials and videos highlighting the benefits for the creators, the economy and society in general.

In general, a great entry point to find economy-specific information related to IRP is the website of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on its dedicated pages for Western Balkan economies (only Kosovo is not listed on the WIPO directory).

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges of knowledge valorization and IPR, the experiences of other regions, like the ones presented in the Knowledge Valorisation Week 2023, offer valuable lessons for the Western Balkans. By learning from these examples, the stakeholders can create tailored approaches that work best for the specific circumstances.


For more information on knowledge valorisation and IPR, visit the dedicated session of the Western Balkans Info Hub.

Document type
  • Other


Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on September 6, 2023
Modified on September 6, 2023