News archive - News from Bosnia and Herzegovina

New Program to Create Innovation Support Network in BiH

The USAI D-Sida FIRMA Project has launched an initiative to develop an Innovation Business Network (IBN) in Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve and support innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This new local network is linked to the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN), which was established by the European Commission and has more than 200 members from Europe and beyond.

The FIRMA Project initiated the network scheme earlier this year to encourage collaboration among organisations that support innovation. BiH must develop its innovative capabilities in order to develop a manufacturing sector that can respond to EU competitive pressures − a key element of the Copenhagen economic criteria for EU accession and the overarching objective of the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project.  In order to become a member, or Business Innovation Centre (BIC),  however, organisations must fulfil certain criteria. They must demonstrate that they are stable in terms of finances and staff, and must offer (or intend to offer) some type of innovation services to SMEs.

As part of its initiative, the FIRMA Project has been presenting these criteria in a series of workshops around the country at which local research centres, development agencies, business groups and others that support BiH SMEs could complete a self-evaluation to determine whether they can become a BIC and join the BiH network. FIRMA is also helping BiH companies to prepare proposals and applications for funding in EU and other innovation support programs.

The USAID-Sida FIRMA Project − sponsored by the US and Swedish governments through their international development agencies, USAID and Sida − is a five-year project supporting sustainable economic growth, employment expansion and increased household incomes in BiH. The FIRMA Project focuses on three sectors of the economy – wood processing, tourism and metal processing.

 Info Days

In September 2011, the Ministry of Civil Affairs in cooperation with the University of East Sarajevo organised info days to present recent calls for proposals launched by the European Commission in FP7. The calls which were presented and discussed are open under the thematic priorities Health; Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology − KBBE as well as  Environment (including Climate Change). The organisation of the info days on opportunities for researchers in FP7 was supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).  

Foundation for Innovation and Technological Development INTERA  

A new foundation for innovation and technological development was established in Mostar. The aim of the INTERA foundation is to support innovativeness in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNC), to strengthen the links between academia (two public universities are located in the area) and the business sector and to support initiatives that contribute to the development of economy, culture and education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The government of the HNC promised to support the work of INTERA in the future.  

Women’s Inventors Association “NOVA” in BiH 

In cooperation with the Association of European Innovators (AEI) and the Pan-European University APERION Banja Luka, the Women’s Inventors Association “NOVA” organised a conference dedicated to women’s entrepreneurship and innovation. This was an excellent opportunity for innovators, entrepreneurs and scholars to exchange experiences on the development of new technologies and to present their recent innovations.

One outcome of the conference, held under the title “Women revitalize European creativity”, was the establishment of the first association of women innovators and entrepreneurs in Europe − EWI.

Representatives of the governmental and non-governmental sector in BiH, the European Association of Inventors, French, German and Swedish associations of inventors, and innovators from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina attended the conference which took place in Banja Luka on September 8 to 11, 2011.

“It is our desire to create the preconditions for the development of programmes and strategies to protect intellectual property, marketing of new ideas, to exchange experiences on supporting innovation such as women and female entrepreneurship in civil society and government policies. In this way, we want to show that women from countries in transition can contribute to and participate in the construction of European prosperity”, said Mrs Branka Kolar MijatoviÊ, president of “NOVA”, vice-chairwoman of the AEI and elected president of the EWI.

Authors: Jasmin Gabela, Alma Hasanovic

Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on December 2, 2011
Modified on December 6, 2011