News archive - Conclusions on Innovation Infrastructures

As already presented on this website, the publication "Innovation Infrastructure in the Western Balkan Countries" contains 6 thematic reports providing an overview of the situation as regards “Innovation Infrastructures” such as clusters, technology and innovation centres, technological and science parks, business-start-up centres/ technology incubators and some further related organizations in the Western Balkan Countries. Besides the mapping, some common recommendations were issued.

The publication was firstly issued in October 2007, but due to the positive feedback from the region, the information in the reports were further examined and published in extended version by the end of April 2008. The publication (299 pages) serves as a good contact database for further networking in the region and contains more than 150 contact addresses of the innovation initiatives in the Western Balkan Countries.

Common recommendations for governments and for key stakeholders reflecting the observed situation in the target countries, are an inseparable part of the thematic reports and can be summarized as follows:

- Formulate a clear strategy with a more comprehensive strategic vision supporting innovation infrastructures. For example Bosnia and Herzegovina lacks a SME strategy completely and there is no fully operational national agency (or the equivalent), which would have full political support across the country.
- Enhance involvement of business organisations in the policy creation and improve understanding of innovation process by policy makers and key players.
- Strengthen communication and promote effective two-way dialogue between the government, local authorities and private sector. The relationships between various units of the ministries and responsible agencies are not working always properly, though effective networking among key players should be ensured.
- Create policies and instruments to facilitate innovation development and offer more support programmes for establishing innovation infrastructure. E.g. Albania, FYROM and Montenegro need to implement technology and science parks, strategy for business incubators is still missing in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
- Improve the coordination of programmes supported by donors and support more effectively areas, which are not based in the capitals or areas closed to them.
- Support systematically staff capacities of the institutions dealing with innovation and offer continuous training and other capacity building activities.
- Assure increased support for research and analyses and strengthen linkages between private industry and science communities.
- Enhance interaction between WBC and EU countries and empower information exchange.
- Monitor and evaluate regularly performance and impact of the structures on the SMEs development.
- Provide accurate and up to date information about the operation of incubators, parks and centres (improve information dissemination - enhanced usage of internet).

The key stakeholder in the region should take into account that one of the pre-requisites for a well functioning innovation system supporting further development is the provision of adequate and sustainable financial resources to created structures.
In general, it can be concluded that Croatia and Serbia are being most advanced in policy development and implementation in the region and all Western Balkan Countries are dependent on donor support for implementation of infrastructures and further capacity building in government, academia and industry is necessary.

The actual version of the Innovation Infrastructure in the Western Balkan Countries with detailed recommendations’ listing be downloaded at: (Registration is free of charge).

Entry created by Elke Dall on June 19, 2008
Modified on June 20, 2008