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WBC-INCO.NET: Innovation-Related Activities

As of October 2010, WBC-INCO.NET entered a new, enhanced phase, putting a special emphasis on innovation-related activities. In this context, several reports have been prepared so far.

  • Posted on: 02.12.2011

Mapping of the WBC Innovation Infrastructures

The “Innovation Infrastructure Reports” are mapping national innovation systems and relevant stakeholders in the Western Balkan Countries. The reports aim to facilitate the identification of potential partner organisations for STI co-operation from the Western Balkan countries. The reports identify innovation-related government institutions, programmes as well as innovation infrastructures such as Technology and Innovation Centres, Clusters, Technology and Science Parks, Business Start-Up Centres, Technology Incubators and other related organisations.

The Conclusive Summary Report summarises the seven reports on mapping of innovation infrastructures that have been prepared in summer 2011. They are covering several important aspects of the National Innovation Systems (NIS) and presenting the status quo of innovation institutions and programmes in the Western Balkan Countries. 

Results of the survey on market and research innovation needs

The survey on market and research innovation needs aimed to pinpoint both present and likely future research and market needs, as well as to identify possibilities for collaboration in the region. The survey was carried out in two rounds, the second building on the results of the first. Two questionnaires were jointly designed by JRC-IPTS and Ivo Pilar, consecutively addressing market and research stakeholders. 

A dedicated workshop shall take place in the near future with both industry and research regional stakeholders in order to refine and complement the findings presented in this report, based upon a mutual appreciation of different viewpoints and expectations. The identified potential needs for the region to be further considered in order to trigger joint innovation are related to:

  • Investments in knowledge and technology sharing, expert consultations and collaborative research
  • Decrease in regulation
  • Strengthen human resources capacities
  • Improve infrastructures (including ICT)
  • Build awareness on innovation benefits
  • Foster mobility
  • Enhance communication between different stakeholders 

These seems to be all critical to increase mutual understanding, support the identification of common interests, build mutual appreciation and achieve at a joint agenda. Finally, potential research topics to be further considered in the region to trigger joint innovation are: Environment surveillance through ICTs

  • Automation of information management systems through artificial intelligence and agent based software
  • New approaches and frameworks to enhance FDI and cross-regional investments in the region  

Comparative analysis of the innovation capacity in the WBC with emphasis on joint cooperation needs in the field of innovation

The Institute Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, has carried out the study “Comparative analysis of the innovation capacity in the WBC with particular focus on joint cooperation needs” in the frame of the WBC-INCO.NET project. The study is prepared in cooperation with the Centre for Social innovation, Vienna which was responsible for mapping the innovation infrastructure in the WBC, and with JRC-IPTS, Seville, which conveyed the on-line survey on innovation needs.

The study presents an attempt to compare the innovation capacities of the WBC based on multiple analytical approaches with a view to understand the possibility of closer regional innovation cooperation. The final aim is to carry out the background report for a common innovation strategy and initiatives for establishing the regional innovation system.

The analyses reveal that the WBC differ significantly in overall development and related innovation capacities as well as in the performance of national innovation systems (NIS). Despite differences, the WBC share many similarities that provide a platform for mutual cooperation. One of the most substantial similarities is the nature of their competitive advantages, which refers to non technological sectors, and technology efforts that include the absorption of foreign technologies and mastery of production capability.

Two factors turned out to be the most important for fostering regional innovation cooperation: removing the state and local administrative burdens for regional cooperation and improving science-industry cooperation at national and regional level. The most important policy measures for fostering science-industry cooperation address more funding for collaborative research between universities and businesses and more funding for knowledge / technology transfer activities and expert consultations. The most important joint actions to be taken for better regional innovation cooperation include the establishment of the regional venture capital fund, the regional financing programme for innovation, mobility of personnel, the legal framework for fostering direct foreign investments and the opening and liberalisation of the service market (for R&D services).

Authors are linked below.

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