Project „Innovation Hub: Comparative Advantage for Greater Competitiveness“

Project „Social Inclusion trough Social Networks among CSO and Social Entrepreneurship“(4SNET)
April 12, 2018

“Grant scheme for implementation of projects for increasing the competitiveness of the beneficiary country “- EuropeAid/138495/ID/ACT/MK
Project „Innovation Hub: Comparative Advantage for Greater Competitiveness“
Contract No. 12-7324 / 1

This project encompasses actions which through enhanced cooperation and interaction of the nongovernmental actors with the relevant actors from Universities will support the implementation of measures and projects for increasing the competitiveness. Specific measures that promote fostering innovation, research and development and upgrade of the technological processes in the SMEs of the country are foreseen. Also measures for developing SME`s capacities for cooperation and building strong linkages with the public institutions and education institutions in the country, through the establishment of a joint platform i.e. Innovation Hub, development of specific projects, training programmes and measures aimed at strengthening the innovation capacities of the domestic SMEs will be implemented. The level of training of the SME’s, local authorities and institutions is quite important, since they can significantly facilitate establishing of relations by: developing cooperation between the SME’s; supporting economic activity; providing contacts between potential partners; transferring experience and Innovation know how; providing cooperation in staff education; and supporting the funding of innovation project in the targeted regions.
Established Virtual Innovation Hub will become a partner of SME’s in advancing the economic prosperity of targeted regions and will enable transfer of knowledge and technology developed on the partner Universities to the marketplace. The Hub will support a culture of entrepreneurship to transform innovations ideas into successful project for-profit of enterprises and will provide educational and networking opportunities for SME’s to develop and demonstrate the commercial value of their inventions. Through an advanced online platform, the Virtual Innovation Hub will be created to support the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs,).  SME’s will be able to access online programs to improve their business skills and to receive business counseling and mentorship. At the same time, they will also be assisted to obtain access to potential financial and technology partners.  Furthermore, the Hub aims at becoming an online community for SMEs and at developing into a global collaborative ecosystem, which is conducive to enterprises through online information and knowledge exchange, including the sharing of best practices. Innovation Hub membership will be open to those interested in innovation.

The overall objective is to increase competitiveness of SMEs in Northeast, Skopje and Vardar regions with encourage the activity of the various actors in the society in order to influence the country’s economy competitiveness through innovation.

The specific objectives of the project:
1. Introducing innovative approaches in business operations of SMEs
2. Improvement of innovation skills
3. Creation of innovative culture in the enterprises
4. Improvement of the cooperation between SMEs and scientific-research institutions

Targets groups of the project:
• 75 SMEs from Northeast, Skopje and Vardar regions
• 3 Universities from the Northeast, Skopje and Vardar regions
• Chamber of Commerce, business associations, clusters) from the Northeast, Skopje and Vardar regions
Main activities of the project:
1. Analysis among SMEs for identification of barriers for hampering innovation
2. Design of approach to up scaling SME innovation through establishment of Innovation Hub
3. Establishment of Innovation Hub
4. Implementation of capacity building measures through the Innovation Hub to bring innovation closer to SMEs
5.Implementation of innovation awareness campaign
6. Organisation of visibility event for exchange of innovation practices from the country and abroad

Estimated results:
The estimated results presented through the most important outcomes to be achieved:
O1: at least 75 SMEs in the North-East, Skopje and Vardar regions supported to enhance competitiveness and apply innovative practices;
O2: at least 150 SME employees improved their innovation skills and trained to use innovative approach (at least 40% women);
O3: at least 6 partnership between the academia, local authorities, NGOs, private businesses and regional government initiated;
O4: Innovation Hub established as a tool for boosting regional innovation capacities;
O5: Awareness raising innovation campaign developed

The proposed project will provide the following results:
R1: at least 100 new innovative ideas created.
R2: at least 75 enterprises in North-East, Skopje and Vardar regions improved their performance;
R3: Increased awareness about innovation among at least 1000 citizens of the North-East, Skopje and Vardar regions
R4: at least 3 joint projects between the academia, local authorities, NGOs, private businesses and regional government implemented;

Total duration of the project: 24 months