During the past year ELINCLUS Cluster management and a few members have had a few meetings with the representatives of University of Novi Sad, Vojvodina Metal Cluster and Vojvodina ICT Cluster.
The Vojvodina Metal Cluster is the most significant metal association in Serbia with 113 members. The sector plays an important role in Serbia’s economy, reflected in its share in employment, export, and gross domestic product. Serbian companies are present across the entire spectrum of the metals value chain from primary and semi-finished to final goods production – albeit mostly with low value added products at the moment. The major competitiveness drawback is that the companies in Serbian metal industry have limited access to finance, which results in insufficient investments in technology and innovation. Micro and small companies dominate the metals sector in Serbia. Also in the European Union, metalworking and the metal articles industry is dominated by SMEs to a far larger extent than average.
Vojvodina ICT Cluster is a business association founded through a bottom-up initiative of ICT companies and several supporting institutions. It is a fast-growing organization, strongest in its field in Serbia. Over 90% of of the members’ businesses are tied to foreign markets – EU, North America and Middle East. The companies from this cluster exhibited strong growth in recent years, regardless of the global recession. Serbian IT companies in general made a noticeable breakthrough on world markets, putting Serbia on the map as a very interesting alternative location for development of sophisticated software.
In Serbia, the booming SME segment of the sector contributes to a reverse of the overall negative trend caused by a historical restructuring. As a region, formerly well known for cheap labour, Serbia is now growing its capacity in innovation, by mixing existing work force experience and new developing trends brought in by companies from the EU and EU funded projects.
The subject of the meetings was organization of joint work on developing project idea, establishing partnerships, dissemination of activities and responsibilities according to the partners’ capacities and experiences. As a result, we have developed 2 project proposals within Interreg Danube Transnational Programme.
One is “Development of Value Network for Advanced Manufacturing to Enhance Transnational Cooperation and Innovation Environment in the Danube Region”. The partners on the project are from Serbia, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, and Croatia. Main objective of project is the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Value network based on Open innovation concept that enables generation and commercialization of innovative ideas and technical solutions in the Danube region.
The other one is „Open Innovation to Raise Entrepreneurship Skills and Public Private Partnership in Danube Region” (DA-SPACE). The project is being implemented since 2017. The Danube region is still very fragmented and presents great disparities in prosperity, jobs opportunities and innovation capacities. DA-SPACE addresses these challenges by piloting a model of open innovation lab in which companies, public authorities, universities and the civil society can create fundaments for innovation together with young talents. The DA-SPACE labs promote a cross-disciplinary and transnational cooperation among different stakeholders able to generate new solutions and nurture the entrepreneurial skills of all the actors involved. The project will pilot 7 open innovation labs in 7 regions: here seekers (public authorities, universities, companies, young talents) will define a challenge that will be addressed by solvers (young talents) on a transnational level. Through co-creation methods, young talents will develop new solutions and business ideas within the lab and they will furthermore benefit from an entrepreneurship training. The results from the pilots will serve to define a transnational strategy to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the Danube region. More details can be found at the INTERREG website: http://www.interreg-