Representative of T-Pot
project assist. prof. Martinia Ira Glogar, Ph.D., University of Zagreb Faculty of Textile Technology, presented the project innovative aspects at the
Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI) Working Group on Innovation
meeting in Split, Croatia, organized in the period 8th
June - 10 th June, 2011.
The Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI) is a three year project which aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the
economies in the Western Balkans in medium to long - term by increasing
productivity and output in manufacturing and services sector firms. The RCI
group organized a three days meeting in Split, Croatia, from 8 June till 10 June, 2011, with aim in bringing together delegates from all Western Balkan economies, representatives from the private sector and experts from international organizations.
At the first day of meeting, the 8th of June, the working group on Human Capital Development was organized aiming on
focusing on the theme of "skills for innovation", meaning improving
competitiveness by strengthening skills that support innovations.
The agenda covered the following items:
Identifying skills for innovation and using skills gaps analysis
Sector specific approaches to skills gaps in the Western Balkans
Horizontal actions to strengthen skills for innovation
Supporting Skills for Innovation: Key Lessons Learned and Regional Responses
The working group consists of three sessions:
Session 1 - Identifying skills for innovation and using skills gaps analysis,
Session 2- Sector specific approaches to skills gaps in the Western Balkans;
Session 3 - Horizontal actions to strengthen skills for innovation and
Session 4 - Supporting Skills for Innovation: Key lessons learned and Regional Responses.
The presenters in Session 1 were: Mr. Milan Konopek from Investment Compact for South
East Europe, OECD, with lecture "Improving competitiveness by implementing
skill gap analysis in the Western Balkan"; Ms. Evgenia Petkova from Operations
Department, European Training Foundation, with lecture "The relevance of skill
gaps analysis and skills forecasting for modernising VET and HE systems in the
Western Balkans: the ETF experience" and Ms. Violeta Stojanovic, from Agency
for Employment, FYR Macedonia with lecture "Skills needs analysis in the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
The session closed with a tour de table whereby each participant flagged initiatives being undertaken in their economy to measure and assess skills gaps:
Session 2 was focused on examples of sector - specific policy responses to skills mismatches and shortages. Several case
studies from the region were presented in order to see how skills needs are
being addressed in specific sectors. The focus was on extracting lessons learnt
from various projects in the Western Balkan. The case studies were presented by
Mr. Boris Krstanovic from Multilink - Croatian ICT Cluster Initiative. He
presented the ICT Skills gap analysis performed with the collaboration of the
Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Jadranka Radunovic from Centre for Vocational
presented the Results of GTZ project 2006 - 2011 on "Creating jobs through
vocational education and training with private sector input in pilot sector".
Session 3 was focused on providing examples of
projects in the Western Balkans that have been implemented across multiple
sectors (or horizontally). The following case studies were presented: Mr.
Dragan Milovic, Assistant Minister in Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic
Relations from Bosnia and
Herzegovina presented the project "EU
Support to Regional Economic and SME Development (IPA 2007)". Mr. Uli
Lachenmaier, the Team Leader of EU project "Supporting SMEs to become more
competitive in an EU project supporting SME development in Albania". Ms.
Efka Heder, the director of South East Europe Centre for Entrepreneurial
Learning presented SEECELs current work which responds to horizontal skills
needs at the regional level.
Session 4 was organized to summarise the day's discussions.
The second day of meeting, 9 June 2011, the Working
Group on Innovation was organised entitled "Strengthening linkages between
government, industry and research". The agenda covered topics related to
policy measures supporting innovation, an update of the four RCI pilot
projects, two case studies of initiatives in Albania
to support innovation, and a discussion of Europe 2020 and which elements are
relevant for a South East Europe economic vision.
The first session included a presentation from the
European Commission (DG Enterprise) which centred on how government, industry
and academia can work together to support innovative activities. Examples of
various instruments such as voucher schemes and cluster initiatives were
discussed. This was followed by a presentation from the Business Innovation
Centre in Croatia (BICRO) which outlined initiatives and actions that
institution uses to support greater collaboration between businesses and the
The second session provided updates on the four RCI pilot projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina
the project team has organised a series of events in that economy with a view
to identifying three concrete partnerships between industry and academia. In
the former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia the project team is now
preparing a draft assessment of the national innovation system. The next steps
in that project will involve developing recommendations and consulting with
stakeholders. In Montenegro
the project team is in the process of assessing the needs of export-oriented
SMEs to understand where a voucher scheme could facilitate greater linkages
with researchers. The project team will begin drafting a feasibility study over
the summer. In Serbia,
the project team has focussed on assessing the innovative activities of firms
and researchers in the agrifood and biomedicine sector. The project team
to learn from Slovenian experiences in the development of instruments such as
centres of excellence, technology parks and competence centres.
In addition to the RCI pilot projects, the Working
Group received updates on innovation supporting actions in Albania and Croatia. The representative from Albania
presented gave a detailed presentation on the new Business Innovation and
Technology Strategy. The strategy is designed to support that country's
competitiveness and strengthen its national innovation system. The Working
Group also discussed the results of an FP7 project in Croatia which
sought to strengthen linkages between the Faculty of Textile Technology and
Croatian SMEs in the textile sector.
Innovative aspect of project
FP7-REGPOT-2008-1-229801: Unlocking the Croatian Textile Research
Potentials (T - Pot), has been presented in a session of case studies by assist. prof. Martinia Ira Glogar, Ph.D., University of
Zagreb Faculty of Textile Technology, through presentation entitled Regional Competitiveness Initiative. The aims
of T-Pot project has been presented:
1) to reinforce the research potential of the Faculty of Textile Technology of the University of Zagreb (TTF) in order to strengthen the university sector to become one of the components of the national innovation system in Croatia;
2) develop the capacity for breakthrough research, leading to innovative textile and textile related products.
The project's immediate impact included the
establishment of new research groups, supported with 2 new laboratories, 3 PhD
students and 1 experienced researcher from University of Calabria.
The project also organised a series of workshops targeting SMEs with the aim of
introducing new technologies. Although this project focuses on textiles its
idea could be applied to other sectors as well.
Assist. prof. Martinia Ira Glogar,
of Zagreb Faculty of
Project memeber of T-Pot project
The Working Group concluded with a session on the Europe 2020 Strategy and its applicability to a South East Europe economic
vision. The Working Group agreed with most of the elements in Europe 2020 and
noted that they are relevant for the SEE region. However, additional elements
discussed by the Working Group which should be included in a SEE vision
1) responses to the brain drain;
2) encouraging businesses in SEE to find their niche markets;
3) improvements to the business and legal environment are still a priority;
4) development of a regional capital market;
5) greater export orientation, and;
6) an emphasis on governance and institutional strengthening.
The third day of a meeting, 10 June 2011, the round
table was organized with following themes: Implementation of the Private Sector
Plan 2011 - 2013, Timing for possible new projects and next programming phase
for 2014, Western Balkan Investment Framework financing for SMEs and Ideas for
Agenda: RCI Working group on
PPT presentation by assist. prof. Martinia Ira Glogar, Ph.D.