It was our pleasure this week to host EIT representatives and the official launch of EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) Community flagship programme aimed at Western Balkans: The InfraBooster, designed for institutions with research infrastructure.
This is the next step in EIT Community support for the region that has already received over €4.55M.
Big thanks to the speakers for making all this possible with sharing valuable insights and knowledge about EIT Community possibilities, and to all participants from the academic community which are in-charge for the R&D laboratories across UKIM and other Universities:
- Our CEO & EIT Community RIS Hub National Secretary in N. Macedonia, Aleksandar Stamboliev, MSc, moderator.
- Luke Incorvaja (EIT), Innovation Officer at EIT.
- Marta Kaczmarek (EIT xKIC SRI, EIT Health) EIT Strategic Regional Innovations.
- Adam Strzelecki (EIT Food) EIT Western Balkans activities.
- Emilija Fidancevska (Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy-UKIM, S3 coordinator for Sustainable materials and Smart Buildings), EIT National Contact Point.
- Aleksandra Martinovska-Stojcheska (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food- UKIM), S3 coordinator for Smart agriculture and food processing with high added value and
- Krzysztof Klincewicz (University of Warsaw, EIT Food), EIT Infrabooster.
MAKING INNOVATION HAPPEN!
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is dedicated to bridging the innovation gap and fostering entrepreneurship in regions where the pace of innovation is still gaining momentum. Through its efforts, the EIT aims to unleash the hidden potential and value of European research infrastructures, while also supporting the Western Balkans, including North Macedonia, in their journey towards innovation excellence.
In 2021-2022, the EIT demonstrated its commitment to the Western Balkans by establishing four EIT offices in the region and granting €4.55 million to support various initiatives. This investment has yielded impressive results, with the creation and support of 75 EIT ventures in the Western Balkans. Additionally, over 8,000 participants from the region have benefited from EIT education and training programs, further enhancing their skills and knowledge.
While acknowledging the progress made, the EIT recognizes that there is still untapped potential waiting to be realized. As a result, the organization has pledged to prioritize its engagement with the Western Balkans, particularly by supporting the innovation capacity of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). To date, 19 HEIs in the Western Balkans have received EIT support, paving the way for increased collaboration and the development of innovative solutions.
EIT InfraBooster program
One of the key initiatives driving innovation and collaboration is the EIT InfraBooster program. This program focuses on effectively utilizing publicly funded research infrastructures owned by universities and research institutes. By providing a modular training program for representatives of scientific organizations, the EIT aims to enhance their capacity to design infrastructure-based services that cater to the needs of private sector companies and startups. The program also aims to leverage the existing assets, including commercially-relevant research infrastructures, the skills of research teams, and their knowledge. The goal is to bring academia and industry closer together, fostering collaboration, international exposure, and increased innovativeness within institutions. Additionally, the program offers opportunities for these organizations to establish new sources of revenue.
The EIT promotes various pathways for universities and research institutes to commercialize their innovations. These pathways include technology transfer, where existing research and development (R&D) results are licensed or sold; startups and spinoffs, which involve creating new ventures based on existing R&D results; and access to research infrastructures, which encompasses activities such as renting, access fees, joint projects, and consulting. Through these pathways, universities and research institutes can monetize their intellectual property, drive economic growth, and contribute to societal progress.
With its steadfast commitment to fostering innovation and supporting entrepreneurship, the EIT is playing a vital role in unlocking the full potential of research infrastructures in Europe and accelerating the development of the Western Balkans as a thriving hub of innovation. By providing funding, resources, and training, the EIT is empowering institutions, researchers, and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into tangible solutions that benefit society and drive economic prosperity.