Author Archive

ITU AWARDS : review

To mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced a public competition for awards to individuals most responsible for improving the quality of life through ICT innovation through the implementation of projects and promoting the goals of the International Telecommunication Union. To this end, the Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications of Montenegro invited all interested parties, representatives of government, ICT sector, the scientific community and civil society, to March 1st, nominate a candidate who, through their work in the field of telecommunications and information society, deserves to be found in the international competition for these awards. Commission for the evaluation of applications received by the public invitation has decided that for the “ITU 150 Awards” nominated: Prof. dr. Igor Djurovic Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Montenegro with the application Research Center: BIO -ICT Center is a newly formed scientific research center whose purpose is the increasing use of ICT and the use of technology in the areas of sustainable agriculture, monitoring of crops, ecosystems water / sea and forests, the development of techniques for control and reduce air pollution, analysis and standardization of food products, quality control and land improvement of the public health system.   Prof. Dr. Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Montenegro with the application Research Center: Research Center is a newly established ICT research center and laboratory at the University of Montenegro. Center has already become recognized in ICT research in the country, in areas such as advanced solutions for the info-communications infrastructure, smart applications and e-services, as well as recognized partner in the international arena.   Milica Vuletic from the Tax Administration of Montenegro with the application “Citizen involvement in the fight against the gray economy”: The project is made of applications and portal www.budiodgovoran.me, which was expanded range of communication channels between citizens and institutions involved in the fight against the gray economy, on the basis of which were issued misdemeanor warrants in total monetary value of over 1.1 million, and even enabled the financing of 11 projects of general public importance ( in the areas of procurement of medical equipment, children and social welfare, environmental protection and planning, youth and sports) with a total value of around 550,000 euros. Final selection and awards will be delivered on the Final event in Geneva on 17th of May 2015.

Editorial: Innovation is the best way

Innovation is the best way to strengthen Marche Region production system. The first regional calls on the new European Operative Plan (Por Marche ERDF 2014-2020) were introduced by Marche Region Research and Innovation office to the business and academic world during a meeting held at the auditorium of iGuzzini (www.iguzzini.it) in Recanati on 12.03.2015. These first calls are three opportunities, said Ms Sara Giannini, Regional Minister for Industry Research and Innovation, to support priority sectors according to Marche Region Smart Specialization Strategy . “By granting vouchers to local SMEs, Marche Regions intends to support the ability of companies to exploit the opportunities offered by digital technology and the creation of partnerships between highest level consultants and our small and micro enterprises in order to participate to European projects” . By stimulating networks between large , small medium enterprises and research and innovation centers , we aim to facilitate the contamination between large and small business in order to keep production chains in the territory and offsetting globalization with production specialization,” said Mrs Sara Giannini. “Marche Region is going to a direction of great quality. The crisis, which is coming to the conclusion, has imposed to synthesize our objectives, our priorities and focus on those resources that we have. There are all the necessary conditions for our Region to intercept the economic recovery and allow companies to make a leap forward in the direction of quality, innovation, research and implementation of new production systems. ” These actions will have a significant impact on employment: “The transversality of sectors that are touched by the three calls, especially activities that will be funded and which relate mainly to product innovation, the financing of patents and the aggregation of business networks – said the regional Minister – need very qualified professionals, but also a production capacity equally qualified, so I think that what we offer is definitely a challenge for the university system, for technology transfer centers, for companies, as well as an opportunity for the qualification of the workforce, that will be largely supported by the European Social Fund. ” According to Adolfo Guzzini (Chairman iGuzzini Lighting), “we need to think global and act local”. Addressing to the audience, Mr Guzzini argued: “ladies and gentlemen, the crisis has passed, because today we have a situation favorable overall, despite everything. Euro-dollar parity, pushing exports; low cost of oil; low cost of borrowing , ever had; reforms of the Renzi government that go in the right direction. We have broadband, an airport that connects us with the world. We have all the resources to do it. The associations are working to make the team, because the success of a business goes through the quality of human resources and lifelong learning. ” To the event took also part the General Director for Industrial Policy and Competitiveness of Ministry for the Economic Development, Stefano Firpo who outlined the new facilities for national research projects and smart specialization, which can count on a budget of 5 billion euro. Finally, Prof. Fulvio Esposito, Italian Delegate for the European space for research, highlighted the opportunities offered by the Italian Research Plan in order to synchronize public and private research to Horizon 2020 challenges. Regional Minister for research and innovation and productive activities Mrs Sara Giannini.

Marche Region ROP ERDF: III Call for Innovation

Launched by the Marche Region interventions of the new community program to promote research and development, innovation of business processes and the use of new digital technologies in the areas of smart specialization. The first call provides for contributions in c / capital to companies and research organizations for projects aimed at the introduction of new technological solutions and products / services or innovative processes in the areas of home automation, mechatronics and manufacturing sustainable. The second call provides for the granting of vouchers to support innovation processes of SMEs, stimulating investment in new digital technologies, technological modernization, the development of marketing plans, methods evolved design and eco-design and the protection of property intellectual. As part of the ROP ERDF 2014/2020 was launched a new action to strengthen the planning capacity of SMEs, supporting their participation in Thematic programs directly managed by the European Commission in the areas of smart specialization. The notices will be published in the Official Bulletin of the Marche Region of Thursday, April 16, 2015. Information seminars were organized in the region with the following link:  http://www.impresa.marche.it/Portals/0/Documenti%20marco/Ricerca%20e%20innovazione/Bandi%20POR%202014-2020/Calendario%20seminari%20bandi%20POR%20FESR%202014-2020.pdf

Adriatic Investment Forum @ GEC2015

Analysis and thoughts Last month, on 18th March 2015, the first Adriatic Investment Forum took place during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2015. GEC (www.gec.co) is an annual gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and researchers from all over the world, and this year hosted inspiring talks from, among others, Andrea Illy, Oscar Farinetti and Bob Dorf. So, all the partners from the NEXT Project flew to Milan, for meeting with stakeholders coming from more than 150 countries in the world. Partners attending the Congress had the opportunity to promote the NEXT-IS platform, and to highlight the entrepreneurial ecosystem of their own region, thanks to a dedicated booth, located inside the exhibition area, and dedicated to the NEXT Project. During the Congress, from Tuesday 17th March to Thursday 19th March, almost 10.000 attendees visited the exhibition area.   Prior to the event, NEXT partners selected the best entrepreneurs from every country participating in the project, willing to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. At the end of the process, fourteen entrepreneurs took the chance to present their entrepreneurial ideas and activities, directly from the stage of the Adriatic Investment Forum. Business angels and investors, invited at the Forum, gave their feedback to the entrepreneurs right after the presentation. This represented a unique opportunity for them to hear tips and suggestions, directly from professionals involved in the venture capital industry, gaining experience and improving their presentation skills. While the first part of the Adriatic Investment Forum was dedicated to entrepreneurs, the second part hosted a fireside chat on the state of entrepreneurship in the Adriatic Region, sharing experiences and best practices among NEXT partners and key stakeholders operating in the region. GEC2015 and the Adriatic Investment Forum have represented a big opportunity for NEXT partners: the chance to meet other professionals, involved at different levels in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, operating in the Adriatic Region (and even in other regions).

NEXT Project’s pitching event for entrepreneurs and investors

Goals and description of the event Next May, looking forward the conclusion of NEXT Project, and in order to achieve the best results, Marche Region will organize an exclusive pitching event, showcasing to professional investors and business angels the best entrepreneurial ideas from the Adriatic Region. After having promoted the NEXT-IS Platform among stakeholders operating in any country participating to the project, the best entrepreneurs will be selected and gathered to Ancona, for an intesive two days event. The first step will be a crash course on investor readiness and how to pitch, organized by META Group. The course will be splitted into two different strands, a common part to sum up do’s and don’ts for attracting investments, and one to one meetings for customizing presentations on the needs of every single entrepreneur. The goal will be to refine all the presentations, making them more attractive before meeting potential investors. The second step will be the pitching event of the entrepreneurs trained, followed by a networking lunch and B2B meetings with potential investors (previously invited to attend the event). The goal will be to bridge the gap between investors and entrepreneurs, helping the raising of innovative ideas and the match-making process.

REDASP Workshop – Support for using the online platform

Regional Economic Development Agency for Sumadija and Pomoravlje in the framework of Next Project (Collaborative platform to support research and technology transfer) organized the Workshop – Support for using the online platform.   The workshop was held on 10th March 2015 in Business Innovation Centre (Kragujevac, Serbia). The workshop presented the strategic framework and infrastructure for support innovation at national and regional level, through the use of the NEXT collaborative platform.   In the first part of the workshop REDASP emphasized so far implemented the project activities and services offered by the project NEXT and its important implications in helping companies who want to invest in the Adriatic territories.   After that, REDASP has presented the possibility of networking in order to develop project ideas and apply for international funds, and using the platform, through to the introduction of objectives, potential users, the process of registration and all services, as well as to exchange news, events and other materials in the field of innovation technology transfer.   The NEXT platform is web tool platform, so participants are directly able to see all the sections and the entire set of services that the platform offers, as well as users who are already registered. In addition, participants were introduced with support user guide for independent registration process.   Participants were representatives of local authorities, University, Business Innovation Centre, companies and clusters who were very satisfied and expressed interest in the services of the NEXT platform and the development of the project NEXT.  

Cross-border collaboration //Workshop

The innovation workshop “Living Labs towards smart communities” held in Milan, on March 18, 2015 has shown the innovative potential of the Living Labs methodology in the development of services of business sectors   The initiative, one of the many activities of the NEXT project, began with a presentation of the Puglia Regional ICT Living Labs for Innovation in Policy Design, made by Innovapuglia, describing what Living labs are about and giving an outline of the Apulian initiative. Since their official launch and endorsement by the Finnish EU Presidency in November 2006, Living Labs have often been addressed as an original, truly European, innovation policy model. However, we have only recently seen examples of Living Lab adoption for policy innovation – not just innovation policy. One of such examples comes from a Convergence Region of Italy, Apulia, where the focus has been (and still is) on leveraging user driven, open innovation to give better technological responses to precise societal challenges and that promises to become a cornerstone of the Region’s future (2014-2020) Smart Specialisation Strategy.   Living Labs are working collaborations of innovation stakeholders who are openly engaged in the co-creation of new products, services, technological or societal infrastructures, within real-life settings. The latter may be physical environments, such as city boroughs or rural habitats, as well as virtual places, like social networks and online communities. Participants in Living Labs typically belong to the so-called “Quadruple Helix”, namely individual citizens/consumers and associations thereof, typically integrate the familiar, “triadic” innovation partnership composed of universities/research institutes, SMEs and large enterprises, as well as public authorities.   Recently, the exemplary value and enforcing power of Living Labs for policy design and implementation has been demonstrated by a number of R&D, innovation and territorial cooperation projects, and The number of living lab experiments that have emerged in recent years is substantial and continues to rise while there are currently over 300 living labs at ENoLL (European Network of Living labs) in Europe and worldwide. So, the attendees had the opportunity to learn first-hand about the experience of exactly 2 Apulian Living Labs projects that were developed and entered the ENoLL network: the Apulian CrikhetClinical RisK management and Health Technology and TAGsTechnology infrastructure Allowing to experiment Gamification Strategies for social services innovation, “story-told” by Dr. Salvatore Latronico of Crikhet and Dr. Fedelucio Narducci.   Finally, the contributions of Eng. Antonio Santangelo from Archidata and Dr. Anna Torelli form Marche Region, illustrated examples in supporting particularly SMEs in thier R&D processes, and explored the possibilities of translating regional Smart Specialization Strategies into opportunities in Adriatic Jonian Macroregion, also considering that the European Commission stimulate the synergies among Structural funds and other European ones.   The discussion session provided evidence that the role of living labs in setting up cross-border collaboration for innovation and market creation involves a wide range of issues and that the adoption of the living labs networking approach and its methodology can support cooperation and community building among partners and territories they belong to, as long as there is the desire of structuring and planning a cross-border network identifying collaboration needs and taking into account not only and simply “innovation as such”, but considering also contextual factors such as language, culture, organizational aspects, legislation needs of the different Countries and foreign partners involved.   This applies even more when considering the fact that the scope of the NEXT IS platform has been widen with the inclusion of the section “social needs” : this just with the scope of sharing contents (needs, projects, organizations) of the already existing Apulian Living Labs platform with those ones implemented in the project platform, to enhance a better understanding of each party’s objectives, drivers, competences, methods, and tools for supporting cooperation, with the hope that solutions that could be envisaged are expected to become closer to the market.   The next step will be to plan and build smart communities network able to last all over the end of the NEXT project, defining innovation and market-development projects and arranging for collaboration opportunities.   “Lack of consensus among players in a complex system is one of the biggest barriers to innovation. One subgroup’s innovation is another subgroup’s loss of control” Rosabeth Moss Kanter Professor, management consultant, and author    

CULTLAB: a new cultural and creative start up project

Meccano ScpA, research and innovation centre, is currently leading a project for development, organisation and support to new cultural and creative start up project ideas  called CULTLAB , in joint partnership with Macerata and Urbino University .   CULTLAB  is an incubator project promoted and financed by the 6 LAGs of Marche Region  (Local Action Groups: combination of public and private partners implementing a multisectoral development strategy in a rural area forming a local community) within the framework of the Rural Development Plan of Marche Region 2007/13 – Axis IV -LEADER approach -measure 421-  in complementarity and synergies with the Cultural District of Marche Region.   CultLab offers specialist services: -Training activities (creativity management, market analysis, coaching and tutoring, business plan , networking, crowd funding, technological and certification consultancy etc.) -Matching between start up ideas and potential  private investors -Support  and methodology for identification of  appropriate calls of proposal and tenders and for projects drafting.    – Financial packages and security contributions consultancy – Supplying of autonomous spaces for start up business   At present CultLab is incubing 15 startups in the field of innovative culture and creativity: heritage, patrimony conservation, design, cultural tourism, food, refurbishment, new didactic technology,  innovative applications for performing arts and exhibitions, sustainability and social responsibility of enterprises.   For more information on the project : www.cultlab.it