Marche Region – Unit Innovation Research and Competitiveness will present the upcoming activities and added value services rendered available to the companies of the region by the project NEXT. The project NEXT, aims at implementing a collaborative platform that acts as a “search engine” to support enterprises in the innovation process and increase their capacities in implementing projects (finding partners, technologies, new markets, patents). This tool will offer to its users a practical support in terms of information, visibility and networking/scouting opportunities. Thanks to the platform NEXT IS users will get detailed information on the market potential of the countries of the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region, the geolocation of active companies and Research and Technology Transfer centers, the local development programs, and all financing/investing opportunities available (both public and private). Companies registered in the platform could easily search, be searched and identify business and innovation related opportunities/projects in the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region. The project and its services will be presented by Regione Marche during 4 road shows, held in different Marche region Cities, lasting half a day each, scheduled in between January-February2015. During the Road shows the mechanisms of cooperation provided by the platform NEXT will be presented in details and combined with practical demonstration on how to access and make use of the platform. Meetings are scheduled as follows: – Monday, January 19 in Civitanova Marche at hotel Cosmopolitan 14.30 – Friday, January 23 in Pesaro at Confindustria Pesaro 14.30 – Wednesday, January 28 in Ascoli Piceno at Confindustria Ascoli Piceno 15 hours – Monday, February 2 in Ancona at headquarters of the Region – Palace Li Madou 14.30.

Presentation of Feasibility study for the use of biomass in order to utilize wood waste – 17.11.2014. at 13:30, Technology Park Intera in Mostar, Oslo Hall

Regional Economic Development Agency for Herzegovina – REDAH is organizing, on Monday 17.11.2014., presentation of Feasibility study for the use of biomass in order to utilize wood waste, for the purposes of Wood Cluster Herzegovina. Main objective of this activity was to support wood cluster in utilizing wood waste, biomass and to create the Feasibility study for the use of biomass. In that sense, following results are expected: Creation of a study that will analyze the existing wood processing companies or other categories of companies whose production processes generate solid wood waste -biomass, which is linking them in a network of potential regional suppliers. Furthermore, testing the reliability and long-term capacity (10 years) for supply of biomass. Results of the study will include assessing the annual quantity of solid wood waste – biomass by types, energy potential, methods of collecting and processing and assessment of market prices. Based on the analysis of the data collected, proposals for the use of biomass will be given, which bring the greatest economic and social benefits (such as heating, cogeneration, power plants, pellets). The objective of this study is to evaluate the potential of biomass in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, as well as the potential of biomass that is accessible by the largest wood processing company in the area of Herzegovina. As part of the Feasibility Study is necessary to perform quantification of the structure of solid wood waste – biomass that can be used for energy purposes.The study covers a detailed analysis of the existing wood processing companies in Herzegovina, and beyond, as well as commercial companies engaged in the management of forest areas in the region of Herzegovina, but also in the area of wider FB&H. The study has been recognized as necessary and was done in the framework of project Collaborative platforms to support research and technology transfer – NEXT. NEXT, project co-financed through ETC program “CBC IPA Adriatic 2007-2013”, involves 11 partners. Lead beneficiary of the project is Marche Regional Authority – Innovation, Research and Competitiveness of productive sectors Unit, other final beneficiaries are Puglia Region – Economic Development Department – Research and competitiveness unit, Regional Council of Shkoder, Foundation “Partnership for Development”, Istrian Development Agency, Regional Economic Development Agency for Sumadija and Pomoravlje, Association for Economic Development REDAH, City of Šibenik, University of Donja Gorica, Faculty of Information Systems and Technologies, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Technology-University of Mostar, Chamber of Economy of Montenegro) and 2 Associates (Mountain Area Development Agency- Albania and Italian National Agency for invar investments and business development – INVITALIA S.p.A., based in 6 different countries (Italy, Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro). The project NEXT foresees to set up a platform that can be shared among actors of the Adriatic region, with the aim of integrating strengths present at regional level and fostering cooperation, with a focus on its economic results. The platform will provide both on line and offline services, targeting local authorities and institutions, stakeholders as Universities, research centers, technology transfer centers and SMEs and last but not least, investors.

Technical Meeting 21st November

In cooperation with Marche Region as Lead partner of NEXT Project, the City of Šibenik organises a technical experts meeting in Kragujevac on 21st November (it will start parallel with 2nd day SC meeting – 9.30 am). At the SC meeting on 20th November City of Šibenik experts will present full functionality of “NEXT IS” platform to all partners, but technicians meeting is crucial in order to better define of all tech details and remaining issues of the NEXT IS platform. City of Šibenik will secure participation of 2 developers from service provider and two internal experts, also Regione Marche will secure participation of their experts. All partners have to appoint their experts to this meeting, and will communicate their name to City of Sibenik no later than 18th November to the following email address:

5th NEXT Steering Committee 20th – 21st November 2014 Hotel Sumarice, Desankin venac St, BB – Kragujevac (Serbia)

The Fifth NEXT Steering Committee meeting will be held in Kragujevac between the 20th and 21st of November. The project is coming into the final phase of its implementation. The information system – NEXT IS – had been completed in its final version, ready to be populated by local stakeholders (start-ups, RTCCs, “innovactors”), uploaded with information (big data) regarding projects and market opportunities, inter-connected with other database by sharing “open data” regarding the innovation sectors and fields. NEXT Blog needs to be fostered and feed by the partner in order to come a working tool to communicate with the community at local and macro-regional area. The population of the information system is symptomatic and propaedeutic to improve services addressed to the real needs of users. Data analytics will support partners in order to decide what kind of service should be implemented. Finally, the external evaluator had joined the project and with its support partners can improve the project actions and results. Relevant will be also the contribution of the evaluator to the finalization of NEXT Suite, the business plan for the future sustainability of NEXT information system as the first and hopefully most important application of the “open data” exchange system of the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region, the Adriatic-Ionian Cloud.

Presentation of the Competition process “Your Innovative Idea” Tirana, 06.November 2014

Last 06 november the Foundation “Partnership for Development” (PfD) organized the Meeting for the launching of the Competition “Your Innovative Idea” The Competition was organized by PfD in collaboration with the EPOKA University, in the framework of the NEXT Project 023 “Collaborative Platform to support research and technology transfer” funded by European Commission in the framework of IPA Adriatic Program. This competition is intended to promote the “SMART PEOPLE”, generate innovative ideas that provide solutions, minimize risks and maximize impact through the technology and intelligent methods, contributing to the development of various sectors of the economy by improving the life of citizens. During the event were made: presentation of the NEXT Project; presentation of the competition process;  presentation of the application form to the students. The message  launched in the event was: “Apply your innovation  idea, you have chance to become owner of your idea. Today is the time of innovation and technology, and whoever better than you have the chance to generate new ideas…”  

Meeting for the launching of the Competition “Your Innovative Idea” – On November 06, at 11:00 EPOKA University, in Tirana

On November 06, 2014 at 11:00 hours nearby the premises of the EPOKA University, in Tirana/Albania, will be organized the Meeting for the launching of the Competition “Your Innovative Idea” The Competition will be organized by the Foundation “Partnership for Development” (PfD) in collaboration with the EPOKA University, in the framework of the NEXT Project 023 “Collaborative Platform to support research and technology transfer” funded by European Commission in the framework of IPA Adriatic Program. This competition is intended to promote the “SMART PEOPLE”, generate innovative ideas that provide solutions, minimize risks and maximize impact through the technology and intelligent methods, contributing to the development of various sectors of the economy by improving the life of citizens. The Foundation “Partnership for Development” (PfD) invites students, professors and the actors interested to participate in this Event, in order to be acquainted with the procedures and details of the applications and the evaluation criteria and process of the innovative ideas.   Foundation “Partnership for Development” (PfD) NEXT Project Management Unit


NEXT Match-making events (Marche Region and Montenegro) The first NEXT match making event took place in the frame work of the fair Innovactors (, organized by NEXT Lead Partner Marche Region in June 2014. The match making aimed at helping SMEs, Universities, research centers of different countries  to get know each other and to start cross border cooperation. In fact, almost 70 actors from Montenegro, Albania, Italy (Marche and Puglia regions), Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia took part to the event, coming from the Agro-food, the ICT, Construction and renewable energies, and Social science and Humanities sectors (see the match making catalogue for details: file:///C:/Users/Elisabetta%20Zeni/Downloads/catalogo-stampa.pdf) The event, based on the “speed dating” format, offered the opportunity to meet in a smart and informal way, several potential partners during pre-arranged, bilateral face to face meeting in order to: • Get to know new research and business partners located in the Adriatic Ionian Region • Promote products and services in an international context • Indentify solutions for specific problems • Find cooperation partners for EU and National funded projects The 68 participants (48 SMEs and 20 CRTT, of which 14 stemming from Marche Region) confirmed the success of the initiative through the answers they gave to the feedback questionnaires: 31% rated the event as excellent, 35% as very good. In terms of impact, the event allowed more than 50% of participants to identify possible area of cooperation, declaring at least three contacts that gave a follow up after one month. Positively, 24% has declared the start up of an official cooperation, already one month after the event took place.   We will be following up the paths SMEs and CRTT that participated in the first NEXT match making event will be going in the near future….Stay tuned!     NEXT partners have been also starting promoting and organizing match making events. Firstly, Sandra Tinaj, General manager of University of Donja Gorica and senior staff in NEXT project presented the format of the match making event and illustrated the opportunities it generates. The presentation took place in the framework of the event From innovation to business – organized inside “Regional XIX Milocer Development Forum 2014″ by Faculty for information system and technologies in cooperation with Association of Economics and Managers of Montenegro, University of Donja Gorica and Alliance of Central-Eastern European Universities. The NEXT event From innovation to business was attended by 400 participants, 70 eminent participants from sector of business, science and politics (see: Secodnly, the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro participated within NEXT project at Festival of ICT held in Budva, form 29th September to 04th October 2014. INFOFEST is known as the biggest ICT event in the region, that gathers huge number of companies from all over the world. This year more than thousand representatives from more than 20 countries participated at this event ( The aim of such participation was to present current activities of CoE in ICT area supported by NEXT project within ICT cluster and to ensure further cooperation through matchmaking of relevant ICT companies that for the future NEXT Collaborative Platform. Within the framework of INFOFEST, NEXT second Match Making event has been organized; 53 companies held 120 bilateral meetings and presented new and innovative business solutions realized in past years, opening the way to new cooperation in the next future. Stay tuned on NEXT Blog  for learning the first results of the Montenegro Match making event, to be published soon!

What to learn from Smart Specialisation Strategies: A case study from Italy

RIS3 Umbria at a Glance RIS3 identifies five main directions for change: i) research results valorisation; ii) innovative start-ups and knowledge intensive entrepreneurship; iii) openness towards international markets; iv) diversification of regional enterprises; v) quality of life and attractiveness of the region. RIS3 also selects green chemistry, agro-food and aerospace as areas for regional specialisation. RIS3 concentrates resources from all the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for a total of almost €300m. The planned policy interventions will promote clustering of firms to bring product to the markets while opening up to participants from outside the region and access to services (including ones related to creativity and design). Possibility to activate demand side initiatives (Pre-commercial Public Procurement) is also envisaged for the first time in a regional policy mix defined in the RIS3. Relevance for NEXT – Learning opportunities Focus on downstream activities in the research to market value chain The fragmentation of the production structure, a specialisation in low and medium-low technology sectors, the weakness of endogenous R&D at international level has suggested to concentrate interventions in facilitating access to R&D results wherever they are made available and to support knowledge intensive start-up creation (which was not present in the previous programming period) and demonstration activities. Being this focus a novelty and the knowledge intensive sector weak if not absent, there is a potential risk of some inertia, especially from the regional R&D actors to keep focusing on R&D carried out in co-operation with local SMEs rather than taking an opportunity to exploit possibility of market applications in Umbria and outside. Connecting demand for innovative solutions to entrepreneurial talents The need to diversify the regional economic structure moving towards more added value areas and access innovative solutions by endogenous SMEs and public institutions has led to the choice of investing the ESIF resources in company creation leveraging on the talents living in the region or willing to return back to Umbria. The detailed design of interventions connecting innovation demand (coming from citizens, institutions and existing SMES) with new solutions available on the market and entrepreneurial talents is going to be a key task for regional policy makers together with the integration of private service providers into the regional ecosystem. The proper implementation of the demand-side actions (pre-commercial public procurement) will also be crucial for the success of the intervention. Strategic projects to cluster SMEs in areas of specialisation Regione Umbria will finance few selected “strategic projects” bringing together big industries, SMEs and R&D actors with the two-fold objective of reinforcing competitiveness and excellence in the selected specialisation areas and boosting innovation at urban level. The strategic projects are supposed to be identified and defined with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders using the “programmazione negoziata” (negotiated planning) bottom-up approach. This, if, on the side, will ensure a true application of the “entrepreneurial process of discovery”, on the other may induce delays in the implementation of the measure with the risk of not achieving the planned results.