As part of its continued cooperation with international institutions, Development Agency of Serbia (RAS) supports and actively participates in the implementation of projects of international character
At the end of January 2017, RAS started activities within the Danube Transnational Program through projects Embeddedness of high quality research infrastructures in the Danube Region (RI2integrate) and Developing accelerators to provide better access to innovation finance for SMEs (Accelerator).
The Danube Transnational Programme is a financing instrument of the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC), better known as Interreg and it promotes economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Danube Region through policy integration in selected field. Programme finances projects for the development and practical implementation of policy frameworks, tools and services and concrete small-scale pilot investments.
• Embeddedness of high quality research infrastructures in the Danube Region (RI2integrate)
The main objective of RI2integrate project is to exploit the economic development potential and to better the integration of the operation of the EU’s excellent R&D Infrastructure investment projects through devising and implementing innovative tools for policy learning on macro-regional embeddedness in the Danube Region. The embeddedness builds upon 3 main pillars: 1) Business ecosystem development for SMEs; 2) Public Procurement on Innovation (PPI) with the involvement of the government for boosting innovation and 3) Wider community involvement by dissemination.
The specific objectives of the project have been defined by the systematization of needs and challenges: support enterprises by using a systematic approach to their relation to RIs covering supplier opportunities and R&D networking; supporting government involvement through the utilization of PPI tool that ensures high level support from public authorities; as the high quality research infrastructures are not only accelerators of macro-regional economic competitiveness, but a basis for raising awareness of innovation, a supporting tool for knowledge sharing with the general public is crucial.
The main beneficiaries and target groups are higher education and research institutions, SMEs, students (secondary school and university), business support organisations and national, regional and local public authorities.
The common challenge for RI2integrate project is therefore to accelerate macro-regional embeddedness of RIs in the Danube Region with involvement of all interest groups along Quadruple Helix (R&D organisations, SMEs, community and the government) to develop framework conditions of RI utilization.
The implementation of the project, which ends in June 2019, involves a total of 17 partners from 7 Danube countries: Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Slovak Republic.
The kick-off meeting was held on March 9th 2017 in Szeged, Hungary.
• Developing accelerators to provide better access to innovation finance for SMEs (Accelerator)
The project ACCELERATOR, which will last until June 2019, engages in exploring and piloting the innovative path of acceleration programmes (a new type of investment readiness programme) towards improved business support in the Danube region.
ACCELERATOR’s main objective is to enhance access to innovation finance through improving the institutional framework conditions and related policy instruments by developing the practical solution of acceleration services and influencing the concerned strategic framework at partner’s regions and programme level.
The primary target group is SMEs in need of capital but lacking skills to acquire it, business support organisations, regional public authority and equity financing institutions.
The partnership actively integrates public bodies to channel joint policy recommendations on facilitating the spread of acceleration services and works out a joint strategy on the promotion of acceleration services and on their integration in ESI funds measures in the Danube region.
ACCELERATOR results in introduced acceleration programmes at less experienced partners and improved programmes at experienced partners.
The kick-off meeting was held on February 21st in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania.
Countries participating in the project are Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia.