An opening conference for the Project “SME Innovation Capacity Boost” was held on 31.05.2018, at the restaurant “Den i Nokj” in Skopje.

Around 120 emails were sent to enterprises and people of interest. The focus is on enterprises from the IT sector, then the companies whose activity is computer programming, consulting and related activities, as well as for data processing companies, hosting and Internet portals and other information service activities.

A banner and promotional materials for the event, were printed out.

The introduction to the Project at the workshop was made by Ms. Svetlana Kirevska, Director of the Foundation for development of small and medium enterprises Skopje. The current innovation capacity, as well as the specific targets and goals of the Project were laid out. In addition to that, it was stated which sectors and enterprises would be of significant interest to the Project.

The State Statistical Office who is also a partner in the Project was the other presenter at the workshop. They presented their share of the Project activities and goals.

Ms. Irena Gjorgjievska, head of the department for Program preparation from the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development, presented the stimulating innovation activity and implementation of innovative solutions and innovative processes among the companies: those with high growth potential, as well as newly established, micro and small enterprises.

Finally, Ms. Violeta Atanasovska, the National NCL Coordinator from the Ministry of Education and Science presented the measures for supporting the innovation of SMEs in the Program HORIZON 2020.

There was a Q&A session with the participants afterwards. Their main concern was the transparency of the selection processes as well as the possibility of their original, innovative business ideas being stolen or leaked to a competitor in the sector. Overall, we would say that the general opinion was to be cautiously optimistic about the prospects of the Project. We believe that we cleared some of their concerns by providing detailed responses to their inquiries. We would say that the information provided was beneficial to the companies and certainly raised their interest.
At the end, the cocktail provided the companies’ representatives with the opportunity to hold talks face to face and reveal more information about the Project.