A delegation of Sofia Tech Park led by the Executive director, Todor Mladenov participated in a regional conference which took place in Belgrade on 15-16 October 2019 titled “Unveiling Serbia’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and exploring the role of incubators, accelerators and S&T Parks in delivering sector specific support in the Western Balkans and South East Europe”.
The conference brought together the key players from the region. More than 150 participants attended the event where attention was drawn to the role of Incubators and science and technology parks in the processes of creating the Smart Specialization Strategies in Western Balkans and Southeast Europe with focus on the wider regional perspective.
The event was organized by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC), the Ministry of education, science and technological development of Serbia and the EU-funded EU4TECH project.
At the opening of the conference the attendee had the pleasure to hear the speech of the state secretaries at the Serbian Ministry of Education, science and technological development, Vladimir Popović and Viktor Nedović, as well as the Deputy Director-General of the Directorate of the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission Charlina Vitcheva and Gordana Danilović Grković, Acting Director of the Science and Technology Park Belgrade.
During the first day of the conference the priorities of the Smart Specialization Strategy of Serbia (4S) were thoroughly presented, as well as the measures for their implementation through a discussion of EU experience, possible challenges related to the implementation of the strategy, and opportunities arising from international cooperation. The broader regional perspective of the Western Balkans and Southeastern Europe, regional value chains and regional cooperation potentials in the 4S priority areas were also discussed.
The second day of the conference was dedicated to exploring the role of science and technology parks, incubators and accelerators in the Western Balkans and Southeast European regions and how they can be developed in order to play an active and key role in supporting priority sectors of smart specialization.
Several panels were held on topics related to support for hardware startups, development and challenges of science and technology parks in the Western Balkan countries, technologies in the field of agriculture, food, tourism and medicine.
During the conference a bilateral official meeting was held among the delegation of Sofia Tech Park headed by Todor Mladenov, Executive Director of Sofia Tech Park, Gordana Danilović Grković Acting Director of the Science and Technology Park Belgrade and the deputy Director of the STP Belgrade Radiša Vićević. Both teams used the opportunity to discuss not only further cooperation possibilities but also exchanged experience, lessons learned and review the opportunities in upgrading the services that both parks are providing. Special attention was paid to the role of the Incubator, its capacity, companies, events and other measures that could support the startup ecosystem from Bulgaria and Serbia. The meeting was closed with mutual decision for closer cooperation and agreement that such constructive meetings should be held more frequently.