CRAFTINNO Crafts Fair was held in Tehnopolis


Today, in the premises of the  Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Tehnopolis, an Info Day on the support programs of the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of Montenegro and the CRAFTINNO Crafts Fair were held, as the final events of the project “Innovative sustainable technologies for crafts economy improvement – CRAFTINNO”. The project has been implemented since March this year by IEC Tehnopolis in partnership with the Municipality of Niksic, with the support of the Kingdom of Norway through the project “Norway for you – Montenegro”, which is implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services UNOPS.

The Minister of Science and Technological Development of Montenegro, Biljana Scepanovic, said that: “CRAFTINNO Craft Fair rounds off a useful project, in which all participants, through cooperation and mutual learning, gained new values, whether it was theoretical knowledge, mastery of practical skills, access to new sources of financing and other types of support, development of an entrepreneurial spirit, or, on the side of the partner in providing support – strengthening and improving one’s own capacities to support entrepreneurship and innovation.

The President of the Municipality, Marko Kovacevic, pointed out that the local self-government implements a series of projects aimed at encouraging the development of entrepreneurship at the local level. “In the future, this will result in a lower level of unemployment, which is particularly important to us, and a higher level of able-bodied and working people, with an emphasis on young people whose future we need to build in this city.” Some of the projects we implemented this year is certainly the CRAFTINNO project, which we implement in cooperation with “Tehnopolis”, which is otherwise excellent, and which refers to the support of craftsmanship and is primarily focused on ten companies that are in different stages of development. Our goal was to provide our fellow citizens with adequate development of their business through logistical and professional support and create a space to support entrepreneurship.

The manager of the “Norway for You – Montenegro” project, Armen Cekic, pointed out that through this project, the Kingdom of Norway supports the development of small businesses in Niksic for the third year in a row, especially in the transformation of their business through the introduction of innovations in the production process. “I’m glad that some industries are returning to the scene, as this project has shown. I am also glad that, in a way, Montenegro sees that technology is very important and that we realize that following technology is very important for the growth of a country’s economy. I hope that in the coming period there will be more and more connections between the scientific and economic sectors and that we will have more and more of those fusions that will have concrete results, products and technologies with which Montenegro will be competitive. Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues from Tehnopolis and the Municipality of Niksic for the successfully implemented project and it was really a pleasure to cooperate with them.

Executive Director of IEC Tehnopolis, Djordjije Malovic, greeted the attendees and welcomed visitors to the Fair. He emphasized the commitment of the project users and pointed out that he was pleased with the openness of the training participants, their willingness to accept positive changes and the use of innovations as an integral part of those changes. “With every product that was created and will be created thanks to participation in the CRAFTINNO project, our satisfaction will grow, and above all because of the fact that we had the opportunity to support them in this way.” I believe that the successfully implemented project has sown the seeds of something that should become traditional, and that in the spirit of great cooperation with the Municipality of Niksic and the Ministry of Science and Technological Development, we will have more opportunities like this in the future.” On this occasion, Mr. Malović announced support for 10 users of the project for the further introduction and use of innovations in production processes. Thanks to this activity, the users will have at their disposal the materials acquired through the CRAFTINNO project worth almost 18,500 euros and the services of TechLab Tehnopolis worth over 20,000 euros.

The CRAFTINNO project manager, Miljana Pekovic, said at the opening of the event: “The craft fair brought us together today to show what is the nature of Technopolis’ work, which is to encourage the development of entrepreneurship through innovation, to build the capacities of entrepreneurs to introduce innovation, but also its own capacities for providing support to businesses at different levels of development. This project gave us the opportunity to do that through the application of 3D and CNC technologies on concrete products and production processes of small businesses that deal with crafts. It may seem like a demanding process, but believe me, it is far more demanding than it seems”. Pekovic emphasized the good cooperation with the local self-government on the implementation of activities and expressed her gratitude to the donor for the approved project and constant support, as well as to the participants in the project who studied and worked hard for the previous eight months.

At the CRAFTINNO Crafts Fair, small businesses dealing with crafts in an indirect or direct way had the opportunity to present their products, which were created as a result of the use of modern 3D and CNC production technologies.

During the 9 months of the overall implementation of the CRAFTINNO project, the entrepreneurs who participated in the project gained the knowledge and skills that are necessary nowadays for the improvement of production processes, through three trainings in the field of 3D modeling and printing and five trainings in the field of CNC programming and processing of softer and harder materials. All practical trainings were conducted on the equipment that IEC Tehnopolis owns as part of the Laboratory for Industrial Design – TechLab Tehnopolis.

In order to ensure the application of the acquired knowledge and skills of the project participants, the Municipality of Niksic, as a partner in the project, organized three Info days about the support program implemented by the local self-government, the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism of Montenegro and the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of Montenegro. With the same goal, the last activity of the CRAFTINNO project will be the award of twelve-month support to ten small businesses, which will begin on the last day of project implementation, November 30th, 2022. Through this support, project users will have the opportunity to use the materials procured for this purpose as part of the project, as well as the capacities of TechLab Tehnopolis in terms of using 3D and CNC equipment and consulting support of employees.

The CRAFTINNO project was implemented with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of crafts in Montenegro through education and support in the introduction of innovations in the production process in ten small businesses from Montenegro, as well as through informing them about potential sources of financing for development entrepreneurship.

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