The results of the 2CODE project in the cross-border area were presented at the final conference in IEC Tehnopolis

18.02.2022

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Tehnopolis in cooperation with partners from INTERA Technology Park (Mostar, Bosnia, and Herzegovina), the City of Zadar and the University of Zadar (Croatia), and BIT Center from Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), today organized a regional conference in Tehnopolis named “Innovation in the cross-border area: Presentation of the results of the 2CODE project “.

At the opening of the conference, the Acting Executive Director of IEC Tehnopolis, Mr. Djordjije Malovic, welcomed the audience and commented on the key results achieved within the 2CODE project, as well as the role of Tehnopolis in the development of the innovation ecosystem of Montenegro. He pointed out the great importance of EU projects for the work of the Center but also stressed that in the future it is necessary to systematically solve the problem of co-financing and pre-financing of international projects by the state of Montenegro: “I am sure that fulfilling that precondition would give an even stronger impetus to the development not only of Tehnopolis but also of the entire innovative ecosystem of Montenegro.

Ms. Zorka Kordic, Chief Negotiator of Montenegro with the European Union, also spoke at the opening. She first congratulated the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Tehnopolis, which proved to be a reliable and responsible partner in territorial cooperation projects and an example of successful withdrawal of EU funds. She emphasized that the 2CODE project, the successful implementation of which we are celebrating today, is one of the examples of sustainable cross-border cooperation that Montenegrin institutions and organizations have established with partners from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Therefore, I take this opportunity to congratulate IEC Tehnopolis, which saw the possibilities of territorial cooperation, and after the successful implementation of the CODE project, used its capacity to prepare additional quality project proposals and thus ensure continuity of cooperation within the Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro program. Thus, through the projects 2CODE, GreenCBC, CROWN, InnovaNET, and numerous activities aimed at entrepreneurship, innovation, and information and communication technologies, Tehnopolis has improved the business environment and provided support for the development of new companies in Montenegro.

She reminded that despite all the tangible results, equally important and valuable experience in coordinating the implementation of EU projects, which was especially available to IEC Tehnopolis, which, as a leading partner, implemented the 2CODE project together with the University of Zadar, Zadar, Foundation for Innovation and Technological Development and the Public Company “BIT Center” Ltd. from Tuzla.

Mr. Yngve Engstroem, Head of the Cooperation Department of the European Union Delegation to Montenegro, also addressed the opening of the conference: “By supporting cross-border programs in the Western Balkans, the European Union seeks to strengthen social, economic and territorial development in the region. I am happy to testify today that 2CODE has served well for this purpose, supporting the development of the business environment in the cross-border area, through improved business infrastructure and improved services.” Mr. Engstroem also spoke about the importance of innovation for the development of Montenegro, the support provided by the European Union, and presented two new grant schemes for innovators and small and medium enterprises.

The President of the Municipality of Niksic, Mr. Marko Kovacevic, congratulated Tehnopolis and partners on the successfully implemented project and pointed out that the importance of such projects and partnerships is very important for the local community because the local government seeks to create better conditions for its economic and social development: “In this process, all projects that are implemented in our municipality are very important, especially projects whose results go beyond the organization that implements them and which contribute to achieving strategic goals of both the municipality and the state.

Ms. Marijeta Barjaktarovic Lanzardi, Director General of the Directorate for Digital Economy and Technological Development at the Ministry of Economic Development, also spoke at the opening. She pointed out her satisfaction with many years of successful cooperation with Tehnopolis and stated that in the previous period the Ministry worked hard and implemented activities that went in two directions: “One is strengthening the strategic and program basis for innovation, and on the other – strengthening an efficient, implementing a framework that would enable the innovation system in Montenegro to function better.

Mr. Aleksandar Janicic, 2CODE project manager, thanked all institutions for their trust and support in implementing project activities. He also used the opportunity to present the concrete results of the project in which Tehnopolis was the leading partner, which lasted two years and had three main goals: further development and connection of the IT community and the IT industry in the cross-border area; further development and connection of the coworking community and attracting a specific target group – digital nomads, to the countries of the region; and the development of specific infrastructure segments to support the development of innovative entrepreneurial ideas.

One of the greatest successes is that we have formed a team of young and quality people who will be the mainstay of key activities in our joint mission of developing innovative entrepreneurship in Montenegro in the coming period,” says Janicic.

Within the conference, two panels were organized, as well as a keynote lecture.

The first panel is dedicated to the topic of Coworking energy for the development of innovation ecosystem: digital nomads – program – network. Within the panel, partners in the 2CODE project spoke about their coworking spaces, the importance of community building and its regional networking, as well as digital nomads and the benefits they bring to the development of the region.

In the second panel, New Technologies to Innovation: Presentation of Infrastructure Support, project partners presented their infrastructure support and stated why the establishment of new innovative laboratories, FabLab and UX Lab, which were opened as part of the 2CODE project activities, was an important step for developing the business environment as a precondition for generating innovation in the cross-border region.

Within the 2CODE project, we worked on supporting the development of IT clusters in the region, as well as creating preconditions for their cross-border cooperation. Tehnopolis supported the development of the ICT Cortex cluster, and Tarik Zaimović, one of the founders and CEO of ICT Cortex, gave a keynote presentation on how to achieve innovation and competitiveness through synergy of the IT community.

The conference was organized within the project 2CODE (Improving cooperation for the development of cross-border business environment) which is co-financed by the ERDF and IPA II funds of the European Union.

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