NewsMontenegro, Innovation Fund awarded seven grants for projects that were approved

Montenegro, Innovation Fund awarded seven grants for projects that were approved

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Podgorica – Today, the Innovation Fund awarded seven grants for projects that were approved for funding as part of the public call for collaborative innovation grants, the available budget of which was EUR 670,000.

The executive director of the Innovation Fund, Bojana Femić Radosavović, said that the results of the call, opened in June, are impressive and assure that the innovation and scientific community have potential and that investment in the innovation sector should continue.

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“36 consortia applied for the call, and the total value of the projects was close to five million EUR.” Grants with a total value of EUR 3.1 million were requested from the Fund, and the budget we have at our disposal, which includes the costs of international expert evaluation of projects, amounts to only EUR 670,000,” said Femić Radosavović.

After two rounds of evaluation conducted by independent international experts, 13 projects were evaluated positively, but this time they had money to finance seven of them.

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Grants were approved for the projects Flourish-Next level, Green window, Bumbar, EnergOliveMNE, Game-driven HR Tech, MnEmories and Orderize, in the total amount of EUR 628.7 thousand.

Femić Radosavović said that the invitation was intended for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that encourage them to cooperate with scientific research institutions or other MSMEs on the development of their innovative ideas in order to create new or improved market-oriented products, services, technologies and processes.

“Within this program, the Fund awards grants in the maximum amount of EUR 100,000 per approved project, which can cover up to 80 percent of the total costs for micro and small businesses.” The applicant is obliged to provide the remaining amount of funds from his own sources”, stated Femić Radosavović.
After two rounds of evaluation conducted by independent international experts, 13 projects were evaluated positively, but this time they had money to finance seven of them.

Grants were approved for the projects Flourish-Next level, Green window, Bumbar, EnergOliveMNE, Game-driven HR Tech, MnEmories and Orderize, in the total amount of EUR 628.7 thousand.

Femić Radosavović said that the invitation was intended for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that encourage them to cooperate with scientific research institutions or other MSMEs on the development of their innovative ideas in order to create new or improved market-oriented products, services, technologies and processes.

“Within this program, the Fund awards grants in the maximum amount of EUR 100,000 per approved project, which can cover up to 80 percent of the total costs for micro and small businesses.” The applicant is obliged to provide the remaining amount of funds from his own sources”, stated Femić Radosavović.

The Fund’s programs largely support projects from the areas defined by the Smart Specialization Strategy as priority for the development of Montenegro’s competitive advantage, i.e. the areas of energy and sustainable environment, sustainable agriculture and the food value chain, sustainable and health tourism, and information and communication technologies.

“We were very pleased to note that all areas of smart specialization were represented among the registered projects,” said Femić Radosavović.

Almost two-thirds of MSMEs decided to form a consortium with scientific research institutions (NIU), despite the possibility of choosing another MSME as a partner, which, she said, shows that cooperation that started shyly with innovation vouchers can still become strong.

“During this year, we carefully listened to the needs of the community and, based on that, created a work program for next year, which was supported by the Council for Innovation and Smart Specialization, and which we will propose to the Government as our founder. In the work plan for the next year, there are as many as eight different programs with which we provide support to innovative companies on the way from the idea to the commercialization of innovations,” announced Femić Radosavović.
Funds for financing programs can be provided by the Fund from three different sources, which can be the national budget, with the Government adopting a budget proposal in the amount of two million EUR for the Fund’s support programs, which is the largest amount for financing innovations that the state has had so far. .

“On the other hand, the Fund can also use various international sources of financing.” As we are a very young institution, we are not yet accredited for independent implementation of the IPA program, but we are well recognized as a potentially good partner for the future. So far, we have already established intensive international cooperation with innovation agencies from the region, the European Association of Innovation Agencies (TAFTIE) as well as the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) in order to transfer knowledge and implement best practices from the region and the EU,” said Femić Radosavović. .

A very Important source of financing innovations in Montenegro is the program of economic citizenship through investments. Namely, as of January 1, every applicant for economic citizenship is obliged to, among other things, deposit EUR 100,000 to the account of the Innovation Fund for the development of the innovation ecosystem.

The Minister of Science and Technological Development, Biljana Šćepanović, said that she is pleased that the awarding of such significant sums of money in collaborative grants to the innovation community ends this year and declares it successful.
“Collaborative grants that should lead to the creation of new services, products and technologies with new market impact and potential have already been tested through two cycles conducted by the Ministry, so in this third cycle led by the Innovation Fund, previous experience was used to the maximum for the best possible the performance of this program line”, Šćepanović said.

According to her, collaborative grants are in focus, because the synergy that is established there is one of the key drivers of innovation and an incentive for companies to actively cooperate with scientific research institutions and other companies.

“In this light, we were pleased by the interest of the innovation community, because it shows that it is already quite mature and determined to connect with each other, recognizing the space for mutual development and strengthening the competitiveness of MSMEs,” said Šćepanović.

She said that only one segment of cooperation between the Fund and the Ministry is crowned with the award of grants.

“Next year, we will also transfer other lines for national innovation support to the responsibility of the Fund. In support of our expectations and faith in future success is the fact that two million EUR is planned for the Fund’s programs in the budget program for the next year,” Šćepanović announced.

As she said, the Ministry of Science and Technological Development undertakes to continue its commitment and support in the coming year in order to jointly provide the conditions for development and cooperation and strengthening of concurrency as subjects of innovation in European, developed countries.

The project Florish-Next level received a grant of 90 thousand EUR, and the total budget of the project is 112.5 thousand EUR. The main applicant is the company DigitalBee from Podgorica, and the main co-applicant is the Faculty of Philosophy.

The CEO of DigitalBee, Jasna Pejović, said that Florish has developed an application that develops emotional intelligence and that allows the existing methods that are not efficient enough to be replaced by a digital trainer.
It Is a mobile, personalized trainer that helps improve emotional intelligence with the aim of enabling companies to improve the soft skills of employees in a simple way and with lasting results.

The Green window project received a grant of EUR 100 thousand, while the total budget is EUR 965.5 thousand. The main applicant is the company VHM Solutions from Nikšić, and the main co-applicant is the Faculty of Architecture.

Jelena Vešović presented the project, saying that it is a social window concept that is energy efficient and more representative than traditional ones.
“We took care of sustainable development and energy efficiency. We combined our knowledge and experience and worked on developing a better product for the client through several items and preserving the environment,” Vešović added.

The Bumblebee project received a grant of EUR 90.7 thousand, and the total budget of the project is EUR 113.61 thousand. The main applicant is the Cetinje company Fleka, and the main co-applicant is the Faculty of Information Systems and Technologies.

It is about the creation of SaaS solutions, based on machine learning and data collection, which will enable financial institutions and other companies to significantly improve personalized banking and payment services for their clients.

Miloš Milošević, who presented the project, said that with the application they can see what customers spend money on, have a demographic structure, what they use, and classify the products they buy.
“Such segments can be integrated within banking systems. This will help users to get information and suggestions and analysis on how to better manage their money,” said Milošević.

The EnergOliveMNE project received a grant of 100 thousand EUR, and the total budget of the project is 132.48 thousand EUR. The main applicant is the Bar oil mill Bar, and the co-applicant is the Faculty of Biotechnology.

Marija Makoč said that we are talking about the production of pellets that are obtained from waste from olive growing and oil production, i.e. from residues from pruning and olive oil production.
“We are solving the problem that all our olive growers and oil growers are suffering from, where will they deal with that huge amount of waste, but also the sleep of pellets, the price of which has recently increased by 130 percent and the supply is unstable,” said Makoč.

The project Game-driven HR Tech (GHR) received a grant of 86 thousand EUR, and the total budget of the project is 118.83 thousand EUR. The main applicant of the project is the company Alicorn from Herzegovina, and the co-applicant is the Faculty of Economics.

It Is about the creation of an innovative platform for rapid development based on educational video games that increase the engagement of participants and the acquisition of knowledge, with the aim of using it for formal and informal education and professional training.

Sanja Gardašević said that the platform for the development of educational games, called Zuno, will encourage students’ focus, competitive spirit because they get points, and applicability is possible in various fields of knowledge.
“We have the possibility of customization for each client, as well as convenience for large systems,” added Gardašević.

The MnEmories project received a grant of EUR 99.2 thousand, and the total budget is EUR 205.01 thousand. The main applicant is the company Digital Control from Podgorica, and the main co-applicant is Montenegro Memories from Kolašin.

Boban Šćepanović said that the project aims to save resources and enables the customization of one-day tourist trips.
“It is a digital solution that enables more direct interaction between tourists and tourist products. With this, we want to encourage non-passionate consumption”, added Šćepanović.

The Orderize project received a grant of 62.86 thousand EUR, and the total budget of the project is 79.46 thousand EUR. The main applicant is the company Orderize from Herceg Novi, and the co-applicant is the company Bencom from Herceg Novi.

Danilo Čorlija said that it is a digital tool for the hospitality and hotel industry with the aim of improving working conditions for employees in that industry and making business more effective. Software?” Čorlija said.

The Implementation of the projects starts in January, local media reports.

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