The signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Cooperation between Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) as a representative of the EU4DigitalSME programme, and the consortium led by the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST), took place today at the premises of the university.
As a result, the consortium comprising the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST), the Institute of Metrology of Bosnia and Herzegovina (IMBIH), the Institute for Standardisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ISBIH) and Society for Medical and Biological Engineering in Bosnia and Herzegovina (DMBIUBIH) was officially named one of digital innovation hubs that will be developed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the framework of the development programme with the financial support of the European Union and the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ).
EU4DigitalSME is a large-scale development project supporting the establishment of an ecosystem for digitalisation, automation and innovation at small and medium-sized enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The selected hubs will ensure a state-of-art support platform for small and medium-sized enterprises for the purpose of improving their business processes, but also their structure and final products. By improving and developing innovative business processes, the hubs will become training and skill transfer centres and will create new opportunities within a transformed business system.
The memorandum was signed by Prof. Vjekoslav Domljan, PhD, on behalf of the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST), and by Natalija el-Hage, PhD, the Head of GIZ for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Emir Ganić, the Executive Director of the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST), says that this is one of capital projects not only for the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST), but for the whole country: ”We are encouraged by the support for the idea we developed together with our partners, which was the basis for our application following the call in the framework of EU4DigitalSME. The process ahead of us is extremely demanding and will imply a full restructuring of business systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular given the fact that the concept of our hub is related to networking and digitalisation processes in the health sector. However, we believe that within the existing Innovation Lab, where we are making important steps regarding training and transfer of know-how, and the extremely strong structure of our consortium, we will achieve excellent results that aim to assist in the creation of a strong and contemporary business environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
Professor Domljan, PhD, is of the opinion that it is crucial for Bosnia and Herzegovina to build innovation capacities as the only way to overcome the middle income trap: ”The loss of labour force and shrinking population or buyers can be overcome only by increasing the productivity and export. The Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST) is one of the few institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina that have recognised this and will, with the assistance of the EU and BMZ provided through GIZ, engage in efforts to expand this oasis to the largest part of Bosnia and Herzegovina by supporting and establishing innovation labs, increasing the number of start-ups and attracting venture capital”.
The Head of GIZ, Natalija el-Hage, PhD, believes that this project activity will ensure access to digital tools for all small and medium-sized enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina: ”The project EU4DigitalSME is focusing on the improvement of the digital and innovation ecosystem in Bosnia and Herzegovina at macro level by strengthening the capacities and by creating adequate framework conditions for the promotion of digitalisation and innovation, at meso level by strengthening the capacities of service providers in compliance with the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and by establishing digital innovation hubs (DIHs), and at micro level by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in the development of digital solutions in the framework of concrete technological projects.”
The first project activities will be organised in coordination with GIZ and will involve the initial steps that all selected hubs must take in order to create the best possible systems of action within their specific areas. The Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST) will thus become part of a global initiative for the digitalisation of economic processes that aims to bring Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to EU standards of competitiveness and successful operations.