Imagine.Innovate.Create. RCC hosts the Second Butterfly Innovation & Business Forum in Sarajevo
- 08 Dec 2022
Let’s lift up and make room for creatives in the region
Sarajevo – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), in partnership with the EU4DigitalSME - Innovation and Digitalisation in SMEs in BiH project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), hosted the Second Butterfly Innovation & Business Forum on 6-7 December 2022 in Sarajevo.
“Following last year’s first Butterfly Innovation & Business Forum the RCC inaugurated the regional Butterfly Innovation Award earlier this year, aiming to support innovative solutions in the region’s priority fields. We are happy to host some of the awardees in the Forum today, and are even happier to be able to help them spread their creative and entrepreneurial wings. Creative potential does not grow in a vacuum, but needs support and promotion from all of us in the Western Balkans. That is why we at the RCC keep facilitating the networking of various groups of enthusiasts throughout the Western Balkans. The region’s economies are only halfway through supporting innovation in view of our business communities. We need better-targeted policies, modern innovation infrastructures, enabling environment and discussions around these topics. So let’s reach down to struggling creatives in the region to lift and make room for them, as well as empower like-minded people to work together,” said Sinisa Marcic, Senior RCC Expert on Human Capital Development, at the Forum Opening.
This year’s Forum focused on promoting sustainable models of academic and business cooperation and the power of Digital Innovation Hubs, start-ups, partnering with higher education institutions, and outstanding innovative initiatives making waves across South East Europe. Along the Forum’s Imagine. Innovate. Create. motto, captivating speakers shared their first-hand transformative experiences.
Eva Näher, Programme Director at GIZ, emphasised the huge potential in innovative and digital solutions for the economies in the region which are limited and can benefit from international integration in partnerships, business relations and networks and develop highly successful businesses. “This is why our EU-co-financed EU4DigitalSME project is concentrated on digital and innovative solutions for small and medium enterprises, where we focus on establishing four Digital Innovation Hubs in Bosnia and Hercegovina in order to provide a supportive ecosystem for innovative solutions for the private sector.”
“Innovation sounds like new energy and forward looking. It is the engine of the Digital Transformation, which is one of the cornerstone of President von der Leyen European Commission’s tenure. As EU we value it as core process to ensure the convergence of the economies of our Balkan partners towards the Single Market. To boost innovation in the private sector it is paramount to ensure resilience and competiveness of the private sector and ultimately stability, prosperity, and the European perspective for the Western Balkans. The EU is strongly supporting innovation in business and will continue to do so with its partners in the region”, said Stefano Ellero, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH, in his opening remarks.
The Forum gathered an impressive group of innovation practitioners who shared lessons learned about developing innovation ecosystems and academia-business cooperation. This activity is part of the Common Regional Market Action Plan, and is co-financed by the European Union.