Development Agency of the Republic of Srpska – RARS (EEN Republic of Srpska Coordinator)
RARS is the institution formed with the primary aim of providing all-round support to SMEs at the RS territory and within its regular activities; it organizes a number of seminars and workshops on EU projects, participates in different international projects intended for SMEs, provides expert advisory and other services for supporting start-ups and SMEs development, investment services, runs the registries of SME consultants, supports SMEs in restructuring, actively promotes entrepreneurship and specific types of entrepreneurship (rural, social, women), provides support to clusters and assists in establishing business zones, runs the registry database on fast-growing SMEs in the RS, is engaged in developing support projects in areas of renewable energy resources and energy efficiency, publishes magazines and other publications and develops other different information services for SMEs use, monitors and additionally supports export-oriented SMEs, etc. RARS is also the institution intensively engaged in different cross-border and international cooperation projects, all of which are focused on the support and strengthening of business capacities of RS SMEs. Having in mind a very wide spectrum of services that RARS offers to SMEs in the RS, the involvement of the RS into the EEN project would significantly contribute to widening that spectrum (through the organization of info-days, workshops, B2B meetings and direct contacts between interested RS SMEs and those in other EEN countries), with strong RARS capacity enhancement, especially in areas of communication and dissemination of information on available EU projects for supporting SME development and improving their competitiveness). Joining the EEN would also, from the point of programmes focused on innovation support that RARS performs, be of great importance, since it would introduce new services and thus expand the range of services provided by RARS for innovative SMEs.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Republic of Srpska
development of RS economy. CCIRS provides its members and clients with information, export and import, as well as with information on foreign investments, available funding, business trends and goods and services offer/market needs. The Chamber also organizes presentation at fairs, seminars on different economic topics, business missions, presentations and promotions, with the primary aim of improving business cooperation, increasing export and attracting foreign investments. It also publishes different promotional publications and catalogues, promotes businesses online and through a specialized magazine ( “PReRS”). CCIRS also offers business entities programmes for business and expert training, with the aim of increasing the level of professional competence and improvement of business activities. CCIRS continuously works at improving quality of these programmes by expanding offer and its updating in accordance with contemporary trends, using applicable knowledge and methodology, as well as by engaging highly reputable trainers for these programmes. CCIRS is, by its core nature, the institution with the most accurate, updated and detailed database of all business entities at the RS territory. CCIRS has created a Business Registry (www.business-rs.ba) that is a unique database of businesses in the RS. By RS’s accession into the EEN project, CCRIS would create the space for new ways of communication with its members in the SME segment, which would also benefit from additional services (B2B, CM, extensive opportunities for approaching the EU and other EEN member countries markets).
UBL is one of two state universities in the RS. Within its activities, UBL, besides educating students for a variety of educational profiles, provides entrepreneurs and SMEs with support through various educational programmes, whereat special attention is paid to the University Entrepreneurship Center (UPC), which is the business incubator for use by students and educational staff of the UBL who are interested in establishing their own private businesses. UBL is dedicated to innovation support and plans to establish its own innovation support office, together with the research and development office and dedicated office for cooperation with businesses, which should strengthen its internal capacities for cooperation with companies, especially in the SME segment. Besides the COSME part of the programme, the UBL interdisciplinary team, consisting of four research-active scholars, is very much committed to the research mostly related to entrepreneurship and SMEs development, business innovation as well as business internationalisation and strategy. In so doing the team members collaborate with researchers and practitioners from countries outside the Republic of Srpska or Bosnia and Herzegovina. More specifically, UBL works together with the University of Ancona (partner for the REDETE conference- one of the key events for connecting business researchers and policy makers), the University of Padua (sustainable development and environment protection management), the University of Ljubljana and several evelopment agencies and innovation centres from these two countries. Marche and Veneto regions (Italy) are apparently amongst most dynamic and entrepreneurial regions in Europe and beyond, therefore entrepreneurs and SMEs from RS will have many benefits from the network they create.
The UIS is a public interdisciplinary, independent and self-governing institution, consisting of the 15 faculties and the two academies. In the wider scope of its activities, UIS provides a variety of SME support activities through education, through the organization of seminars about writing project applications related to EU programs, through participation in the realization of different international projects intended for strengthening of research capacities, capacity building, curriculum development, staff and students’ exchanges, through exploring different problems with specialized equipment as well as cooperation with different regional economic organizations. UIS is also intensively engaged in the organization of different events, conferences, symposiums, festivals, info days which contribute to different meetings and possibilities of cooperation between different actors. Specialized equipment of the UIS is intended also for contribution to enhancing innovative capacities to SMEs through different advisory services and analyses. Through UIS’s strategic objective settled in Development Strategy 2015-2020, UIS will contribute to better cooperation with SMEs, increase investments, encourage cooperation with international organizations, support SMEs in finding appropriate international organizations for making business. Universities’ staff who work on the implementation of the EEN Work Programme have specializations in different areas of businesses, which are necessary for successful implementation of the WP (e.g. technology transfer, IPR, innovation, quality standards, smart specialization, etc.). Through the EEN Network activities, UBL and UIS would create significant space for strengthening their internal SME support capacities and generate stronger interest among the SMEs for using these services, and also for establishing the different forms of cooperation with universities as the institutions with the strongest scientific base in different areas. In addition to this, through the Horizon 2020 Programme, UBL and UIS, as the scientific institutions focused also on providing innovation support to business entities, with special emphasis on SMEs, could achieve their goals in this activity segment faster and with a higher quality of services and widely improved expertise.
ICBL is the first combined center for support and development of entrepreneurship in the RS, focused on providing support services to the companies with strong and emphasized commercial and development potential, based on application of scientific knowledge and usage of innovative and advanced technological solutions. ICBL performs its activities in SME support through a wide spectrum of business education available to its clients, and through development of the business incubator, with additional services of providing clients with assistance in their quest for foreign partners/investors and Softlanding services created for foreign SMEs interested into entering the RS market. In the Consortium, ICBL is in charge of technology transfer activities, advisory services on innovation and technology, PA technology, technology-driven SMEs with high-growth potential, technology and innovation reviews of companies, international cooperation for innovation and technology based on networking and open innovation, etc. ICBL would, through its engagement and involvement in the EEN activities, significantly strengthen its capacities by better availability of a wider range of information on EU projects focused on SME support. Enhanced possibility of establishing contacts with potential foreign partners for ICBL clients would also,
through EEN Network, be further enhanced and qualitatively improved.