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The new SEE-IFA Network project (www.see-ifa.eu) starts from a core  group of already existing cooperation partners addressing innovation and technology support for micro, small and medium sized  companies (MSME). MSME in SEE are facing structural deficits. Thus, stimulating innovative entrepreneurship with an appropriate range of instruments is one of the most important challenges for the countries from the region.  

Area of action: support for SMEs in areas related to innovation and new technologies

Partners – the project  unites 11 partners from 10 countries in SEE

Austria – Austria Wirtschaftsservice, AWS  – Lead Partner, public structure for promotion of innovation and competiveness

Bulgaria – Euro- Perspectives Foundation, public equivalent body aiming to promote regional cooperation and  regional cohesion  - www.europerspectives.org

Italy -  Finlombardia – Consultancy Agency for innovation and technology promotion

Greece – Georama – Regional Consultancy Agency

Hungary – TETALAP – Hungarian Science and Technology Foundation

Italy – Regione Veneto Industry Department, public structure

Romania – AMCSIT – Management Agency for Scientific Research, Technology Transfer and Innovation

Slovenia – SID, Slovene Export and Development Bank

Macedonia – University St Cyril and Methodius, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Croatia - AZRA, Varazdin County Development Agency

Serbia – RDA Banat, Regional Agency for Socio-Economic Development Banat


Start 11 March 2009

End: 30 April 2012


Team and experts in Bulgaria:

Raina Karcheva

Veleslava Abadzhieva

Zlatina Karova

Georgi Mihailov

Julieta Hubenova

Vihra Andonova

Vladimir Tomov


Overall Objective

Strengthening the IFA project partners capacity for effective provision of innovation and technology support to MSME through the establishment of a platform for know-how-transfer and by concrete joint action. Innovation and development of technologies are of crucial importance for the competitiveness of companies and regions, building the basis for future growth.

Specific Objectives

  • Identify needs and gaps in all SEE-countries in the region's capacity for a more effective provision of innovation and technology support to MSME
  • Improve the exchange and transfer of know-how through the assessment of existing instruments and the identification and modification of transferable elements
  • Enhance the operating environment through the identification of funding possibilities and the development of a patent and license Fund
  • Assist IFA partners and relevant bodies in the establishment of Innovation & Finance Agencies with adequate portfolios for innovation and technology support 
  • Increase capacity  of local actors and experts through mentoring, training, exchange schemes and visits

Target group

Primary target group – operators of Innovation and Finance Agencies (IFAs) at regional and national level; secondary target group – innovative SMEs and their business   support actors; intermediate target group – public bodies with an important framework role in provision of technology and innovation - Universities, research centers

Main activities

  • To develop and animate  Innovation portal and web content
  • To draft Country Assessment Synthetic Report based on common benchmarks
  • To elaborate Good practices models  and  to guarantee its dissemination
  • To develop financial instruments to support innovation and transfer technology  in MSMEs – drafting decision making guidelines,  pilot activities implementation
  • To set up a SEE-trans-border Patent& License Fund – feasibility studies, assessment of fund  availability, recommendations
  • To set up a new Innovation & Finance Agency – design of IFA portfolio and instruments, marketing
  • To provide  training activities for stakeholders
  • To set up a Local Support Group/LSG in order to guarantee the national support and  

  Expected results

  • Enhanced mutual learning  of IFA actors in the region and  mobilized local  stakeholders
  • Needs and Gap Analysis  developed based on common methodology  and common standarts
  • Financial instruments developed  by designing at least one transferable instrument to stimulate innovation & technology in MSMEs
  • New transnational  Patent & License  Fund designed  to stimulate transfer of knowledge and technology (patents, licenses, research results, utility models, know-how)
  • New Innovation & Finance Agency set up  - 2 pilot actions carried out
  • Capacity building activities implemented via train-the-trainers  programme, exchange programme
  • An advanced tool developed to increase visibility  - SEE Innovation portal established





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