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11th Newsletter of 3B ICT Network

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How does digitalization transform companies and organizational culture?
Interdisciplinary specialists are looking for answers at Cluj Innovation Days 2019


From autonomous machines, human vs. robot and e-medicine, to technology in public administration, digital transformation, and new models of entrepreneurship - all of these were debated at the 7 th edition of the Cluj Innovation Days, organized by Cluj IT Cluster. The event took place on 30 th and 31 st of May hosted by the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Haţieganu” from Cluj-Napoca. Speakers and participants alike generated interesting discussions around topics such as digital future in the administration, automation, digital transformation, autonomous cars, new models of business and entrepreneurship, e-health, intellectual property and globalization, knowledge and skills for future jobs. During the conference, a startup pitching event was also held. “The subjects we have chosen for this year’s edition of Cluj Innovation Days reflect current concerns at international level. We want to understand together the challenges that organizations are facing as well as the potential of digitization in different sectors of activity. What is the future of organizations in a world where technology seems to dominate everything? How can we benefit from the digital transformation? What cultural change does it bring? - these were just some of the questions we tried to elucidate”, declared Andrei Kelemen, Executive Director of Cluj IT Cluster.

Among the guest speakers of this year’s edition we have counted: Emil Boc – Mayor of Cluj-Napoca; Nicolae Moldovan – Alba Iulia City Manager; George Lupașcu Prună – Associated Partner at Hofstede Insights; Victor Maghiari – Digital Manager for Central Europe; Beata Kurucz – Regional Manager at EIT Health; Cristian Gavrilă – Co-founder and CEO at CRIsoft; Cosmin Porumb – COO at Hypermedia; Paul Ianas – CEO at EdoctiLab; Carmen Constantinescu -Leader Digital Manufacturing 4.0, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering; Claudiu Vrînceanu – representative for Măgurele Science Park; Emil Stetco – CEO at Zetta Cloud; Valentina Stadnic – representative at Moldova IT Park; Alina Marchiș – Analyst at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Along with them, hundreds of representatives from the business environment, public administration and academia from Romania and abroad were present.

Cluj Innovation Days is an annual regional forum organized by Cluj IT Cluster starting in 2013, aiming at strengthening the IT community and facilitating interaction with business partners and the public sector. More information: www.clujinnovationdays.com.


The Team of ICT Cluster took part in the final conference of Smart Factory Hub project


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On 28th of May in Maribor, Slovenia was held the final conference of the Smart Factory Hub project. As partner of the project ICT Cluster participated in the event.

The conference will consist of following panels:

Panel 1: Smart Factory HUB success story

Panel 2: Importance of Digital innovation HUBs in digital transformation

Panel 3: Future funding support systems and opportunities

Renowned experts and representatives of European Commission, Priority Area Coordinators, Horizon2020 Programme, Danube Transnational Programme, and various research organisations, policymakers, universities, business support organizations and other gave valuable presentations to topics, such as: Success stories in numbers and achievements from Danube countries in the frame of Smart Factory domain, Capitalization activities, Lessons learned in establishing DIHs, Importance of DIHs at the European and regional level, Regional and/or cascade funding opportunities and many other.

Mr. Peter Statev was speaker in Panel 2, where he spoke on the need of digitalisation for SMEs in order to stay competitive on the global market. He shared his believes that the only way for producers to compete on a global market is not on scale, but by using digital technologies and competing on knowledge, efficiency and creativeness.

On the 28th of May was held the final partnership meeting, where all partners made overview of the project impact, activities, deliverables. All organisations, part of the project, agreed to continue working towards digital development and innovation in the manufacturing.

Full video of the event you can find on the following link:

http://www.ictcluster.bg/news/smart-factory-hub-final-conference/


Block.IS Accelerator Blockchain Innovation Spaces


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Block.IS is a new acceleration programme that aims to build an open and collaborative cross-border, cross-sectoral innovation ecosystem that fosters the use of blockchain technology in three vital sectors for the European economy: agrifood, logistics and finance.

Block.IS accelerator will support SMEs and start-ups from the ICT sector all the way from ideation to commercialisation offering them tailored business and technical support as well as direct funding. To help founders build high-tech venture-backable enterprises, Block.IS will offer €2.8 M of total funding through 2 open calls.

The Block.IS Acceleration programme will be based on a 3-phase process (repeated for two batches): INNOVATE > EXPERIMENT > COMMERCIALIZE. In each phase, the selected candidates will be offered a set of tech & businesses services and financial support to develop their projects in close collaboration with relevant clusters networks, sector specialists and technology experts.

Phase “INNOVATE” will offer €3.000 (lump sum) per candidate for 90 best project ideas. During one-month period, the winners will be invited to fine-tune their concept, elaborate a mock-up of the proposed solution and prepare a tech-Business pitch to present at the Block.IS Clusters-Innovators Assembly.

Phase “EXPERIMENT” will offer €50.000 per candidate for 45 best projects from Phase “INNOVATE”. Throughout this phase that last 8 months, the winners will be developing the proposed projects in close collaboration with Block.IS’s clusters networks, sector specialists and technology experts.

Phase “COMMERCIALISE” will offer €7.000 per innovator for 20 projects with the greatest business potential from Phase “EXPERIMENT”. This phase will last 2 months, when the winners will develop activities associated with the promotion and exploitation of their project, aiming to engage new customers and/or partners and/or investors.

Block.IS will organise two open calls. The first call will be launched in Autumn 2019, while the second call will be launched in Autumn 2020.

For more information, please contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit blockis.eu.


ICT Cluster Hosted a Meeting with the Policy Makers Discussing the Future Strategy for Digital Transformation in Bulgaria


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On 03.06.2019 at Sofia Tech Park in Sofia, in the framework of Smart Factory Hub project, Bulgaria, ICT Cluster organised and hosted a meeting with national authorities responsible for the policy making in the country and business support organisations.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works of Bulgaria, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of Bulgaria, Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria, Bulgarian SME Promotion Agency and Automotive Cluster Bulgaria. The main focus of the meeting was to present the policy makers the key finding, lessons learned of the project implementation. Ms. Anna Naydenova – coordinator of the project for BICT, made presentation on which she presented the results of a survey, done among policy makers in 10 countries about the strategy and instruments for supporting the digital transformation.

The meeting ended with a discussion between the participants, about the recommendation that the partners of the project have given in order to make the tools and instruments for digital transformation better and easier to use by the SMEs.

The document with policy recommendations you can find on the following link:

http://www.ictcluster.bg/media/2098/policy-recommendations.pdf


MASIT promotes the Authentic interpretation of Article 14 of the Value Added Tax Act which will provide a positive impulse for further investments in the ICT industry


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Authentic interpretation of Article 14 of the Value Added Tax Act by the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia will provide strong incentives for domestic and foreign ICT companies to continue to invest and create new jobs. This statement was delivered on the press conference in MASIT, on 23.05.2019 by the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Mr. Damjan Mancevski, Secretary General of the Government, Mr. Dragi Raskovski, Mrs. Marijana Andric, MASIT tax expert, Mr, Ivica Jefic, Lawyer and the CEO of Macedonia 2025, Mrs. Nikica Mojsoska Blazevski.

Mrs. Marijana Andric, a representative of MASIT, explained that the need for authentic interpretation occurred due to the problem with the manner of procurement of various types of IT, marketing, administrative and similar services provided abroad were not adequately treated from the aspect of Article 14 of the Law on Value Added Tax. Read the full article on the following link.

We hope that this article will help to the other members of 3B ICT Network, their companies and partners to overcome similar legislation problems in their countries.


Bit Alliance launched the first IT career portal - ITkarijera.ba


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ITkarijera.ba is a unique place that provides comprehensive information on IT in Bosnia and Herzegovina and helps young people to become part of one of the most promising sectors in B&H. The goal of the portal is also to inform parents about the opportunities offered by the IT sector to young people. In order to make it easier for young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and all those interested in working in the IT sector to get into the industry, Bit Alliance has decided to create an online portal that is offering relevant advice to one’s career development in the IT sector of B& H. The portal contains information about formal, non-formal and online educational IT programs in B&H. Additionally, the portal offers general career guidance to people with different profiles, specifically on how to enter the IT industry, which schools, courses and educational programs to choose, which scholarships and programs exist in the IT sector in B&H and more. The portal is a unique place that covers IT programs at B&H level, and online education platforms and its career guidance is aligned with what industry needs. Everything about IT education/training and successful employment stories in the IT industry in B&H is now in one place – the portal is a young person’s practical guide on how to enter the IT workforce irrespective of his or her background. The portal was created as a response to many inquiries youth and unemployed people had on how they could become part of the IT sector.

With respect to this project, Bit Alliance goal is to help young people see they have to do to get into the industry and to demystify the sector for those who find it abstract and difficult to learn about from the outside. The IT careers portal supports young people to make informed choices and give them an insight into some of the most exciting companies in B&H. Ultimately, Bit Alliance hopes that IT portal will contribute to increasing the number of IT professionals in B&H and indicate where attractive employment opportunities lie.


3B ICT Network presented at AI-NURECC Initiative


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Mr Aleksandar PRELEVIĆ, Chairman of the Montenegrin IT Cluster, as speaker in the second session of the Adriatic Ionian Network of Universities, Regions, Chambers of Commerce and Cities Initiative Project represented the 3B ICT Network to participants of the AI-NURECC event organized in Budva, Montenegro on May 10th 2019.

The Adriatic Ionian Network of Universities, Regions, Chambers of Commerce and Cities(AI-NURECC Initiative) is an initiative of the key stakeholders of the Adriatic Ionian Regions, which have decided to join their efforts aiming at supporting the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Sea Region (EUSAIR) implementation, ensuring deep and broad territorial coverage, at regional and local level.

Presentations from the event can be accessed here -

https://cpmr.org/wpdm-package/powerpoint-presentations-ai-nurecc-initiative-event-in-budva-montenegro-may-2019/


Greek-born mobile champions: A joke or a pleasant surprise in the mid of the Crisis?


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Under the motto “Going Global!” 25 Greek innovative companies and institutions, appeared in 2013 in the greatest digital business event, the Mobile World Congress. It was the first time an official Greek pavilion was present in the Apps Planet, the vibrant exhibition area in Hall 8.1, organized by our Association, HAMAC, the association of Hellenic Mobile Application Companies.

To the surprise of most visitors, almost all the hot topics of the congress had a relevant product or service in the Greek Pavilion. From mobile Health to micropayments and electronic wallets, NFC and the “internet of things”, mobile marketing services and cross-platform development tools, Greek born innovation had to show an appealing and competitive product.

In MWC2019 and 4YFN (4 Years From Now, the special event designed and dedicated to all startup ecosystem being held at the same time with MWC) the Greek Team made its seventh consecutive appearance at the greatest digital show on earth, under the motto: Greece Scales Up! Surely, it is not widely known that in Greece, an innovative hi-tech ecosystem is flourishing despite the financial crisis. Its core develops around mobile technologies, services and apps, where some globally acknowledged companies have emerged.

Upgraded presence in 2020 (MWC & 4YFN)

As in 2018 and 2019, we are planning our presence to be upgraded, in both MWC and 4YFN (4 Years From Now - the parallel event addressed to startups and investors), therefore to have special sections (booths) inside the Greek Pavilion, dedicated to the sectors of Tourism, Marine, Transportation and Gaming, presenting innovative companies providing solutions in these sectors.

We would be more than happy to host the 3B ICT Clusters Network in a special booth at the Greek pavilion in MWC2020 and present the initiatives of the Network. We are open to any suggestions. For more information, please e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

A unique mobile ecosystem

As the mobile sector grew rapidly in the 90s, a bunch of innovative companies grabbed the opportunity to expand into the global markets following the wave that transformed our everyday lives, disrupted most industries and emerged as the greatest technological revolution in human history.

Those companies, founded the Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies (HAMAC), a non-profit organization that now represents a vibrant sector of more than 70 companies developing mobile applications and providing innovative marketing, communication, content and application services. Our members provide employment to more than 4.000 people, including one thousand professionals of the highest academic education. Additionally, the members of the association collect more than 400M€ turnover and have presence in more than 50 countries. Some of these companies are already expanded and distinguished as worldwide leaders in the mobile services market, provide services to the largest telecom operators globally, are listed on Stock Markets of London LSE/AIM and achieve substantial growth both in national and international level.

Sometimes when we talk about the future of the Greek economy, many think that the undiscovered wealth of modern Greece lies in the gas fields of the southern Crete and the oil reserves of the Aegean. We strongly believe that our real wealth is in the minds of young scientists and engineers, that have already formed a knowledge industry that produces more than the primeval gold of the Greek land, the virgin olive oil".

Greece is among the countries with the highest levels of knowledge capital, ranks in the 11th position Globally in engineers and has a vast diaspora of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in many fields. In the 21st century, Greece’s Hi Tech exports have surpassed virgin olive oil by a factor of 5:1. The Greek olive oil exports for 2010 sum to 200 million EUR

(http://www.startupgreece.gov.gr/content/olive-oil-virgin-exports-2010) this is less than half of our member’s aggregated turnover. The latest value for High-technology exports (current US$) in Greece was $1,17 bn. Greece ranks 50 among the 171 countries listed in the United Nations, Comtrade database. (The country has lost almost 10 positions during the crisis but still has momentum). And when we talk about High-technology exports we mean products with high R&D intensity, such as in aerospace, ICT, pharmaceuticals, scientific instruments, and electrical machinery.

Tough times needs synergies...

Developing this ecosystem in tough times needs synergies and survival skills…

Going global is our first priority, and our association's prime objective, assisting specially the smaller companies address the challenges of the international markets. In this aspect, the development of a spirit of cooperation between its members and the promotion of mutual collaboration is of the utmost importance and is cultivated through our joint presence in international events as MWC, business delegations to areas of common business interest and experience-exchange workshops.

Of course, growing a company in Greece, 2019, needs more than innovative spirit… Nowadays we face a shortage of funding sources, many obstacles and, sometimes, the hesitation of international partners facing the so called country risk.

So we take initiatives to mobilize local and international investors, promoting the real values of our companies and the intellectual capital they possess. We have catalyzed the development of a new generation of investment funds matching local knowledge with the international experience. We lobby systematically to lower the barriers to entrepreneurship and enforce a legal framework friendly to innovation.

See you at MWC2020, 24-27 February, Barcelona, Hall 8.1 I49

Article by Yiannis Kotsis-Giannarakis, General Manager of HAMAC (Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies)Upcoming EventsB2B events under the Green Ict deVElopment - GIVE PROJECT: August 2019

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B2B events under the Green Ict deVElopment - GIVE PROJECT


24 - 25 September 2019 II B2B in SOFIA, BULGARIA. Details to be confirmed

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ICT Chamber of Commerce - MASIT
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tel. 389 75 280 507; 389 78 296 487
e-mail: contact@masit.org.mk

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