Today, the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development marked the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the institution at a solemn event. As the leading government institution for supporting innovation and technology development in the country, FITD aims to provide better access to financial resources for all entrepreneurs, startup companies and all micro, small and medium enterprises that have ambitions for growth and development.
Within the framework of the event, the director of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, Festim Halili, emphasized that he is proud to lead an institution that provides support to all creative and young people who have their own business idea, and this is evidenced by the fact that FITD counts today in its portfolio a total of 1,100 supported projects with a total investment volume of 138 million euros. With this, FITD showed that it is a true partner of all creative and innovative young people, young companies, start-up and spin-off companies, but also all micro, small and medium-sized companies that have ambitions for their own growth and development. The purpose of FITD is to enable easier access to finance for the development of innovations and technological development and to give domestic entrepreneurs a chance to realize their business ideas and creative solutions.
“During this period, we made sure that in our country there are entrepreneurs who think “outside the box”, who are open to innovations and changes. To these companies that are led by courageous entrepreneurs, I want to convey to them that your work and vision make a difference, you are creating a future full of positive change. Your vision of success motivates us to provide new channels for financing the innovative ecosystem in the country. This is exactly what we have been working on for the past period, the IPA project “Green Business Facility”, the accreditation to the Green Climate Fund, the European project “Policy Answer” are just some of the activities which we undertake to support the Macedonian eco-system” emphasized Halili in his address.
The Committee for Approval of Investments (CAI) is an independent body, which is in charge of making decisions on the financing of proposed projects, consisting of five foreign experts in their work. The Chairman of the Committee, Marvin Liao expressed his satisfaction with the work with FITD as well as the innovative projects that arrive for evaluation. “As a Committee for Approval of Investments, we must express our satisfaction with the quality of projects that arrive at the Fund, because this proves the innovative capacity of young businesses in North Macedonia. We are convinced that FITD plays a key role in the development of the innovation ecosystem through which new jobs, new innovative products and a competitive economy are created not only in the country, but also in the global markets” said Marvin Liao.
The Minister of Economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi, in his address, congratulated the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development and said that for such anniversaries, we should remember where we were as a country in the area of support for the development of companies, and where we are now. “Looking at the figures for supported companies in the past 10 years, one can clearly see the government’s vision for supporting business and the development of companies. What shows the type of companies that are supported is that we are strongly committed to supporting women entrepreneurs who are given the opportunity to have the same conditions for the development of companies, and secondly the support for young people who are very important in the development of the economy” he said. Minister Bekteshi added that the Fund for Innovation, through its calls, gives opportunities to all young people in the country, unlike in the past when only children who were the sons and daughters of so-called oligarchs succeeded. “We give the opportunity to all young people in the country to be equal and to compete with their innovations and technologies with all domestic and foreign companies, so we will continue in the future,” said Minister Bekteshi.
FITD has invested over 86 million euros in the domestic economy and through instruments and measures to support domestic companies, entrepreneurs were encouraged to invest 52 million euros in development and progress, thus enabling them to become more competitive on the domestic market, but also to ready to enter global markets.
“The importance of FITD for our economy is not only seen through the portfolio of 1,100 supported projects and the total volume of realized investments of 138 million euros for ten years, FITD has another important function. It is active nurturing and development of the entrepreneurial spirit that is open to innovation, digitalization. Development towards the 4th industrialization. We are already looking at the next development of FITD, which is its accreditation to the Green Climate Fund, with which FITD will be the first state institution accredited for direct access to finance from the Green Climate Fund. This is extremely important because it will enable greater involvement and greater financial resources of the private sector in dealing with climate change. FITD has a clear vision and a bright future for development ahead. FITD is and will continue to be the first place to which all young and ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators turn” said Fatmir Bytyqi, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs.
The Fund for Innovation and Technology Development will continue with its mission, by introducing new initiatives and measures that will open the way for young people to develop here in our country and will enable greater support for entrepreneurs and growth of the economy.