Carovska and Despotovski presented the innovative vouchers – FITD introduces new support for companies and universities

The Fund for Innovation and Technological Development presented a new instrument to support domestic companies and higher education institutions in developing new products and services. The total amount of 15 million denars will be allocated to faculties and research centers, which will establish specific business cooperation with domestic companies in research and development.

The Minister of Education and Science, Mila Carovska, at today’s presentation emphasized that with the help of the instrument the great potential and capacity of the educational institutions can be applied in the real sector.

“In this way, higher education institutions will become a source of innovation and knowledge in the real sector, and at the same time we are investing in future academic citizens who will be able to work on real research through projects. This type of establishment of an eco-space between higher education institutions and companies creates an opportunity on one hand for the financial resources not to flow only to consulting services and abroad, and on the other hand for the business sector to increase financial support in higher education.

I am certain that what we initiate now will succeed in developing into a program that will be built systematically and in the end we will see that the business sector and scientific institutions will establish continuous cooperation in common interest in order for the country to develop,” said Carovska. She added that this will increase the share of GDP in scientific research projects, which is now at a very low level.

 

For the first time, the state is introducing an instrument which directly encourages cooperation between the academic community and the business sector in function of economic development. Most importantly, the Universities are the direct beneficiaries of the financial support, while the companies receive a service from the academic staff - professors, assistants and students. Our goal is to involve the academic community in the economic development of the country" said the director of the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development, Jovan Despotovski.

Despotovski stressed that the Government provides support, which has been lacking so far and therefore North Macedonia has shown a low performance on a global level.

“Over $ 1.7 trillion is invested worldwide in research and development. N. Macedonia invests only 40 million or only 0.4% of GDP. Compared to the region, Slovenia invests 2.4% of GDP. According to the Global Innovation Index, the country has excellent performance according to several indicators, but in this part we are far behind - 112 out of 131 ranked countries. However, we decided to act directly in order to reduce the backlog and join Macedonia in the list of countries that systematically invest in research and development,” said Despotovski.

A novelty is that the call will be open from October 1, and from that moment it will be possible to allocate funds. For the first time, the Fund introduces a new principle of allocating funds on the principle “first come - first served”, i.e. according to the order of submission of complete applications. The applications will be submitted exclusively electronically and the application deadline will last until the funds are awarded. The deadline for realization of the funds from the vouchers will be six months. 

The Innovation vouchers can be used to cover up to 80% (eighty percent) of the total costs of scientific research services, in a maximum amount of 500,000 denars, without value added tax (VAT). The remaining 20% are the company’s funds, user of the services of the faculties.

The funds can be used for activities such as: development and improvement of new and current products, processes or services; proof of concept, feasibility study, technical specification, production of laboratory prototypes, development of demonstration prototypes, various types of tests, technology validation, advisory services related to innovation activity, development and introduction of special software for product or process, and for specific training related to development of technological solutions. 

На следниот llink е достапно видеото од денешната прес конференција.

The full text of the open call is available at www.fitr.mk. link.