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SUCCESS STORY: Strategic partnership for accessing European research programmes with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network

ICT sector is one of the main contributors to innovation and growth to both, the Macedonian and overall European economy. At the same time, the sector faces several challenges including the need for intensifying the RDI (research, development and innovation) activities within the companies.

One of the Macedonian companies that builds its competitive advantage on such activities and development of innovative solutions is 4Virtus, software developer with expertise in web solutions, mobile applications, Internet of Things solutions and digital marketing services. Being awarded with several international awards in the field over the last years, the company has already established itself as an example of an innovative and successful IT company in Macedonia. For the purpose of better utilizing its innovative potential and increasing its international activity, 4Virtus is a respected client of the Foundation for Management and Industrial Research, one of the 600 branches of the largest network for SME support, present in 66 countries – the Enterprise Europe Network (http://een.ec.europa.eu/).

„We support SMEs to commercialise their innovative solutions through providing advisory services, partner search activities and facilitating access to programmes for research and development” – explains Aleksandar Filiposki from Enterprise Europe Network in Macedonia. Network’s clients are offered a broad range of services including support for participation in EU projects, brokerage partnering services for establishing business collaboration, technology transfer and research cooperation, as well as organizing educational and B2B events.

With the support of the network, in October 2015 4Virtus participated in the SICILY4EXPO Brokerage event in Milan, Italy, having meetings with numerous companies from different parts of Europe. One of these companies was PFM SRL, an Italian company specialised in e-learning, knowledge management technologies and semantic web services. Their initial meeting held during this network event mark the beginning of a strategic partnership between the companies, nowadays jointly focusing on accessing the European funds for research and development, suitable for SMEs. Having no prior experience in this regard, 4Virtus allowed the Italian company to lead the overall process for project preparation, including creation of the consortia, a project that was submitted under the SME Instrument from the programme Horizon 2020, the largest EU programme for supporting R&D activities in Europe.

„Thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network we were given an opportunity to find new strategic partner who has opened new horizons for us. We have never before explored the possibility or have been fully aware of the opportunity of reaching international markets through the support programmes of the EU”, stated Igor Hristov, owner and CEO of 4Virtus.

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SUCCESS STORY: Macedonian innovative application to support biotechnology research in Italy

SyNRG Software and IT Solutions is a Macedonian based company  that designs and develops advanced software solutions and uses the most up-to-date technologies. It specializes in the process of transforming ideas into products and bringing them to a global IT market. The company provides innovative IT products and services, such as real-time control, artificial intelligence, computer graphics with 3D algorithms, web development and social network applications with special attention for the medical field.

SyNRG contacted the Foundation for Management and Industrial Research (FMIR), a partner in the EEN Macedonia, with the idea of finding partners for their innovative solutions at international level. FMIR suggested the Brokerage Event Innovat&Match (June 6-7 2012, Bologna Italy), as an excellent opportunity to meet other IT companies and to promote their work.

Among the potential partners from EEN in the event there was also Silvia Mari, a former researcher at a major hospital complex in Lombardy which in 2011 founded the company R4R, a service company for research in Pharma Industry. The Italian EEN partner FAST supported the participation of R4R at the fair. The two companies come together, share information about their business and objectives and leave the fair with a first agreement for adapting the so-called SNAP application, proprietary of SyNRG Software and IT Solutions, to the needs of R4R.

“Thanks to Enterprise Europe Network I got the opportunity to find out the tailored IT application I was looking for,” says Silvia Mari. “I am confident that the collaboration with R4R will go beyond this single cooperation,” adds Ljupco Koceski, co-founder of SyNRG Software & IT Solutions.

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