The need to motivate and support young people classified as NEETs (youth not in Education, Employment or Training) to start their own business has brought together 6 organizations, aiming to boost youth employment across Europe, under a strategic 3-year project called “Active Youth Entrepreneurship Network”, known as “AYEN”*. The aim of the project is to build a transnational entrepreneurial network that facilitates NEETs primarily in the age group of 25-29 to see needs/opportunities within their own community that can be developed into new businesses and jobs.
Many young people that are nowadays classified as NEETs have the necessary education and skills to contribute to the development of their societies, but, according to the European Commission, are often disconnected to the demand side (economy). The objective of the project AYEN is to build a transnational entrepreneurial network that facilitates NEETs primarily in the age group of 25-29 to see needs/opportunities within their own community that can be developed into new businesses and jobs. Through a comprehensive set of innovative tools, the partners from five Southeastern European countries will use and strengthen existing regional entrepreneurial communities to foster sustainable job creation.
The main output of the project will be strengthened regional entrepreneurial support communities with integrated support schemes for NEETs with entrepreneurship potential. It will be
achieved through 300 empowered former NEET youth establishing 150 startups and generating 600 new jobs across the five countries where the project is taking place. The direct target groups are entrepreneurial support communities, experienced mentors, investors and the end beneficiaries are NEET 25-29.
The project lasts for 36 months (from 01.06.2018 – 28.05.2021) across the six project locations, represented by the project partners. They are:
Supported by Innovation Norway, IDN and technology partner ICB Digital is developing a Cloud-based Smart Factory solution for manufacturing SMEs. The development takes place in close collaboration with manufacturing partner HTS Maskinteknikk.
Going digital and running a digitalization project has become priority number one on the agenda for many enterprises in all sizes and various sectors of the economy. Digitalization and automation are transforming manufacturing in several ways including intelligent products communication (IoT), digital supply chain, automation based on robotics and computer-aided manufacturing and automation of internal processes.
However, researches show that so far mostly large enterprises have managed to empower their digitalization projects, supported by extensive investments into IT infrastructure and human capacity. Considering that for larger enterprises enabling the SMART factory could be a matter of planning and managing their available IT budgets, for the small and
medium-sized business, keeping up with the new digital market trends is a challenge in terms of available financial and human resources.
Looking at the European level statistics, only 5% of SME enterprises have started their digitalization projects. If we look into details into the Norwegian manufacturing industry, we won’t be able to see much better results. Moreover, the industry is literally struggling for the past five years, not being able to generate profit and to grow.
IDN and its partners aim at developing an Industry 4.0 solution that is affordable, accessible and relatively easy to integrate and tailored to the business needs of the customers, this will enable manufacturing SMEs to become Factories of the future.
The main objective of Industry4SME is to offer an affordable pay-as-you-go Industry 4.0 solution in the cloud (Microsoft Azure), tailored to the production processes of small to medium enterprises. The platform will drive the digital transformation of the production in the direction of smart maintenance, digital supply chain, and new data-driven business models.
Following the key Industry 4.0 design principles, Industry4SME aims to inter-connect business-level software systems (such as ERP, PLM, CRM) with operational data from the field, thus allowing observed manufacturing operations to be compared against planned. In a contribution to the third Industry 4.0 pillar, the system will support human operators in their day-to-day decision-making tasks.
The TREND project is a regional initiative to support the development of the renewable energy potential of the Drava River Croatia-Hungary-Slovenia Cross Border Region by the training of local SMEs, NGOs, municipality opinion leaders and students.
The project aims to:
Train the local actors to be able to organize their community for launching a local renewable energy initiative with bottom up approach
Train the local actors to be able to select the technologically, agriculturally, economically, socially and environmentally best fitting option for their community.
To reach this aim the project will
MAP the regional best practices and seek the competences needed for a successful renewable energy initiative
DEVELOP four e-learning modules (biomass to energy, renewable energy technology, energy efficiency, project management)
ESTABLISH an international learning management system and educate target groups in all three countries to gain the personal competences needed for successful initiatives.
Partners (the main partners):
More info: http://trend2020.eu/
RDA of Slavonia and Baranja is non -profit ltd founded by local and regional authorities – City of Osijek and Osijek – Baranja County with an aim of fostering development and providing assistance to its founders in the area of EU funding opportunities.
Vision of the Agency is to be the link between public, scientific, private and civil sector in building up of strategic partnerships in application and implementation of projects that contribute to rising of life standard on the territory of Slavonia and Baranja. The Agency is also certified “development coordinator” for Osijek-Baranja County (certified by Croatian Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds) providing assistance to more than 40 cities and municipalities of the territory. The Agency manages the Representation office of Slavonia and Baranja in Brussels. RDA has a long standing experience in connecting cities and territories in joint planning and development of joint plans and strategies but also in securing funding for long term sustainability of their implementation. RDA, with its 14 employees, is in daily contact with towns and municipalities of the County providing tailor maid assistance for their development need.
The agency also has lot of experience in organising international events, workshops, educations, seminars, etc. and has used those events to create cross-border and transnational networks for future cooperation. Additionally, RDA has, as one of its main goals organization of educational programmes and capacity building of local and regional stakeholders. Within that activity it organizes series of seminars, workshops and trainings for local government decision makers, institutions, NGOs, entrepreneurs, potential start-ups and clusters. It strongly promotes cooperation between public, private, non-governmental and business sector.
In the field of sustainable development with special emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources it participates in development of projects funded by EU and other international donors that generate new employment opportunities for young people, women and specific marginalized groups. The Agency is active in conducting life- long learning education programmes and in providing opportunities for practical learning for students through available internships.
Partner University of Maribor, Slovenia, shares a tradition of wide spectrum of knowledge and research, including the rising of the awareness and importance of the ecological and healthy environment, both physically and intellectually.
Being the main drive force of the technological development and a treasury of knowledge, the University of Maribor is prepared to transfer the knowledge and exceed its boundaries by exchanging experience with other partners. University of Maribor is educating experts in the widest sense of many research fields, including the energy technology and environment and takes into consideration EU guidelines and trends in research of the particular field.
Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek is part of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek and is one of its oldest members. 18 October 2015 marked exactly 55 years of its foundation.
The mission of the Faculty of Agriculture (PFOS) is to develop and systematically improve the dynamic and multidisciplinary research environment in which to take maximum advantage of all the research potential and the improvement of existing and development of new knowledge to be constant.
Such an environment provides an excellent transfer of the latest knowledge and skills to students and provides them a place among the leading agronomic experts who will apply the latest scientific knowledge in production practice. PFOS with its research environment, education in agronomy and continuous development of knowledge and skills necessary for lifelong learning serves the community and contributes to the development of society as a whole. Faculty participated in 37 international projects in the last 10 years.
Mr. Stølan holds a M.Sc. degree at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH), within technical-economic planning in regional and urban areas. Master thesis focused on Regional and Local Economic Impacts of Petrochemical Industrialization.
Presently he is the President/CEO of International Development Norway. He was a Research Director at SINTEF, one of the largest Scandinavian research institutes , in the period 1997-2003, and 2004-2008, as well as scientist in SINTEF Industrial Management, Economics and Logistics. As a researcher on “commercialization of technology” he was engaged at Surrey Technology Centre, Surrey University, Guildford UK, 2003-2004. He also has experience as assistant professor, Department of Managerial Economic and Operations Research, at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Mr. Stølan has extensive international experience in project development management and consulting, local economic development, innovation and trans-national technology transfer. More than 20 years of practice experience in delivering and managing SME innovation and competitiveness actions. In total more than 12 years of experiences in building up and manage research activities in SINTEF and proven competences in terms of R&D and innovation within Norway, Europe and developing countries. Direct access to numerous institutions and networks regarding technology innovation, innovative SMEs, regional development and science and technology policy. Experience in managing projects funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA), EU funded: Framework Programmes, Competitiveness Innovation Programmes (CIP), EEA grants, but also private clients (industry).
Of significant importance is his engagement at the projects with technology transfer and commercialization of technology, innovative solutions in solar energy and their contribution to decentralized robust solutions and job creation (project Technology & Business Cooperation Norway-Uzbekistan), Waste Treatment Solutions (2011-2013 Serbia), Process and Supplier Industry Development based on Natural Gas in Uzbekistan (2010-2011), Local Innovation and Business Development in Bioenergy and Plastic Recycling, Romania (2009-2011¬). In the period 2008-2012 he also provided support in Technological Innovations in Micro Combined Cooling Heating Power Romania (mCCHP Innovation), WEEE Technology Transfer and Promotion between Norway-Poland, as well as Environmental Technology Transfer Mid-Norway Poland and Joint Applied Research and Economic Cooperation between Norway and Kharhov Region.
Postgraduate Specialization in International Commercial Contract Law; Thesis for MSC Consumer Protection in preparation; Bar Exam, B. A. in Law. Experience in: international projects and organizations, governmental bodies; project development, consulting; legal framework development and internationalization in SMEE sector; establishing business incubators & clusters; analyzing and drafting of legislation, entrepreneurial training development; institutional & capacity building.