B2B – business to business and business to academies was organized with main goal to link hi tech companies, academies and representatives of educational institutions from region. It was the first event of that concept in our region.

Some of NiCAT cluster activities are bridging the gap between science and business, transfer of the technology and knowledge among the members, generation of new innovative projects, boosting R&D, engagement of all innovation sources, exchange of experiences and success stories. Practice has shown that many people know each other well, but they've never in a structured way discuss what they can work together, as companies from the region, as well as support institutions, innovators and faculty of the University of Nis.

Few months ago, NiCAT cluster organized a small event for representatives of business and science. The reason was call for application of innovative projects (science and business). That event has shown us that we need to motivate science and business to cooperate. Also, NiCAT cluster research has shown that it is necessary to organize B2B meetings with the aim of connecting innovative sources in the region with the possibility of creating new partnerships among all who are engaged in high technology. 16 Internet of Things calls, new Innovation Fund calls, an open accelerators and funds in Serbia and region (CATCH, ENIF, Start labs), calls for H2020 are just some of the reasons for B2B meetings. It was necessary to invest a lot of energy and direct contacts with representatives of the academic community, to make them accountable and to convince them that it is important to come and be active participant. If required a lot of effort and investment, we succeeded. The meetings were attended by most faculties and high schools.

B2B event was organized during the second Forum of advanced technologies in Nis. B2B is organized by NiCAT cluster in cooperation with Regional Chamber of commerce Nis and with USAID REG financial support.

The event was promoted by the website, e-mails, and personal contacts. There were the 70 registered participants and 111 scheduled meetings. At the B2B were 101 meetings held. Because of the Forum of advanced technologies, which was at the same time, some of the participants could not reach the B2B and they met with interested parties on the B2B cocktail before the B2B meetings.

With representatives of high schools was agreed cooperation on presentations of advanced technologies and companies in schools intended for high scholars with main goal to motivate pupils to enrollment technical colleges. First presentations are agreed for December, February and March.

With faculties was agreed cooperation in innovation project for EU funds, exchange of experiences and success stories, transfer of the technology and knowledge, cooperation on curriculum modernization. Also was degree between representatives of faculties and SMEs practices for students and cooperation on bachelor and master thesis.

Between representatives of SMEs was agreed cooperation on new projects and cooperation on current business activities.

NiCAT cluster has 3 potential new members.

Most of the participants were satisfied with the agreements reached at the meetings, and we get a recommendation that NiCAT should organize this type of event again.

AuthorNicolas Segura