On September 21, 2017, Minsk hosted the international conference “From innovative ideas to successful businesses: promoting the national systems of early stage financing of innovative companies in Eastern Partnership countries”. It was organized under the aegis of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Research and Innovation’.
The Conference has brought together over 80 participants from 14 countries of Eastern, Western and Central Europe, as well as representatives of the European Commission and of several EU-funded projects, of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, of the European Investment Bank and of the UN Economic Commission for Europe. The list of invited guests included Ms. Andrea Wiktorin, Head of EU Delegation to Belarus, Mr. Andrea Carignani-Di-Novoli who headed cooperation with the neighborhood countries in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, Prof. Dominique Foray from Federal Polytechnic School in Lausanne, one of the fathers of smart specialization, and many other distinguished speakers, policymakers, innovation intermediaries and businessmen.
The participants of the Conference shared best practices of the EU and EU Member States in supporting innovative SMEs and discussed possible joint activities of the EaP countries, EU Member States, the European Commission and other international donors to assist EaP countries in addressing the challenges.
The event is supported by the European Commission with the contributions from the EU project “Science, Technology and Innovation International Cooperation Network for EaP countries – EaP-PLUS” and the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support of Science and Technology.
Dominique FORAY — The importance of local innovation ecosystems and how to get them
Mariam SHARANGIA — Georgia: Promoting the national systems of early stage financing of innovative companies
Victor SHOVKALIUK — Financing early stages of innovative firms in Ukraine
Igor SEVERINE — Advice to Small Business: EBRD’s Business Support Program
Iker AYERBE — SMEs in Horizon 2020: Policy and implementation
Marc D’HOOGE — Objectives and Opportunities of the InnovFin Programme
Babis IPEKTSIDIS — Sub-grant scheme and innovation hubs within the FI-ADOPT and DIATOMIC EC-funded projects
George BONAS — The EaP PLUS Project: Instruments in support of innovation
Thomas REINEKE — EaP-Cooperation of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Maiia DEUTSCHMANN — Public Support for Start-Ups, Transfer and Innovation Activities in Germany
Daniel SZCZECHOWSKI — Poland: promoting the national systems of early stage financing of innovative companies in EaP countries
Sylvie COGNEAU — The Financing Continuum of Innovation
Kęstutis ŠETKUS — Lithuania‘s practices in funding start-ups, spin-offs and innovative SMEs
Christian STEIN — Austria: Startup Funding – Best Practice