A follow-up seminar on the outcomes of the international Project “Innovation Management, Technology Transfer and International Cooperation in Science and Technology” was held at the Minsk International Education Centre IBB. The event was jointly organized by the Project Group East Europe Cooperations and the Metolit Technopark (Minsk, Belarus), with the financial support from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology of Germany (BMWi), and in partnership with the International Association Economic Research and Education, a few Belarusian ministerial bodies and organizations, viz. the State Committee on Science and Technology, Belarusian Innovation Foundation, Republican Centre for Technology Transfer, Science and Technology Park of the Belarusian State University.
Managers and employees of Belarusian organizations and enterprises engaged in innovatory research and development activity, R&D commercialization, development of innovation-based entrepreneurship and international technology transfer were regarded as the primary target group for the seminar. Back in 2005 or 2007 most of the invitees took their training courses on innovation management, technology transfer and international cooperation in research and technology, followed by individual internships in Germany under the BMWi-sponsored international Transform Programme (developed for the specialists from the NIS countries).
During the two-day seminar the participants considered the current situation and prospects for the innovation-focused development of Belarus, reported about their professional use of the obtained knowledge and skills in innovation management; there was experience exchange in the fields of setting up, development and support of science and technology parks, innovation centres and business incubators in Belarus; there were highlighted notable success stories of socioeconomic and technology-concerned regional projects in Lida and Homel. Besides, the Belarusian participants availed themselves of the opportunity to study feasible options of closer collaboration with several counterpart entities in Germany.
One of the seminar sessions was dedicated to the topic “Support of Technology and Innovation Development in Belarus: Projects, Collaboration and Perspective Assistance”. Representatives of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus, National Information Office of the EU/INTAS 7th Framework Programme for Research Collaboration, Belarusian Innovation Foundation, UNDP Office in Belarus, Association of Industrial Research Amalgamations (AiF, Germany), East-West Scientific Centre of the Kassel University (Germany), Transform Programme, InWEnt Programme, IBB International Education Centre highlighted a wide scope of the available national and international mechanisms for support of innovation-related activity through national programmes and projects for science and technology development in Belarus, under the auspices of the neighbourhood and cooperation initiatives of the European Union.
The final part of the seminar agenda provided for presentations by an expert from the East-West Scientific Centre of the Kassel University. The guidelines on particularities in preparation and submission of innovation project proposals to specialized organizations and programmes across Germany and European Union, advice on international project management and tenders for grants to Belarusian-German research projects were of great interest to the Belarusian audience.
The participants were unanimous in their appreciation of the seminar and its information value. They suggested holding such events regularly, so that the innovation managers and innovatory activity agents could efficiently exchange their best practical experience and learn about the most advanced approach to the promotion and support of the innovatory R&D activity, innovation-driven entrepreneurship and innovation management.