26.05.2015 - 28.05.2015 | Minsk, Belarus

Innovation Training for the Eastern Partnership

Promoting innovation in the Eastern Partnership countries and sharing the best EU practices with them in fostering commercialisation and technology transfer is one of the main goals of the IncoNet EaP project. To reach it, a training on innovation was organised by Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação Ltd., Portugal (SPI), and the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support for Scientific and Technical Sphere (BelISA) with the assistance of project partners from Austria, Germany and EaP countries on 26-28 May 2015 at the Renaissance Hotel in Minsk, Belarus.
The workshop involved 38 participants, including 30 trainees from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as EU trainers from Portugal, US, Austria, Belgium, Romania and Greece. The trainees represented ministries, agencies, academies and universities involved in applied or collaborative research and/or focused on support measures at state or organisation level, and research coordination units, departments or intermediary organisations dealing with commercialisation of research results. The 3-days event has provided to all of them the unique opportunity for sharing experience, setting up direct contacts and networking. On special request, the local organisers assisted the guests with developing a side agenda to set up or re-start links with Belarusian research centers.

The workshop was launched by Olga Meerovskaya, BelISA and Douglas Thompson, SPI who introduced the scope and the agenda of the training. After that, Yannis Kechagiaras, the IncoNet EaP manager, CeRISS welcomed the participants on behalf of the coordinating team and   presented the project, its results and the current activities.

Mr. Mark Spinoglio, the Head of SPI USA Inc., California/ Washington, USA started the core part of the training with the introduction to key innovation topics and definitions. The afternoon session of the first day was devoted to IPR and delivered by Dr. Alfred Radauer, Senior Expert IPR, Technopolis Group in the form of video conference. The networking dinner in the historical part of Minsk has united the participants of the training and the partners of another regional EU-supported project NoGAP that is focused on promoting innovation in the energy sector.

The largest part of the second day was devoted to financing innovation. The session was presented by Dr. Rumen Dobrinsky, Director of Strategy and European Projects, European Alliance for Innovation, Belgium/Italy and covered two levels – private early-stage financing of innovative enterprises and public policy initiatives to address the early-stage financing needs of innovative firms. On the top, experiences of different countries in the financing of innovative enterprises have been presented. The session has been finalised by an interactive exercise implemented in 6 national groups: the idea was to develop and defend at public the most urgent measures to overcome existing challenges and boost innovation process in each EaP country.

The next part of the training centered at commercialisation and technology transfer issues, including practical support for commercialisation. In this block, the speakers were Douglas Thompson, SPI and Dr. Mihai Dragomir, Ass. Professor, University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The final session of the training was devoted to international comparative assessments and examples from the region. Started by Douglas Thompson, it was continued by presentations of the national experiences of EaP countries by Ruben Gevorgyan (Armenia), Aynura Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Maya Talakhadze (Georgia), Cristina Manea (Moldova) and Oleg Khymenko (Ukraine). From Belarus, a visit to ADANI Ltd., the innovative science-based private company specialised in the R&D and manufacturing of hi-tech equipment for medical radiology, X-ray security screening, X-ray non-destructive testing, radiation control and ESR spectrometry has been organised. According to participants, this visit has become one of the most exciting parts of the training.

Despite the expectation of many of the EaP participants to get a unique recipe how to improve innovation in his/her country from the trainers, that was not the case. However, according to the feedback, they are aware now which instruments they may try to adjust to local circumstances in order to speed up the process. 

Philipp Brugner from ZSI has made a video recording of the training. After the processing, all the materials will be available for a wider public (see links below).

Downloads & further details

  • Agenda
  • Presentations, list of participants and images
  • Video (coming soon)


Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI)
Douglas Thompson:

Olga Meerovskaya:

Source: Olga Meerovskaya, BelISA