Solution: A large number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) do not have their own resources for development of new products and companies are mostly producing products developed outside of B&H; therefore, consumers do not have an opportunity to influence performances of new product/services.
Goals and objectives: To change the situation, the Sarajevo Economic Regional Development Agency (SERDA) has implemented a voucher scheme, a small amount of public subsidy to support SMEs in market research by improving their capacity and providing support of knowledge providers on development of the new product/services for B&H market, based on the demand of consumers.
Implementation: The solution was implemented in Sarajevo Macro Region from March 2013 to June 2015. To test this solution, elderly people were selected as a target group with the aim to improve quality of life for by providing them with new products/services that satisfy their demand. Today in EU countries, 17 percent of the population is above 65 years old. It is estimated that by 2060, there will be 30 percent of the EU population 65 years and older. This represents a new growing market that has not been explored enough, while it also represents new opportunities forSME to offer new products/services to this market. To implement the solution, a Local Innovation
Commission (LIC), comprised of experts in different aspects of housing was established. Through workshops on guidelines for development of the new products/services LIC introduced SMEs to knowledge on innovation, market opportunities and new products all along the supply chain as well as best practices in the area in EU countries highlighting importance of the impact of end-user on development of a new product/service. The LIC set up criteria for selection of business proposals for new products/services and knowledge providers and monitoring of pilot projects implementation. SMEs applied with pilot projects to the LIC with a request to finance support of duly selected experts as knowledge providers for the development of new products/services.
Achievements: Seven companies were assigned with contracts for vouchers for development of new products/services. The amount of the vouchers assigned ranged between 5,000 and 10,000 Euro. Within six months the selected companies, together with knowledge providers, developed seven new products/services mainly oriented on health care, comfort of living and socialization of the elderly.
Replication: the good example on targeting both social needs and innovative development can be followed by countries in addressing the quality of life improvement.
Partner: Faculty of Architecture, University of Sarajevo
Sarajevo Economic Regional Development Agency (SERDA)
Tel: +387 33 652 935; +387 33 648 686