Event review: Open dialogue and mutual learning meeting (Day 2)

The two-day event focused on engaging academia with and for public/citizens and engaging academia with and for business.

May 29, 2023

The event focused on engaging academia with and for public/citizens (Day 1) and engaging academia with and for business (Day 2). Open dialogue and mutual learning was facilitated between interest groups (academia, public and industry sector).

Date: 18-19 May 2023
Location: Rectorate building, University of Novi Sad
Local organizer: University of Novi Sad (UNS)
Format: physical

Who attended the event?

During two days, the event gathered 47 participants (on Day 1) and 42 participants (on Day 2) from the Western Balkans and beyond.

Figure 1. Picture taken at the end of Day 1
Figure 2. Picture taken at the end of Day 2

What happened at the event?

The idea was to bring together academia, public and industry from all WB countries (of WBC-RRI.NET project) and beyond to present primarily citizen science in the region, as well as their innovative work (either as practical solutions/projects or as innovative ideas for problem-solving resulting in establishing companies) to their colleagues from academia and business, and the wider public. Furthermore, the main goal of the event was to enable mutual learning and open dialogue between and across different stakeholder groups (academia, public, industry representatives) resulting in an overview of good practices in engaging academia in the innovation creation processes. Day 1 focused mainly on citizen science and projects in that domain, workshop helping participants to prepare a citizen science project, as well as showcasing examples of innovations from UNS following RRI principles. Day 2 focused on presenting successful company originating from academia and smart innovations, as well as on pitching event (best innovation idea competition).


Invited keynote presentation:
Language of understanding: academia and business, Prof. Dr. Stevan Stankovski, CAM Engineering company, Novi Sad

  • Early work and projects of the founder of CAM Engineering company;
  • Work and experience with industry;
  • Facing inevitable difficulties of starting his own company;
  • More than 50 employees and 8 patents after 20 years in business;
  • Preferred area of interest includes control systems, machines and IT solutions;
  • Presentation of devices and machines the company created since the establishment;
  • Concluding the speech with words that this kind of work is impossible with resources coming only from the universities.

Pitching event – Best Innovation Idea
Moderator: Dr. Vesna Raskovic Depalov, University of Novi Sad, Serbia

Teams and participants:

  1. Albania: Dr. Valerio Perna, Fulvio Papadhopulli and Rebeka Cenolli – “Intelligent Facade Panels / Testing Digital Tools for Smart Housing Systems”, FabLAB-Innovation Factory, Polis University
  2. Republika Srpska, B&H: Sunčica Sukur – “Aluminos for Luminous”,
    Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Banja Luka
  3. Montenegro: Marija Kaludjerović, and Marija Mićunović – “From Dangerous Cigarette Waste to Useful Plastic”,
    University of Montenegro, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  4. North Macedonia: Trajce Velkovski , Bojan Jovanovski and Maja Glavash Dodov – “Micro HEL-EX – an effective product for fast wound healing”, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University
  5. Serbia: Dr. Boris Antić – “Smart Upgrade for Passive Accessories in Power Networks”, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad


  1. Dr. Natasa Simin, HerbElixa, Novi Sad
  2. Dr. Vladimir Todorovic, Science and Technology Park, Novi Sad
  3. Dr. Vladimir Mandic, TIAC d.o.o., Novi Sad
Figure 3. Members of the jury (left to right): Dr. Natasa Simin, Dr. Vladimir Mandic and Dr. Vladimir Todorovic

Each team presented their innovation ideas to the audience and the jury. Presentation was timed to 5 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for questions from the jury for each team. After each innovation idea presentation and questions asked, the jury had several minutes to grade the innovations in 6 categories: (1) if the presentation was effective, (2) if presenting team’s solution solves a real problem, (3) if an innovation has a market potential, (4) if competition and their advantages were emphasized, (5) if value to target customers is clearly indicated, and (6) would the jury members, as investors, invest in this idea. After all teams presented their ideas, the audience had the chance to vote as well. Voting was performed through a mobile application called Menti. Audience could scan the QR code or go to the website, and vote who had the best idea in their opinion. Audience vote was scaled to 10% of the total vote.

At the end of voting, the awards were distributed as follows:

  • 1st place award was presented to the team from North Macedonia and the prize was 1500 EUR.
  • 2nd place award was presented to the team from Serbia and the prize was 1000 EUR.
  • 3rd place award was presented to the team from Republika Srpska, B&H and the prize was 700 EUR.
  • 4th place award was presented to the team from Montenegro and the prize was 500 EUR.
  • 5th place award was presented to the team from Albania and the prize was 300 EUR.
Figure 4. Pitch event teams from Western Balkans together with the jury members

The Day 2 was concluded with the General Assembly meeting organized only for the members of the WBC-RRI.NET project consortium.