The IT Community Region project held its opening conference in an interesting and unusual venue: the Magenta 1 Waterbus, docked on the Danube river in Vukovar.
The IT Community Region is one of 19 projects contracted within the 2nd Call for Proposals. The project aims to encourage cooperation of IT professionals from Croatia and Serbia and create new opportunities for IT professionals and freelancers in Vukovar and Subotica.
The opening conference, held on 4 December aboard the Magenta Waterbus (Vukovar’s electro-solar boat used for tours and exhibitions), was a chance to present upcoming activities. Project partners – Open University Subotica Ltd., Adult Education Institution Studium, Vukovar Development Agency Ltd and Regional Development Agency Panonreg – will work on developing new solutions, such as distance learning systems, virtual fairs and eSME support, and organizing new IT-tailored trainings and education programs. IT Community Region also plans to set up two centers for educational and entrepreneurship support in Vukovar and Subotica.
Representatives of partner institutions highlighted the project’s role in creating new opportunities and bringing IT-related educational programs to border regions of Croatia and Serbia. “We will organize three training courses regarding 3D modelling, graphic design and virtual and augmented reality in Vukovar. In addition to training courses, we plan to set up e-learning courses.” said Ana Gale, director of Studium. Vladimir Perović, representative of Open University Subotica, announced setting up of IT-related educational programs that will benefit the community of Subotica as well. IT professionals from both sides of the border will be connected via cross-border web-based platform, allowing cooperation, knowledge and experience exchange.
A panel discussion titled “IT sector – where do we want to be?” was held after the presentations. In addition to project representatives, the discussion hosted representatives of IT companies, including Saša Salamon from Code Consulting (Vukovar), Mario Levanić from Informatika Fortuno (Vinkovci) and Oliver Guganović from ICT Cluster Subotica. The discussion focused on specific problems concerning lack of skilled professionals that the region is faced with, as well as new opportunities that will be created by the project.
The IT Community Region project (full title “Creation and fostering of common cooperating cross-border IT entrepreneurial community”) is implemented by partners from Croatia and Serbia within the Programme Priority Axis 4: Enhancing competitiveness and developing business environment in the programme area. The total budget of the project is 524.393,45 EUR and the total EU co-financing is 445.734,41 EUR of ERDF and IPA II funds. The project started on 1 June 2019 and will finish on 31 May 2021.