The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investments and Informatization (ODPMII) keeps helping small and medium enterprises in Slovakia to grow and develop. For this purpose, it uses the hybrid funding model, which puts together public finance with private sources. Along with that, it also helped students of the Secondary Vocational School for Technology and Design in Poprad with their project “Children forgot in cars” who requested the ODPMII to help them find investors.
Six Slovak companies recently took part in the Innovation Leaders Open Gate training programme in successful Israeli accelerator SIT4F. It helped companies develop their innovative solutions, provided them with know-how, licences and technologies and, thanks to that, they will be better able to succeed in foreign markets. At the end, representatives of companies presented their solutions at the so-called Demo day to the expert jury and investors.
Along with them, the event also served for presentation of students from Poprad, whose project drew attention and they brought a lot of experience and inspiration they want to incorporate into their business plan. “The main feature of the project is a special sensor located in straps in a child car seat and in the driver’s seat that will help parents to not forget their children in cars any more. They respond to increasing number of such cases they want to prevent with their invention,” Deputy Prime Minister Richard Raši explained.
According to the author of the project, Dominika Liptáková, as many 90 per cent of people do not have any device in their cars making sure that they do not leave their children in the car. “Our motivation for this whole project was that we are sorry if children die because of that. We started thinking about it and considered hot to make our project as good as possible,” she said. Accelerator in Tel Aviv was intended for six Slovak companies and their innovative ideas. Those companies succeeded in calls of the ODPMII focused on Industry 4.0, cyber security and biotechnology.
One of them is Biomedical Engineering, which manufactures special implants for long-term invasive surgery. For example, it has developed the first facial implant made by 3D printing in Central Europe, which has already been successfully implanted by physicians. “Doctors are enthusiastic with what we are offering, they are interested in our implants. Our ambition is to get more open to the market also by means of the acceleration programme. And we want to go on,” Peter Sedlačko from the company said.
“Both, Biomedical Engineering as well as students from Poprad are examples of how our office can help young people. The Poprad students can soon become global players just like this company, which also started at school and now it is one of top global producers of implants,” Deputy Prime Minister said.
The ODPMII continues in cooperation with accelerators – with US-based Center for Innovation Technologies in Virginia as well as with SIT4F in Tel Aviv. In the US accelerator, there were two companies successful last year. One of them, Damalis, offered a solution of digital platform for visualisation of city planning and the other, GOSPACE, presented a solution for secure residential parking. “Success of both companies that took part in the programme in the USA and appearing success of six companies from Israeli accelerator are results of correctly set public-private cooperation. Thanks to such funded projects, we can reduce dependence on subsidies from the state budget and, concurrently, we are helping Slovak companies develop and push through their innovative solutions beyond Slovak borders,” Richard Raši said, mentioning that Slovakia is a small country with a lot of clever people with unique ideas living there.
At the end of June, the ODPMII published two more two-stage calls to support two innovation groupings and eight innovative companies in the total amount of EUR 830,000. This time, it is a two-stage call, the assistance will be focused not only on start-ups, small and micro-companies but also on support to innovative groupings – which means assistance to Slovak incubators and accelerators. For more information about calls, go to the website of the ODPMII https://www.vicepremier.gov.sk/sekcie/investicie/podpora-inovacii/index.html.