Concrete results of the EU ProLocal Programme: Innovations and novelties on the BiH market

EUR 4 million of the European Union grant funds allocated to 57 small and medium-sized enterprises and 25 development partnerships have introduced new products and services in the local market. The grant funds were provided by the European Union through EU ProLocal.

Being the first manufacturer of a 14-meter pylon in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a tremendous business venture of company Armako from Prnjavor. A pylon is a construction element whose use is irreplaceable in large infrastructure projects, such as the construction of highways, buildings and bridges.

“We have recorded a positive reaction from the local market as well as received the orders from the neighboring countries markets, Croatia and Serbia since the launch of the new product in the first half of September 2017 up to now”, emphasized the project manager Milan Blagojević.

The introduction of this novelty allowed the company to employ four new workers, and the software installation on the existing production line was financed by the European Union through the EU ProLocal awarded grants. EU ProLocal is a joint program of the European Union and the Government of Germany, which is supporting the economic development in BiH.

“Through grants, the European Union has stimulated the activity of small and medium enterprises, and helped them to either complete or modernize their production capacities. The companies are now enabled to respond to the customer needs with development of new products, and improved quality of the existing ones. By this, the obstacles to productivity and export growth are also being resolved, which enables profit generation for enterprises and creation of new jobs for the local communities”, stated Richard Maša, the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH.

What is new on the market

The novelties on B&H market are new low-weight seeds and seedlings packages, being produced by the company Sjemenarna from Široki Brijeg. The offer of a variety of packaging formats is a concrete result of the procurement of an automated line for filling and packaging, for which eight new employees were employed and trained. This investment enabled the company to have the entire business process organized under own roof.

“All of this has contributed to the reduction of the product price, which is strengthening our competitiveness, and is appreciated by our buyers”, said the company director Mario Bošnjak.

Innovative services and newly-created product quality are the entrance points for new markets and niches, as well as the expansion of the existing market share. Company Javor from Prijedor has used the innovative wood engraving and carving technology to offer luxury models of custom-made furniture on the market, improved quality of the existing products, and services on commercial basis to related companies.

Kovan M.I. from Gračanica became the first company in Bosnia and Herzegovina which uses the robot in the welding process. Since the robot replaces the work of eight welders, the redistribution of tasks has been conducted to technically more demanding, and the tasks where human labor still provides better results. The company is satisfied with the new quality of business operations, which is more precise, productive and economical.

The reinforcement nets factory Femis from Posušje pointed out that each innovation stands for the connection of technical possibilities and market demand. They have accomplished this by installing a new production line of spacers for shuttering, thus becoming the only ones in BiH with this type of equipment in factory production. The new production line provides for superior quality and increased production capacity of this element. Four new workers have been employed and educated.

EU ProLocal has supported the competitive advantage of local enterprises with the incentives for the development of innovations and the placement of new products and services. “We are pleased to be recording positive and concrete effects of the program activities throughout BiH. The introduction of innovations in business operations and market placement of novelties has enabled the enterprises to increase the sales revenues, opened doors to new markets, and created new jobs”, said the EU ProLocal Grant Manager Dr Gligor Stojkov.

EU ProLocal provides support to local self-government and economic development in BiH; it is financed with EUR 9 million by the European Union, EUR 4 million by the German Government, and is being implemented by the GIZ.