Experiment! Innovate! Accelerate!

August 25, 2022

UNDP Accelerator Lab from North Macedonia launches new initiative to create Podcast series that will tackle different development challenges our society is facing with. Our goal is to encourage engagement of new audiences and building innovative partnerships through the new podcast series, hosted by Accelerator Lab team. We invite relevant stakeholders and engage them in open debates about the core issues related to our development path. It is our pleasure to present you the first two podcasts on the topics of Designing greener and more resilient cities and the importance of utilizing the Quintuple helix model in connecting the academia, government, industry, society and environment.  

Podcast #1 Moving from Triple helix model to Quintuple helix model

In 2009  a speech delivered by Ms. Edith Cresson, then European Commissioner for Research, Science and Technology, titled “Towards a knowledge based Europe”, European commission unveiled its plan to support the creation of knowledge hub effectively opening the door for creation of the triple-helix model as a way forward in connecting academia, government and industry. However, by transitioning to a new decade the question many are asking is “how can countries transition from the heavily expose triple helix model to the Quintuple helix model (academia – government – industry – society -environment) where the environment will be driver for knowledge production and innovations that will address sustainable development and climate change.

To help us answer some of these questions we invited Ms. Katerina Krecheva from the State Fund for Innovation and technological development. Ms. Krecheva is heading the Department for strategic planning of the fund and recently was spearheading the process of co-financing the opening of three Fabrication Labs (FabLabs) as part of High educational institutions in the country. Her expertise is in EU chapters 25: Research and Innovation and Chapter 20: Industrial Policy of the National Programmed, on which she regularly reports to the European commission. With Ms. Krecheva we discussed about FabLabs  where young people can get free access, mentoring, space and technical facilities to design a prototype or small production of an innovative solution that they can test in a laboratory, industrial environment and / or market.


Podcast #2 - Designing Greener and more Resilient cities  

UNDP CO North Macedonia has been working on the Resilient Skopje intervention for some time now. This has been an interesting journey, there were many new insights that came across as important learnings both for us, but also for the city officials. Issues ranging from green cadasterheat islands, to bike and maps, have been developed in the past few years. Some were developed by the city officials, some with the support of different organizations, while others from civil society organizations and individuals. Partnerships are an important aspect of achieving lasting and sustainable change.

We invited two colleagues, but also friends who are working on the some issue but on different sites.

Ljubica Teofilovska, has an interdisciplinary background in architecture, urban planning, city resilience, environmental protection, climate change and innovation. Ljubica has wide experience in working with national and local institutions, NGOs and international organizations. She currently serves as Project Manager in UNDP and has been leading several projects (ICT for urban resilience, Resilient Skopje: Sustainability, Innovation and Climate Change, CBIT and Forth National Communication and Third Biannual Update Report on Climate Change) that tackle different areas as climate change adaptation and mitigation, city resilience and innovation.

Besian Mehmeti, founded BMA in 2012 after many years of collaborative and free-lance experience in the fields of architecture, urbanism and design, receiver of Annual Architecture Award for 2019, and prof. Boris Chipan for 2020 for contribution to the development of the architectural profession. His works have been nominated for the EU Mies van der Rohe Award, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Archdaily’s Building of the Year Award for 2022. Besian has participated in several exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale in 2012 and an exhibition in New York in 2019 called “Visions of green urban infills”.