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Central Bohemian Innovation Centre (SIC) Enhancing Regional Innovation and Technology Commercialisation 

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We are thrilled to welcome the Central Bohemian Innovation Centre (SIC) as the newest quality-certified EU|BIC.  

EU|BIC Certification

The EU|BIC certification is a mark of quality, recognising organisations that meet the highest standards of business support services to ensure innovative entrepreneurs thrive. It is a highly selective status, originated from and recognised by the European Commission. To qualify, organisations must document their impact and undergo peer-review verification every five years to maintain their certification. The EU|BIC quality is issued by the European Business and innovation Centre Network (EBN).

The Central Bohemian Innovation Centre (Středočeské inovační centrum – SIC) is an intermediary organisation and public innovation agency dedicated to developing a regional entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. It implements the Regional Innovation Strategy of Central Bohemia, an area in the surroundings of Prague. Covering 14% of the Czech Republic’s territory, the Central Bohemian Region is the largest in the country, home to 1,144 municipalities and the second-highest contributor to the national GDP. The region is renowned for its high export performance, with sectors such as automotive and engineering contributing approximately 80% to the regional GDP. 

In this vibrant region, R&D investments account for 2.3% of the GDP, surpassing the national average. The business sector contributes 75% to the region’s R&D spending, highlighting its significant innovation potential. The region hosts 26 public research organisations engaged in leading basic and applied research, demonstrating a robust capacity for developing Key Enabling Technologies. 

sic european business and innovation centre
EU|BIC SIC’s team during their recent certification process

SIC’s Vision and Mission 

The vision for the innovation policy and development of the Central Bohemian Region is to create “a region characterised by a high standard of living and a knowledge-based economy, supported by an active innovation community that welcomes all ambitious, creative, and entrepreneurial individuals.” SIC’s mission is to assist individuals in transforming their visions into innovations and successful businesses, thereby contributing to a better world. 

Strategic Goals and Achievements 

SIC aims to ensure faster growth and development of companies through its services. It strives to initiate more innovation projects between startups, corporations, investors, and research organisations, increasing the multiplier effect of private investments in innovative projects supported by SIC. Additionally, SIC focuses on expanding its business community, involving more business leaders in the innovation community to inspire, develop, and initiate joint projects. 

Key achievements include supporting over 300 startups and SMEs, accelerating more than 100 research projects towards commercialisation, implementing over 300 innovations in companies, providing 5000+ hours of expert consultations, and investing CZK 75 million (€3 million) in company innovation. 

Excellence in Technology Transfer and Commercialisation 

SIC excels in technology transfer and the commercialisation of research with a robust go-to-market approach. This is achieved through several targeted programmes and initiatives: 

  1. Science4Business: This platform translates scientific research into viable business opportunities, facilitating technology transfer from academia to the market. SIC brings together research teams and businesses to develop new products and optimise processes, ensuring that innovations effectively reach the market. 
  1. Technology Transfer Vouchers: SIC provides financial support for solutions at TRL 3 to 7 to move technological solutions closer to market application, targeting bottlenecks where transfer failures are most common. In 2023, four projects received these vouchers, each worth up to CZK 500,000 (€20,000), covering R&D costs, IP protection costs, and consultancy services. 
  1. Start-Up Accelerator: An intensive programme that accelerates the growth of existing startups, offering 120 hours of mentoring support, six weeks of training workshops, financial support (up to CZK 300,000 (€12,000)), and access to investment opportunities through investor pitch days. 
  1. INOEX Programme: This programme provides established companies with funding schemes for product innovation and market expansion. INO offers up to CZK 650,000 (€26,000) for the innovation of existing products or the development of new ones, while EX provides up to CZK 300,000 (€12,000) for successful market expansion. 

Comprehensive Support Services 

SIC offers a wide range of support services tailored for startups and SMEs, including financial support for innovation, development, expansion, and launching new products. It provides consultation on starting a business, strategic development, digitalisation, and sustainable business financing. SIC’s networking services connect founders, R&D professionals, corporations, investors, and other startups, fostering a collaborative innovation ecosystem. 

Notable Programmes 

  • Start-Up Now!: A foundational programme to kickstart entrepreneurial ventures. 
  • Digitalisation and Circular Economy: Focuses on integrating digital processes and sustainable practices into business operations. 
  • Grant & Financial Consultancy: Offers expertise in navigating financial challenges and securing funding. 
  • SIC Business Community: Builds a supportive network of businesses to foster collaboration and growth. 

Regional and International Collaboration 

SIC collaborates with 12 coworking centres in the region, including Impact Hub Mladá Boleslav and Meandr Řevnice, enhancing its physical presence for hosting events and generating leads. It also offers virtual incubation and acceleration services, supporting startups, scale-ups, research organisations, and SMEs either at partner offices or directly on company premises. Additionally, SIC is a key member of the EDIH consortium Brain4Industry, providing services to accelerate the impact of digitalisation on small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Being awarded full certification and the EU|BIC Trademark is a recognition of our talented and dedicated team, their commitment, and hard work. It testifies to the care we put into our organisation, the ecosystem, and our clients. This certification also brings a responsibility to maintain the high quality of our services as we continue our journey of learning and growth, now supported by the EBN Network. 

Full certification and membership in EBN mean significant future development for SIC, opening up a wide range of new possibilities for our clients and ecosystem partners. We will transform this opportunity into successful new collaborations on a European level and beyond. We are ready to serve as a gateway to the vibrant innovation ecosystem in the Prague metropolitan area for other EBN members

Pavel Jovanovič, CEO of Central Bohemian Innovation Centre (SIC)

Looking Ahead 

Achieving the EU|BIC certification underscores SIC’s dedication to continuous improvement and excellence in service delivery. It aligns SIC with a trusted pan-European community of business innovation leaders, enhancing its capacity to support innovative entrepreneurs and drive regional economic, social, and sustainable development. 

For more information about SIC and its services, please visit SIC’s website or contact Athziri Moreno moreno@s-ic.cz.  

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