The “StepUp with Cortex” project of ICT Cortex and the Capital City of Podgorica improved the competitiveness of 12 small IT companies

ICT Cortex, in cooperation with the Capital city of Podgorica, realized the project “StepUp with Cortex”, which was supported by the Kingdom of Norway through the project “Norway for you – Montenegro”. The “StepUp with Cortex” project, which the ICT Cortex cluster implemented in cooperation with the Capital City of Podgorica, with the support of the Kingdom of Norway through the “Norway for you – Montenegro” project, in the period from March to November of this year, was aimed at improving and education of employees from 12 member companies, to improve competitiveness through the upgrading of institutional, administrative and organizational capacities and business skills of employees. The following companies participated in this project: Alicorn, Amplitudo, Archimede, Bild studio, Codepixel, Codeus, Data Design, DigitalBee, Fleka, Logate, Omnitech, and Oykos Development. The final event of the project was organized yesterday, which was attended by training participants, representatives of companies – project beneficiaries, trainers, and lecturers, as well as representatives of the Capital City and ICT Cortex. Chief Project Officer,, Ferida Mandić, emphasized the importance of this project. “The “StepUp with Cortex” project, in the period from March to November of this year, was aimed at the training and education of employees from 12 member companies, to improve competitiveness through upgrading the institutional, administrative, and organizational capacities and business skills of employees.” pointed out Mandić and added that the results of the training were very successful. “Five education programs were implemented, a total of 10 trainers were engaged; about 100 employees from 12 companies underwent training; employees from the ICT Cortex executive office also completed agile project management training; recommendations were made to improve the business environment for IT companies at the level of the Capital City.” Director of the Center for Information System of the Capital City, Džemal Lekić, pointed out that the administration of the Capital City is dedicated to the improvement of the sector of micro, small and medium enterprises, which is one of the key factors for accelerated economic development. “The ICT sector in the capital is recognized as one of the most important sectors for the future economic development of Podgorica because it supports all other sectors of the economy. In recent years, the administration of the Capital City has recognized digitization as one of the priorities in the development of Montenegrin society in terms of processes that can affect the improvement of the quality and standard of life of citizens. The goal is for ICT to become a strong sector of the economy that could become Montenegro’s leading export activity. Through the cooperation of the actors in the ICT community, there will be an increase in the number of employees, primarily professional staff, so the development and application of ICT are of crucial importance for economic development”, stressed Lekić. The project manager of the UNOPS office in Montenegro, Armen Čekić, pointed out that he was particularly glad that the ICT sector recognized the benefits of human resource development. “The development of human resources is the most important for the development of a company, and for the growth of the economy, which also entails the development of technology. So it should be continuously developed. I also hope that the others will follow this approach to their further development”, Čekić concluded. Trainer and NLP coach at NLP Network, Danka Ćetković, expressed her gratitude for the idea of such a project and emphasized that she is very proud of her students. “We hung out and worked together for three months, and at first it wasn’t easy, but over time we realized that the hidden goal was to connect, that we are not competing with each other, but supporting each other. The topics we covered were everyday ones that everyone needs. Especially in the IT sector, because the focus is on professional knowledge, and technological knowledge, to be the best programmers, and designers. That’s how it should be because the ICT industry is the bright spot of our economy. However, for it to be able to deliver everything that is expected, someone must also think about people. Who will develop all that, master it… Because it is an industry that changes very quickly, is very flexible, and prioritizes efficiency, short deadlines, and innovation. So we have to support people, work on their development, communication and negotiation skills, to overcome their fears, nervousness and the like”, described Ćetković. At the very end, participants were presented with certificates and certificates of completed training, where they shared their impressions from the training. A lot of interaction, group work, and exercises, as they said, facilitated the learning process and the acquisition of new skills and knowledge, and they recommend this type of education to people from different spheres because it is of great benefit to everyone. The cooperation of the Capital City and ICT Cortex on this project is another confirmation of joint action aimed at improving the overall business environment and creating an innovative ecosystem for IT companies at the level of the Capital City, where conditions are created for the development of innovative products and their placement on international markets.