Bogdan and Goran Maksimović are brothers from Nikšić in Montenegro. The younger man, Bogdan, is an IT expert while his older brother Goran is an electrician and passionate fisherman. When they joined forces, they created an innovative fish feeder. “Today’s process of feeding fish is rather obsolete: the same as it was 50 years ago. People don’t even know how many fish they have in a pond, let alone how much food they require, so we devised a system which can help with saving food, and therefore money,” says Goran.
Goran further explains that having no idea how much food fish need can cause also other problems as excessive food can pollute water and lead to the death of the fish. “Now, all these problems are solved,” Goran says. The fish feeder device he designed with his brother can be used to programme and monitor how much food is given to fish. Based on that information, the device can also calculate how much food they need per day. The machine runs with a solar panel, so it is energy efficient and mobile, and can be used in ponds in distant places such as high mountains.
A place for innovation
The fish feeder device was developed and tested at the Nikšić Tehnopolis Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, which is a centre for the development of start-up companies and entrepreneurship. Recently, the EU-funded project entitled “Improving infrastructure for research and innovation that can be used to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)” supported Tehnopolis in setting up a new industrial design laboratory, a biotechnology laboratory and a data centre. The 3D model for the fish feeder was developed at the industrial design laboratory, which is equipped with the most modern 3D printer, CNC machines and a robotic arm.
Đorđije explains that their target group is very wide and includes young children to middle-aged and older adults, students, start-ups and entrepreneurs, development teams, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, agricultural producers, institutions, investors, local and regional partners and others.
So far, Tehnopolis has implemented around 30 projects, of which 16 are still in process. Over 90% of funds for these projects have been provided by the EU, which has supported Tehnopolis with about €4 million through various programmes in the last five years. “Currently, about 40 innovators use the data centre, the biotechnology laboratory and the industrial design laboratory at our centre, all funded by the EU,” says Đorđije.
“We are also developing our human resources to ensure that we have people with the right skills to work with this equipment. This means that in the near future we will be able to provide even greater support to farmers, innovators, and SMEs who want to improve their production process and become competitive on the market,” he concludes.
About the project
The EU-funded “Improving infrastructure for Research and Innovation that can be used to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)” project supported Tehnopolis with the development of the infrastructure capacities of the biochemical laboratory, the laboratory for industrial design, and the data centre. The project resulted in the creation of an innovative platform to support new services and products in Montenegro, and the competitiveness of existing SMEs, while also helping develop brand new, technology-oriented SMEs. The project’s total budget was €818,000.
Photo credits: Tehnopolis
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