Intern (up to 8 positions)


Location : Banja Luka, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Application Deadline :17-Sep-23 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months, starting on 1st September 2023

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH), in line with its 2021-2025 Country Programme, United nations Development Programme (UNDP) work focuses on sustainable and inclusive growth, people-centered governance and social cohesion. The UNDP Country Programme outcomes correspond to three outcomes of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2021-2025 (outcome 1 on resilient, sustainable and inclusive growth, outcome 4 on accountable and transparent governance systems, and outcome 5 on social cohesion and trust). UNDP is fully committed to support BIH with regards to its Agenda 2030 commitments as well as the European Union (EU) accession process.

 

During the past years, Science and Technology Parks (STPs) worldwide have witnessed rapid development fueled by collaboration among government, science, and the private sector. STPs worldwide have been developing for over fifty years, starting with the first generation of STPs where the focus was on gathering companies and renting space, all the way long to very complex systems. Observing these trends, the Government of Republika Srpska (RS), has recognized the potential for the development of the local innovation ecosystem and challenged the biased attitudes toward research commercialization and collaboration between science and industry. This has set the basis for the development of this sector and demonstrated the government’s commitment to this issue.

 

However, initial research has shown that Banja Luka is only at the beginning of the development of the local innovation ecosystem. The University of Banja Luka (UNIBL) has around 20,000 students, 17 faculties, and Institute for Genetic Resources. Despite sporadic examples, there are no significant links between science and industry that would lead to more applied research and technology transfer activities. To back the creation of productive linkages between new technologies, science, innovation, and fast-growing industries, thus accelerating sustainable economic development, entrepreneurship, and jobs and leveraging unique local and regional new businesses, start-ups and economic opportunities, the RS Ministry of Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society (Ministry) has initiated the creation of STP in Banja Luka.


Against this background, the Ministry sees the idea of creating a Science and Technology Park (STP) in Banja Luka as one of the policy tools to stimulate productive linkages between new technologies, science, innovation, and fast-growing industries, thus accelerating sustainable economic development, entrepreneurship, and jobs and leveraging unique local and regional new businesses, start-ups and economic opportunities. It is expected that the STP in Banja Luka will serve as a vehicle for promoting an environment conducive to technopreneurship and aim to leverage the contribution of science and technology for sustainable economic growth.

Given the existing strong and strategic partnership between the Ministry, UNIBL and UNDP, the Ministry has addressed UNDP with a request to provide technical assistance in the process of establishment of the STP Banja Luka and building capacities for its efficient and effective functioning. Result of this initiative and the partnership between the Ministry, UNDP and Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) as the Donor, is this Project.

 

The main objectives of the Project are to provide technical assistance in support of the RS Government, in:

  1. Preparation of a high-quality loan proposal for the construction and furnishing of a Science and Technology Park (STP) in Banja Luka, and
  2. Establishment and building capacities of STP BL and its management team.

The STP in Banja Luka will support the promotion of knowledge development, the development of more effective cooperation between the scientific and research communities and the private sector, the creation of favorable conditions for the development of innovative companies, as well as help attract foreign investments. And it will serve as a vehicle for promoting an environment conducive to technopreneurship and aim to leverage the contribution of science and technology for sustainable economic growth. These objectives are at the center of work of the Good Governance Sector of the UNDP Country Office, under which this project is implemented.

 

To perform its role successfully, the STP BL must be institutionally linked with the University and focused on supporting the new entrepreneurship and expansion of the existing businesses, with a focus on information technologies. UNIBL has identified and formally allocated an appropriate building plot for construction of the STP, placed within the Banja Luka Campus. The allocated land plot provides not only sufficient space and infrastructure for the STP to be build, but by being physically located within the University campus, it allows also for a better and more efficient communication and cooperation of the future STP tenants with the researchers, students and teachers of different faculties of the UNIBL.

 

Based on the state of the current Banja Luka innovation ecosystem (growing start-up scene, presence of some international companies, strong IT community and talents), a need to foster the creation of new innovative companies, to support existing ones in decreasing their current dependence on outsourcing, and to help them to focus on developing their own proprietary technologies, have been identified as the priority focuses of the STP BL support programmes.

It is envisaged that the STP BL would in the future provide support for the following types of tenants:
 

  1. Start-ups - incorporated micro companies in the early stages of the business model development with a scalable business model and innovative technology
     
  2. Scaleups - domestic micro/small tech companies operating on the market and in the phase of scaling their product
     
  3. R&D departments of domestic and international medium/large hi-tech companies developing their own proprietary technology that would enable the transfer of newest technologies to the local market.
     

Based on the mapped strengths and weaknesses of the start-up companies in the Banja Luka area, the STP should in begging consider providing the following types of services for the companies:

  • Intensive training and mentorship on business model development (how to reach product/market fit, customer validation, pricing strategy, sales channels, financial planning, etc.)
  • Administrative and legal services in company establishment, co-founders relations, tax regulation, accounting, etc.
  • Investment readiness to help start-ups prepare their pitch, negotiate with investors and make connections with relevant investors – the role of the STP team is quite relevant here in checking the references of investors and filtering those with relevant background, good references, and matched with the industry and stage of start-up development
  • Organize events and create strong linkages to relevant faculties to promote the opportunities at tenant companies and provide information to talents about the benefits of working in the innovation sector.


Duties and Responsibilities

 

Under the overall supervision of the UNDP Project Manager, and in close collaboration with the representatives of the Ministry and the future STP BL management, the Intern will assist in implementation of the project activities which are related to establishment and building capacities of the STP BL and its management team.

Internship-specific duties and responsibilities may fall under the following categories:

  • Promotion and awareness raising on STPBL, its role, programmes, activities and support opportunities with the innovation community and the public, with focus on use of social media.
  • Support implementation of more in-depth research of the local innovation ecosystem in Banja Luka, through organizational, logistical, communications and data collection and analysis work.
  • Assist in identification of the potential future beneficiaries (startups and hi-tech companies)
  • Contribute to development of legal and operational documents needed for the establishment and registration of the STP BL as a new legal entity and its internal organization.
  • Contribute to development of STP financial plans, business model, services, revenue models and pricing strategies.
  • Contribute to development of the key operational documents needed for the functioning of STP BL (i.e. public calls, application forms, evaluation sheets, etc.)
  • Provide support in the process of consultation and consensus building on support to the STP BL work with the key stakeholders (government, university, students, private sector, trade associations, etc.).
  • Assist in the preparation of communications materials, web and social media content, to be produced for STP BL.
  • Provide assistance in organization of internal and external project events.
  • Provide logistic and administrative support.
  • Assist in other relevant duties and tasks, as assigned by the Project Manager.


Competencies

  • Have a keen interest in the work of the UN and the UNDP and demonstrate a commitment to its statement of purpose and to the ideals of the UN.
  • Ability to successfully interact with individuals of differing socio-economic, religious and cultural backgrounds both professionally and personally;
  • Ability and desire to work in a team;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills;
  • Strong research skills and ability to identify relevant information
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines;
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations;
  • Detail-oriented way of working;
  • Innovative and creative approach to tasks;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback.


Required Skills and Experience

Applicants to the UNDP Internship Programme must at the time of the application meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a postgraduate degree programme (such as a Master’s programme or higher)
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (such as bachelor’s degree or equivalent)
  • Have recently graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above and, if selected, must start the internship within one year of graduation
  • Be enrolled in a postgraduate professional traineeship program and undertake the internship as part of this program

Degree and experience in the following academic disciplines will be considered as an advantage:

  • Law
  • Economics/Marketing
  • Communications/Journalism
  • Electrical engineering/IT
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Natural sciences


Skills

  • Proficiency in English and in local languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina is mandatory
  • Full computer literacy.
  • Advance computer literacy (web design, social media, date collection/processing/analysis etc.) would be considered as an asset.

 

Learnings

The intern will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in in-house training opportunities as applicable;
  • Learn the structure, mechanisms, policies and practice areas of UNDP;
  • Participate in dedicated trainings and UNDP online learning tools;
  • Strengthen his/her skills through on-job practice and intensive interaction with peers.
     

Terms and Conditions

  • Since 1 January 2020 UNDP interns are provided a monthly stipend to cover costs associated to the internship. The stipend amount varies from duty station to duty station. The amount can also vary depending on selected candidate receiving financial support from a nominating institution, related institution or government;
  • UNDP accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred during the internship;
  • UNDP only accepts interns for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months;
  • Interns are expected to work full time but flexibility is allowed for their education programme;
  • The travel restrictions imposed the national governments might limit the possibility for international interns to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • The intern is responsible for obtaining necessary visas and arranging travel to and from the duty station where the internship will be performed;
  • The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but to complement an intern’s studies.  Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship.
  • Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity.

More information available at: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/operations/jobs/types-of-opportunities/internships.html



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