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Project holder:

Cirkuliranje  – regional union of civil society associations – NGO, based in Vršac

Implementation area:

Information and communication technologies – ICT, education, culture and economy


  • Regional Talent Center “Mihajlo Pupin” (hereinafter referred to as the Center)
  • High schools from the territory of Banat and the City of Belgrade (for example Mathematical Gymnasium)
  • Faculty of Organizational Sciences from Belgrade (FON), other faculties in the contracting process
  • Companies and Institutes in ICT sector as partners (Endava e.g.), others in contracting process

Potential partners/sponsors:

  • All those who decide to include their resources (technical, human and financial) in the implementation of the project will be project partners, where the relationship is contractually regulated.
  • Sponsors/donators are all entities that would support the project without entering a partnership relationship, as a useful community contribution and self-promotion.

Target groups – users of the project:

  • Primary and secondary school students
  • Faculties and students
  • Companies in the ICT sector


Pupin’s Challenge is a platform – specialised project consisting of workshops and final competitions in the ICT field. New and innovative, dual education approach for creative and innovative science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) and applied physics skills also. Teaching and learning opportunities connected to existing national practices and educational curriculum. Platform is designed to have measurable indicators through workshops and finals in understandable assignments for young people with its own developed methodology.

Participants are high school students and partly faculty students. In future, plan is to involve elementary school pupils and expand activities. The project is taking place in broader region of Banat. Professors from high schools and faculties, that are project partners, are actively involved.

The goal is to improve the information ecosystem, improve the region in terms of culture and business, and create better chances for the success of young people.

Pupin’s Challenge is a complex project. Previous two cycles confirmed to the public the correctness of thinking and the reality of the development plans.

This project as such is an excellent platform that can attract sponsors and provide multiple financing and development options.

What is Pupin’s Challenge?

Pupin’s Challenge represents a specialised project – a mechanism (SPV – special purpose vehicle) which should present to the public its own answer to the so-called triple helix – effective combination of education, institutions/social framework and business environment. Cirkuliranje is the coordinator and responsible for this project.

One of the main goals of the projects is to contribute in an innovative way to the increase of the base of competent young people in the IT industry, which are already starting to be acutely lacking. It is estimated that in Serbia alone is minimum of 6,000 unfilled jobs per year in the ICT sector.

Pupin’s challenge is a project that brings together a wide circle of partner organisations (scientific and educational institutions and IT companies) in the regions of Serbia and Romania that provide education and training in the ICT field to talented and motivated students and pupils. The goal of partner organisations of Pupin’s Challenge is to provide talented pupils and students with training, mentoring, equipment and confirmation (certificate) of their knowledge and participation on a topic selected in a specific cycle of Pupin’s Challenge.

A logical step and as one of the goals is the formation of a regional ICT cluster, which in cooperation with the existing cluster in Timisoara, could establish new connections/networking and give a new approach to regional connectivity. This would result in an increase in investments and economic activity in the ICT sector and the development of the region’s information ecosystem. There is support from the ICT scene in Romania, the education system and Timiş County. The city of Pančevo and Vršac support Pupin’s Challenge.

Part of the process of forming a regional cluster is the creation of capacities and the brand of Pupin’s Challenge, during which a cooperation “mechanism” is formed that will lead to the creation of a functional cluster. Within the framework of the project, cooperation was established with secondary and primary schools, HUBs, faculties, development agencies and companies in the ICT sector. This cooperation is constantly expanding and improving.

Pupin’s Challenge was designed to be and to become one of the drivers of regional cooperation. In the current cycle of the project, the final activity is a Hackathon where students present their acquired knowledge, which is only part of the larger scope of work that is planned. The plan is that the project will later include students, people who want retraining, as well as everyone who is motivated to learn new things. All this contributes fulfilment of some of the specific goals of the project, such as the development of an efficient system of dual education.

We are NGO working with partners through Pupin’s Challenge on providing innovative solutions to facilitate the integration of children into new educational environments. Creating smoother integration of children from different social, economic, and geographical backgrounds through different actions. For that we use the broader platform and various partners and their expertise in achieving this. Every project is tracked by measurable indications of the results/key objectives planned to be reached.

The project holder is CIRKULIRANJE, which with project partners, such as the recognised Center, Mathematical Gymnasium, FON and others with good work practices in them, and supported by professional experts, internal resources and a lot of enthusiasm, strives to make this system sustainable.


Perceived problems:

a) shortage of experts in the ICT field

b) inertness of the educational system – it cannot keep up with rapid changes in the ICT field

c) insufficient cooperation between schools and ICT companies

d) insufficient connection of educational institutions Romania-Serbia

Steps in solving the observed problems:

a) Support a culture of inclusivity and diversity, strengthening STEM skills

b) create innovative contents that can help in finding a job

c) provide access to ICT education

d) develop resilience in classrooms

e) Target teachers and/or parents by addressing their professional development and/or engagement

d) enable young people to find employment in the ICT field

f) Address issues of migration, displacement, and relocation in connection with formal education

g) Reflect on their added value

Our solution:

The ICT field is developing extremely fast. Educational systems, especially at the level of secondary education, are not able to keep up with such rapid changes. That is why there is a lack of specialists for work in the ICT field. Most students and teachers have no insight into the work processes within ICT companies. Also, ICT companies do not know the education system and the problems within it. The students’ awareness of the possibilities of further training in the ICT field is insufficient.

Obviously, it is necessary to connect all the mentioned subjects (students, teachers, faculties, ICT companies).

That is why the “Pupin’s Challenge” platform was created in Serbia, which connects all the mentioned subjects. The platform is supported by ICT companies, schools and NGOs.

The main goal of “Pupin’s Challenge”:

Improve the possibility of employment and the quality of education in the ICT field by connecting the ICT industry, high schools and colleges.

Steps during “Pupin’s Challenge”:

  1. Connecting ICT companies, faculties and schools
  2. Designing content suitable for students from the field of work of interested ICT companies
  3. Creating more workshops where teachers and experts present and train students
  4. At the end of the workshop cycle, organising a competition (hackathon)
  5. Organising public presentations of student works and informing the wider community about student achievements

Expected outcomes of “Pupin’s Challenge”:

a) better information among students about employment opportunities in the ICT industry

b) better information about study opportunities related to the ICT industry

c) acquisition of specific skills and knowledge in the ICT field

d) developing students’ digital, STEM and entrepreneurial competences from the European framework of key competences for lifelong learning

e) connecting schools from Romania and Serbia

f) connecting ICT companies from Romania and Serbia

g) creation of a network of interested individuals and institutions from Romania and Serbia

h) strengthening of StartUp ideas

i) formation of an ICT cluster in the Serbian part of Banat and cooperation with the ICT cluster in Timisoara

j) The realisation of the outcome would be checked through the cycle of “Pupin’s Challenge” itself

Project financing

There is already interest in the project from companies from the ICT sector and already connected partners in the project. There is already funding for the project in the form of donations and sponsorships, which we believe is achievable for the Romanian side as well.

Also, the planned increase in cooperation with Romania will certainly contribute to the attractiveness and efficiency of this project.