Innovation Fund relaunches its two successful programs for Serbian SMEs

Posted in: News- Jun 01, 2017

Belgrade, June 1, 2017 – The Innovation Fund has officially renewed its two hallmark programs for the support to innovative entrepreneurs today – the Mini Grants Program and Matching Grants Program, intended for private micro and small companies engaged in the development of technological innovations with a clear market need and potential for commercialization. The launch event took place at Belgrade’s Science and Technology Park.

The Mini Grants Program , with grants of up to EUR 80,000, aims to stimulate the creation of innovative knowledge-based start-ups and/or spin-offs in the private sector by providing financing for development of innovative market-oriented technologies, products and services with significant commercial potential. It is designed to support the survival of companies during the critical phase of research and development and to allow Serbian entrepreneurs to grow effective business capacities through which they will launch their innovations on the market.

The Matching Grants Program , with grants of up to EUR 300,000, is designed for enterprises that require significant financial resources for the implementation of the development cycle of technological innovation and to cover the high costs of the transfer of research into a commercially viable product.

Projects from all industries and scientific fields are eligible. The deadline for applications closes September 1 at 3 pm.

Through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Republic of Serbia has allocated EUR 2.7 million in 2017 for the continuation of the two programs The Funds come from the Serbia Competitiveness and Jobs Project , implemented by the Republic of Serbia with the assistance of the World Bank.

The event’s keynote address was delivered by Mr. Mladen Šarčević, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development, and those present were greeted by Duško Vasiljević, senior private sector specialist of the World Bank, Jasna Atanasijević, interim director of the National Secretariat for Public Policies, which coordinates the Competitiveness and Jobs activities, Gordana Danilović Grković, director of the Science and Technology Park, and Ivan Rakonjac, Innovation Fund interim managing director.

The Mini and Matching were piloted by the Innovation Fund between 2011 and 2016 under the Innovation Serbia Project. They were funded with EUR 6 million euros from the EU IPA funds. A total of 41 Mini projects and 11 Matching projects received financial support.

They resulted in 300 new jobs, increased profits and several dozen local and international patents. About one third of all awarded projects included cooperation with R&D.

The programs proved to be a sustainable long-term funding mechanism that yields results even after the completion of the awarded projects. These are the first pilot programs to become part of the Innovation Fund’s regular portfolio.