INNOVATION AS A KEY FOR DEVELOPMENT

Posted in: News- Oct 04, 2018

Grants for innovative solutions offered by Serbian companies

Belgrade, 3 October 2018 – Innovation Fund awarded today 3 million euros for the 22 innovative projects of small and medium-sized enterprises and, on the same occasion, announced two new calls for that will be allocated 2.5 million euros to support innovation activities of enterprises realized in cooperation with research organizations. The funds are defined in the budget of the Republic of Serbia, from the section of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, through the Competitiveness and Employment Development Project (based on the loan agreement with the World Bank).

At the event that the Innovation Fund organised in the premises of the Yugoslav Film Archive Museum, the audience was addressed by the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabić, the World Bank’s Regional Director for the Western Balkans Linda Van Gelder, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, and Director of the Innovation Fund Ivan Rakonjac.

The two enterprises which were approved funds: Glass Slipper (a new line of women shoes which combines carbon fibre with a specific design to provide for fast and easy change of high heels) and Alfa Klima (a new design for the production of propane-based heat pumps which are absolutely safe for domestic and industrial use) presented their innovative projects. To illustrate the Fund’s efforts in the previous period, an exhibition was set up presenting the products which the companies developed within the projects funded in former cycles: Ekofungi, Solagro, TajfunHil, and Otto Bock.

Within its Mini Grants Programme, which is aimed for start-ups, grants were awarded for 13 innovative projects in the total amount of 1 million EUR. Individually, within this program, companies received up to 80,000 euros of grants, and a total of 143 applications were submitted. Within the Matching Grants Programme, which is aimed for the enterprises that need significant financial funds for the commercialisation of their R&D, the funds amounting to 2 million EUR were awarded for 9 projects. Individually, within this program, companies received up to 300,000 euro of grants, and a total of 75 applications were submitted. The awarded innovative projects come from different industrial sectors, mostly relating to information-communication technologies, then medical and therapeutic devices, and energy and energy efficiency. Most supported do their business from Belgrade, but also from Novi Sad and Niš.

The goal of the Innovation Fund Fond is to strengthen connections between the research community and innovative enterprises. Therefore, it launched the Collaborative Grant Scheme and Innovation Vouchers so as to encourage them to, through joint developmental projects, create innovative products to be introduced in the market.

Collaborative Grant Scheme is aimed to encourage private-sector companies and public research and development organisations to implement joint R&D projects so as to create a new intellectual property which is marketable and has market value. The beneficiaries here are consortiums composed of private enterprises and R&D institutions. Through this programme, the Fund provides co-financing in the amount of up to 300.000 EUR per project and may contribute maximum 70 percentage to the total budget of the project, while the consortium’s contribution to the total budget of the project must be at least 30 percentage. Funds in the amount of 2.5 million EUR are provided from the budget of the Republic of Serbia, the section of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development, through the Competitiveness and Employment Development Project (based on the loan agreement with the World Bank).  The Public call is open until 28 December 2018.

Innovation vouchers constitute a simple financial incentive intended for small and medium-sized enterprises to, using the R&D sector services, raise the level of their product innovativeness and become more competitive in the market. Maximum amount granted per an innovative voucher is 800 thousand RSD, which covers up to 80 percentage of the total costs of the service concerned (without the value-added tax). This public call has been earmarked the funds amounting to 48 million RSD. The Public call will be open until the earmarked funds are spent.