Open Call for Technological Innovation Support Programs: Grants for innovative Serbian companies

Posted in: News- Apr 10, 2018

Tršić (Loznica), April 2nd 2018 – The Innovation Fund announced a public call for proposals for technological innovations under the Mini Grants and the Matching Grants Program. These programs aim at developing innovative technologies, products and services with market application and great potential for commercialization.

The purpose of these programs is to provide direct financial assistance to enterprises in Serbia for research and development of innovative services, processes and products with market potential, in the amount of up to EUR 80,000 under Mini Grants Program and up to EUR 300,000 under Matching Grants Program. The total budget allocated for these two programs in 2018 is RSD 400 million.

The invitation to submit applications for innovative projects is open from April 2nd to  June 1st 2018, until 3 pm. Interested companies can find all information about the programs, application procedure and conditions on the Innovation Fund’s web site. Applications are submitted electronically via the Innovation Fund’s online portal.

Evaluation of the project proposals, as well as the decision-making on project financing is an independent process, the final decision is made by the Innovation Fund’s independent international Investment Committee on a competitive basis. The number of projects to be financed depends on the quality of the submitted applications and the total funds allocated for these two programs.

To announce the public call, a presentation of these two programs was held in Tršić for companies from this district. The event was opened by Nenad Popović, Minister for Innovation and Technological Development, and Vidoje Petrović, Mayor of Loznica. Vladimir Popović, State Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and Ljiljana Nikolić, Director of Regional Development Agency Podrinje, Podgorina and Rađevina, also addressed the audience. The representatives of the Innovation Fund led by director Ivan Rakonjac presented the programs and the conditions for submitting applications for financing innovative projects.

“Today in Tršić there are more than 50 domestic companies, which is the best indicator that local business people have valuable and innovative ideas with important market potential. The state will help them to implement their projects with even more funds that we have allocated this year, because every investment in such innovative companies means not only more profit for them, but also new jobs and better living standards in all of Serbia”, said Nenad Popović, the Minister for Innovation and Technological Development.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development Vladimir Popović said that these programs are ideal for supporting small and medium enterprises that do not have the means to survive on the market. “The Government has recognized this, and for this reason, it has offered such projects for their further development” said the State Secretary, announcing a tour to other cities across Serbia in which these programs will be presented.

“The results so far show visible progress in the development of innovative entrepreneurship in Serbia. The users of our funds today are present and competitive on the global market. We are trying to support more and more successful examples. Thanks to increased budget funds, the Innovation Fund can again this year offer incentives to build and strengthen knowledge-based enterprises”, said Ivan Rakonjac, Director of the Innovation Fund.

After a long pause, the Fund continued in 2017 with the following programs – the Mini Grants and the Matching Grants Program. There was great interest for these programs: in comparison to the public call from 2013, the number of applications for these two programs was 66.9% higher. The result of the latest public call was support to 25 innovative projects in the total amount of €2.45 million. The importance of these two programs was shown by the companies financed in the previous period, which today employ more than 480 mainly highly-qualified workers, and whose revenues have increased by more than 160 percent, while their exports have grown more than nine times.

Since 2017, these programs have been financed from the budget of the Republic of Serbia through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development under the “Serbia Competitiveness and Jobs Project” (based on a loan agreement with the World Bank).