A new grant-scheme program for supporting research and development projects in Serbia was launched today at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

The Program – titled The Collaborative Grant Scheme for R&D Organizations and Private Sector Enterprises, is implemented by the Innovation Fund and financed by the European Union with EUR 2.4 million, the Republic of Serbia with EUR 1 million and EUR 1 million from the private sector. It has been designed with the EU funded technical assistance from the World Bank.

The goal of this Program is to enhance cooperation between the private sector and public sector scientific research and development organizations, and to support their joint initiatives to develop new commercially applicable intellectual property such as innovative products, services, technologies and/or processes. The Program will provide grants of up to EUR 300,000 per project.

Beneficiaries eligible for this instrument are consortia of up to five members consisting of at least one private sector small and medium sized enterprise (SME) founded and operating in Serbia with annual revenue of at least EUR 200,000, and one public sector scientific research and development organization registered in Serbia.

istrazivaci-3Steffen Hudolin of the EU Delegation in Serbia said goal was to increase competitiveness of Serbian economy and recalled the EU has been supporting innovative sector in Serbia since 2011.

“I am really happy to see this project lift off the ground. Our goal is to support the scientific community in establishing better ties with companies and enhance capacity for commercialisation of its research. This, being a partnership-based cooperation, results in a win-win situation, leading to technology transfer necessary for research, innovation application and increased competitiveness of Serbian economy,” Hudolin said.

Serbian Minister of Education Srdjan Verbic said the programme was designed to prove that researchers and businessmen could implement joint project which might even be “an inexhaustible source of the necessary added value.”

istrazivaci-1The Collaborative Grant Scheme is one of the pillars of a comprehensive and sustained effort of the Innovation Fund, the EU as its donor and all partners, to promote innovation as the core building block of a knowledge-based economy in Serbia. In addition, the Innovation Fund is implementing the Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) program, another EU-funded pilot activity launched in March 2016.

Its main objective is the commercialization of research and development (R&D) by bringing together researchers from academia and the private sector and by strengthening the local technology transfer organizations (TTOs) at universities in Serbia.