Thanks to the synergetic effect created by the partnership between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union, as well as the orientation of the Government towards the strengthening of the knowledge-based and innovation economy, in the coming period the Innovation Fund will allocate EUR 20 million the develop innovative technologies, products and services service with market application and great potential for commercialization.
With the launch of the new Project “Increased innovation capacity and technological readiness of SMEs”, the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the European Union provided additional funds for the continuation of the financing programs of the Innovation Fund from the European Union Pre-accession Assistance for 2018 (IPA 2018).
From today, innovative companies can apply for grants for the development of innovations through the Mini Grants Program, Matching Grants Program and Collaborative Grant Scheme Program. The first Public Call, worth EUR 9 million is open until September 15th, 2021, at 3:00 PM, and project applications from all areas of science and technology and all industrial sectors are submitted through the IF portal. The next Public Call for funding programs is expected in the end of November 2021.
The Mini Grants Program aimed at private young enterprises and informal teams which are engaged in the development of technological innovations with a clear market need. The amount of financing that IF awards under the Mini Grants Program cover a maximum of 70% and up to EUR 80,000 of the total approved project budget. The duration of the projects is up to 12 months. In case the project proposed by the Team is approved for funding, that Team will be obliged to register the company.
Through the Matching Grants Program, financial support of up to EUR 300,000 per project is awarded, and the beneficiaries are micro, small or medium enterprises with majority private ownership registered in Serbia. The support enables companies to develop new products, services and technologies with high added value and encourage the commercialization of research and development of existing innovative companies, as well as the establishment of cooperation/partnerships with international companies/organizations. The funding allocated by the Fund covers a maximum of 70% of the total eligible project costs for micro and small enterprises, and 60% for medium-sized enterprises. Projects can last up to 24 months.
Collaborative Grant Scheme Program (CGS program) is intended for consortia consisting of at least one Serbian micro, small or medium private-sector company and at least one Serbian registered public sector R&D organization. Financial support of up to EUR 300,000 per project allows consortia to implement joint projects to create high-value products, services, technologies, and technological processes through applied research and development. The IF co-financing covers a maximum of up to 70% of the total approved project budget for projects whose Lead Applicant is a micro or small company, or up to 60% of the total approved project budget for projects whose Lead Applicant is a medium-sized company. Duration of the projects is up to 24 months.
From its inception, the support of the European Union through the IF programs has given a crucial stimulus to the financing of innovations in Serbia and the strengthening of ties between the research and private sectors. Thanks to funds from the national budget provided through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the programs have become constant support for the Serbian knowledge-based economy, as well as the scientific research sector. The European Union has so far allocated EUR 30.8 million from the Pre-accession Assistance for innovation financing programs.