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USAID And ICT Hub Launch Pilot Superclusters – A New Model For Serbia’s Growth

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The ICT HUB’s project Serbia Innovates, supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), announced a significant milestone in its work – the launch of pilot superclusters. These superclusters are organized around four technological domains with the most significant potential for sustainable growth in Serbia: web3 and blockchain technologies; gaming and virtual reality; advanced solutions in medical technology and biotechnology, and high technology in agriculture and the food industry.

The consortia from all four domains will now start working towards fulfilling their ambitious goals to set the foundations for accelerating the Serbian economy. The gaming pilot supercluster will focus on export growth and cross-sectoral cooperation, including fields like education, art, video production, and virtual reality.

The web3 and blockchain team has an ambitious goal to create a Free Zone in Serbia that will attract the most extraordinary engineering talents worldwide and establish Serbia as a hub for innovation. The agro-tech supercluster will incorporate cutting-edge technologies and digital transformation to increase yields and productivity in traditional agriculture. Finally, the most significant companies and organizations from the health-tech industry will focus on technology transfer and positioning Serbia as a regional center for clinical trials.

„We want Serbia’s talented workforce to contribute to developing Serbia’s economy by creating a highly innovative, technologically advanced ecosystem that cutting edge companies recognize as a smart place to work and do business. We want to help keep the country’s best and brightest here, while also attracting people who have succeeded abroad to come back to Serbia and invest. The Serbia Innovates project is a big step in the right direction and is applying a model which is new for Serbia – the supercluster model – to increase opportunity.  We have seen this approach work in other countries and we think it’s time to give it a shot here in Serbia,“ said US Ambassador Christopher Hill at the launch of the pilot super clusters.

“As we are a demand-driven project, the first step towards strengthening the innovation-driven Serbian economy was to identify the technological field with the most tremendous potential in the market. The next step was even more challenging – finding the right people, extraordinary talents, forward-thinking companies, and organizations that will know how to use this potential. We gathered all of them and worked together on developing solid strategies and setting market-oriented goals during the preceding period. I’m very proud to say that we succeeded in this mission. Now, we have more hard work ahead of us. The goal of each pilot supercluster will be to work together on the most significant challenges in their fields – on infrastructure, collaboration, and regulation, and to create new values and new opportunities. We wish them luck,” said Aleksandra Popović, the Serbia Innovates project director.

In February 2021, in partnership with USAID, the ICT Hub launched the Serbia Innovates Project. The project’s goal is to stimulate cooperation in the most promising domains of the national economy, spur technological innovation and thus foster the entire economy. The project is being implemented through the model of superclusters – a framework that has already yielded significant results worldwide. The emphasis is on the cooperation between individual elements of the system in creating a synergy effect and generating a sort of a technological innovation boom. This would also significantly improve the results of the entire national economy.

Based on the pilot superclusters phase results, the domain with the most significant individual potential will become the first Serbian supercluster in 2023. After that, the winning domain will receive support for the best possible positioning in the market, while the final goal is to make it entirely self-sustainable in 2025.

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