Innovations are investments, not an expense

October 17, 2022

“Innovations mean investment and economic development, and the European Union provides full support to Serbia on this path,” is the message sent during the conference “Innovations and Technological Development: the Foundation of Economic Development and Employment”, held in Belgrade on October 6, 2022. 

“The transformation of the economy and society so that it is based on knowledge, innovation and high technologies is at the basis of competitiveness and economic development. Constant and consistent innovation is probably at the top of the list of priorities for growing companies. However, innovation and technological development require significant investment. In order to support Serbia in this process, the European Union allocated 88.5 million euros in non-reimbursable aid for the needs of innovation, development of science and scientific research in Serbia. We support the Science Fund with 31.5 million euros, while the projects within the Innovation Fund are financed with the EU funds in the amount of 47 million euros,” said Mr Martin Klaucke, Head of Operations Sector II at the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Serbia.

He stated that the project “EU Support to the Belgrade Science and Technology Park in Providing Services to Innovative Companies” is just one of a series of projects funded by the EU that contribute to the strengthening of research and innovation through support to innovative companies". 

The Science and Technology Park Belgrade was opened in 2015, and enormous progress has been made in these seven years. Today we have four Science and Technology Parks. In Belgrade alone, more than 150 companies work in the Science and Technology Park, and those companies employ 1,500 engineers. The support we have received from the European Union during all these years obliges us to have these results,” said Gordana Danilović Grković, Director of Science Technology Park Belgrade.

The State Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Mr Ivica Radović, said that in the era of modern technologies and digitisation, Serbia has been striving to strengthen its position in the field of innovation and therefore has been implementing a series of incentive measures and adopting strategic documents aimed at improving innovative and scientific activities.

“According to the global innovation index, Serbia is in 54th place out of a total of 132 countries. It is marked as a moderate innovator, and it has been noted that the degree of innovation in Serbia is far above the level of investment in innovation. Investments in innovation and e-mobility bring with them the improvement of education and science, as well as the cooperation of companies with the education system and institutions in Serbia. All that together is the key to creating a technologically advanced and economically successful society,” concluded Radović.

The Conference brought together representatives of national institutions, the EU Delegation in Serbia, researchers, representatives of institutes, faculties, startup companies, as well as science and technology parks. The conference was organised as the final event of the project "EU Support to Science and Technology Park Belgrade for Services to Innovative Companies". This project was implemented in the period from June 2020 to October 2022. The total value of the project was 1.4 million euros, and the project aimed to strengthen research and innovation through institutional support for innovative companies. The project’s beneficiaries were the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the Science and Technology Park Belgrade.