Innovation Fund Approved EUR 1.95 Million Financing for Serbian Enterprises


Innovation Fund has announced today the results of Mini and Matching Grants calls for proposals implemented through the Innovation Serbia Project. The Innovation Fund’s Investment Committee awarded EUR 670,000 for Mini Grants projects and EUR 1.28 million for Matching Grants projects to 14 Serbian enterprises selected among 146 applications submitted in the call for proposals that ended August 31, 2012.

Both programs are implemented by the Innovation Serbia Project, which is financed through EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds and administered by the World Bank.

“The EU support through these programs is extremely valuable because of its direct impact on the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development efforts to reinforce and promote science and technological development in Serbia”, stated Mr. Zarko Obradovic, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development.

“We are pleased with the progress made by the Innovation Serbia Project in supporting entrepreneurship in Serbia,” said Mr. Adriano Martins, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in Serbia, and added, “The focus on technology development and innovation through the Mini and Matching Grant programs is essential for Serbia’s competitiveness and economic growth.

The Investment Committee selected 14 projects for financing among 98 Mini Grants applications and 34 Matching Grants applications, which underwent international peer review. The Mini Grants Program supports early stage development of innovative companies for one year, providing co-financing of up to EUR 80,000 and up to 85% of project cost.  The Matching Grants program enables established enterprises to enter development and commercialization of new products or service, providing co-financing of up to EUR 300,000 and up to 70% of project cost.

“It is vital that we successfully engage Serbia’s research community to think about its commercialization potential. Approximately 36% of applications are in collaboration with academia or spinoffs from research and development organizations” said Ljiljana Kundakovic, Interim Managing Director of the Innovation Fund, and added, “Project applications came from both hi-tech and traditional industries. The projects selected by the independent Investment Committee, have both the experience, potential and motivation to bring their products and services to market.”


Companies Financed under the Matching Grants Program

BSK LLC Obrenovac is a company which main activities are design, manufacturing and sales of innovative products based on technologies in the field of hydrodynamics. Air Berry Harvester owns a unique and innovative technology of air harvesting of fruits which, imitating the storm, blows around fruitful branches of the plant with intermittent air of controlled speed and in a natural way, with no physical contact with the plant, picks only technologically ripen fruits with no damage. Although, the Air Berry Harvester has a significant advantage in the process of harvesting, it will have a lower selling price than competition.

Desing is a company based in Belgrade with over 20 years of experience in food processing. The company plans to expand into innovative fruit preparations in the pilot aseptic plant, allowing the company to create very high quality fruit preparations, expand into the region and penetrate the fruit yogurt market. The main innovation is in the new process of “encapsulation“ which enables retention of water within the fruit during processing, so that the final product has better appearance, freshness, and taste. Dedicated to continuous product improvement, company has active collaborations in product development with Faculty of Agriculture, Institute for Food Technology and Biochemistry in Belgrade and number of international business development collaborations.

Duochem, a company from Belgrade over a decade successful on a global market of biocides, was founded to commercialize research results of its founder dr Suren Husinec.  The state of the art factory is located in the industrial area of Nova Pazova. The project task, the ecologically friendly biocide, is a product that will eliminate mosquito larva by using a carefully selected carrier and an optimal mixture of acceptable chemicals, offering maximal efficacy and almost negligible impact on the environment. Compared to existing products for the same purposes, higher efficacy of the larvicide is expected when the application of biological products does not give satisfactory results. Duochem has active research collaborations with Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade, and Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad.

Tajfun HIL, founded in Novi Sad, is the technology leader for Test and Quality Assurance solutions in the field of power electronics controls. Typhoon HIL’s vertically integrated platform is setting new standards for speed and ease of use in the Hardware-in-the-Loop market. The innovative technology is based on proprietary numerical algorithms, application specific processor, and optimized software architecture. The aim of the project is to develop an internet technology that will allow the company to offer its products and services to a wide audience in the form of the World’s first renewable energy laboratory on the internet. The key advantage of the new technology is that it makes Typhoon HIL products and services available to the much wider audience, under extremely competitive conditions. Tajfun HIL active collaborations include Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US.

Vizus operates from Nis is producer of aluminium and aluminium-wood windows and doors. Company offers an innovative solution for manufacturing of high efficiency window and door frames for the passive construction made of aluminum and wood. By using novel technology, new products will have low coefficient of thermal conductivity, increased durability,higher resistance to penetration of water and air, and increased stability. The most important innovation is thermal insulation jacket on the outer side, which protects the window frame. Thermal break which enables saving of energy is an original solution made of polyamide profile.

Companies Financed under the Mini Grants Program

Bodytech, a Belgrade start-up company developing Active Pad, a product for prevention of decubitus at long term immobile patients. Company’s easy to use, portable and affordable product utilizes tunable, human-effective vibrations throughout an ergonomic design, in order to stimulate blood circulation in a tissue under pressure, most likely to suffer from decubitus. The system is being under development in collaboration with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Belgrade. It would be a welcome supplement to nursing homes, hospitals and households alike, targeting limited mobility patients who are prevailingly kept sitting or lying.

Chromosome Group, company located in Belgrade with expertise in mechanical engineering and process automation, is developing automated device for filling, sealing and packaging plastic containers with liquid fertilizers for use in household applications. The new user friendly product enables controlled release of the fertilizer through micro filters without the direct contact of the user with the fertilizer.

Coprix Media from Belgrade is a start-up company developing interactive educational applications for touch sensitive devices like tablets and smart phones. The project focuses on the development of a cross-platform application, which will be fully adapted to the needs of preschool and primary school children, both in terms of functionality – the natural feeling when using the device for learning, and the quality of learning. The company’s business philosophy is to make innovative educational model available to everyone through very economical pricing and easy to use applications for all touch sensitive platforms.

Ekofungi is introducing a new technology for cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms based on a high-quality substrate from recycled organic and inorganic cellulose waste materials. The innovation will be developed in collaboration with the researchers from the Faculty of Agriculture and Institute for Biological Research in Belgrade to overcome restriction in the use of a wide range of waste cellulose materials as substrates. Introducing biological methods will eliminate external heating during the substrate production process and will result in lower costs of energy in the production of substrate for mushroom cultivation.

ETB from Kruševac is a company focused on creation of a new method for car wheel balancing weights production. The team of engineers develops a new method to improve durability and eliminate the need for anticorrosive coating, resulting in cheaper products. The products will meet the requirements of current market standards and EU regulations (RoHS Directive) that prohibit the lead balancing weights use and production.  Innovation basis is to overcome the need for classic anticorrosive coating. Anticorrosive protection is achieved by fusing of metallic and plastic parts during the manufacturing process.

KreativTeh is a spin-off company from the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade in the field of life sciences. NanoAktiv is a novel biomedical product based on alginate solutions and hydrogels with incorporated silver nanoparticles to be used as antimicrobial dressings for treatment of deep as well as superficial wounds. NanoAktiv wound dressings will induce healing by regulating the moisture level in the wound due to high sorption capacity of alginate and by attenuating infections due to antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles. The company aims to cultivate a dynamic, creative environment generating novel approaches and solutions by keeping strong connections with academia and building a network of industrial partners.

mBrainTrain, company located in Belgrade is focused on creating a portable, affordable, user-friendly, wireless and smartphone-steered system to assist in home-based neurofeedback training and neurorehabilitation treatment of treating various brain related disorders and diseases such as stroke, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, learning disorders and autism. The work on development of biomedical electronics and ICT integration will include researchers at the Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Belgrade and partners in the development and testing phase at KU Leuven, Belgium and Oldenburg University, Germany.

Stamar, enterprise from Leskovac, is developing a new vacuum dryer for various fruits and vegetables, medicinal plants and herbs. This energy-efficient dryer will allow for the drying process to take place at lower temperatures than the current industry standards, which will in turn preserve much more nutritional value of the product and allow for a wide range of use. The process will be highly automated and will have very little downtime.

Trk Inovacije, team of young engineers and PhD students from Novi Sad is developing a “Digital Key”, an electronic device for recording and recognizing intercom ring signal to be used for controlled access to residential buildings and business premises. The “digital key” is designed to recognize the ring signal sequence to provide easier access to the intercom secured buildings without the need for answering the intercom call. The device is easily customized to existing intercom systems.