2012 in Brief
2012 was an extraordinary year for the Innovation Fund and for the innovative enterprises in Serbia. For the first time, Serbia has programs that directly support enterprise R&D and encourage knowledge based entrepreneurship.
With the financial assistance from the European Union through the Instrument for pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds and expert support from the World Bank, we launched 8.4 million euro Serbia Innovation Project and created capacity to stimulate R&D in commercial enterprises. Innovation Fund established independent review and decision process in line with the international models of best practice.
In 2012, the Innovation Fund independent Investment Committee awarded financing in the amount of 2.77M euros to 25 projects. More than 200 companies both form hi-tech and traditional industries participated in two calls for proposals for the Mini Grants Program and one call for proposal for the Matching Grants Program.
Our review and decision process is supported by high level advisors and experts in the fields of science, technology transfer, commercialization of innovations and development of start-up and spin-off companies.
Objectives of these programs are to increase investment in R&D and reduce the commercialization risk for companies that struggle to bring their innovative products and services to market.
The Innovation Fund team has organized more than 25 promotional and educational events in 2012. Also we held presentations in selected cities in Serbia with more than 200 participants in order to get together the most of the interested institutions, companies, researchers and specialists.
We successfully engaged Serbia’s research community to think about its expertise and commercialization potential. Projects selected for financing support over 100 engineers including 24 PhD researchers and engage 15 academic and public R&D institutions in their effort to bring new products and services to market. We believe that the Serbian research community has had and will have a significant role in supporting these programs.
The Innovation Fund was also recognized at many international events where we represented all R&D comunity in Serbia.
In 2012, we launched the Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) in collaboration with European Commission, European Investment Fund and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The facility will promote the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential companies, as well as support creation of a regional venture capital market.
Access to finance remains major issue facing enterprises in Serbia. Favorable regulatory environment that supports private sector investments into innovative and high-growth potential SMEs is of vital interest for development of competitive economy.
Our mission is to continue to work with the international financial institutions and donors to support innovation in Serbia. The Innovation Fund team is committed to high quality professional service in line with the experience of similar institutions internationally.
We wish you a prosperous New Year!
Ljiljana Kundakovic, PhD
Interim Managing Director