Public Call

The public call is closed.

Public Call for the Matching Grants Program

In accordance with the Direct Grant Agreement IPA 2019 “Increased innovation capacity and growth of SMEs”, Tender No. 19SER01/01/51, No. 48-00-00120/2021-28 between Department for Contracting and Financing of EU Funded Programs, Ministry of Finance and the Innovation Fund


The Innovation Fund


Second Public Call for the MATCHING GRANTS PROGRAM


Program objective: The Matching Grants Program aims to encourage established and profitable micro, small, and medium-sized companies in the Republic of Serbia to engage in the development and commercialization of technological innovations in the form of new and improved products, services, technologies and technological processes, in order to generate new market value, create high paying jobs, increase revenue and export growth and improve Serbia’s competitiveness.

The maximum amount of grant financing which the Innovation Fund (hereinafter: “IF”) can award per each individual project is EUR 500,000.

The grant financing awarded by the IF can cover:

  • maximum of 70% of total project costs (Approved Project Budget) for micro and small enterprises and a maximum of 60% of total approved project budget for medium-sized enterprises;

Each Applicant must secure their own mandatory co-financing for the project in the following way:

  • minimum of 30% of the total Approved Project Budget for small and micro enterprises and 40% for medium-sized enterprises.

The co-financing by the Applicant is to be secured from other, private sector sources, independently of the IF or any other public sector financing programs.

Duration of projects supported under the MATCHING GRANTS Program can be up to 18 months.

Royalty payments represent an obligation of the Awardee in the event of a successful outcome of the funded project (i.e. the project results in any generated revenue), and entail an annual payment of 5% of the new technology/product/service’s total annual revenue (15% if the project’s technology/product/service was licensed to a third party) to the Innovation Fund during five (5) years after project completion, or up to a total of 120% of the financing received, whichever comes first. The Innovation Fund shares the risk with the Awardee in case of unsuccessful product/service/technology development, and thus will not seek royalty payments in such case.

The IF will consider financing of projects coming from all fields of science and technology and from any sector of the economy. However, please keep in mind that this Program is aligned with the Smart Specialization Strategy Serbia, which focuses on four main priority domains:

  • Food for future;
  • Information and communication technologies (including specific focus on Artificial Intelligence, as envisaged by the Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2020-2025, available at the link);
  • Machines and production processes of the future;
  • Creative industries.

At least 50% of IF’s available funding for the call for proposals will be allocated for applications in the abovementioned priority domains, subject to availability of good quality projects.

Also, the Innovation Fund will continue, together with the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the European Union as the main partners in supporting innovation, to provide support for projects that contribute to increased social inclusion of persons with disabilities using advanced technologies.

Terms of application:

  • The Applicant is a legal business unit, incorporated under applicable/current Serbian Company Law, registered at the Serbian Business Registration Agency (SBRA) and located in Serbia;
  • The Applicant is a private sector (majority  privately owned), micro, small or medium-sized company, established in Serbia in accordance with the current Law on Accounting of the Republic of Serbia, excluding newly founded companies as stipulated in the same law;
  • The Applicant has generated a minimum of EUR 300,000 in operating revenue in the previous or current business year and operates with profit.

The Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Management and key personnel credentials and ability of the company to deliver; 
  • Innovative technology, product or service; clear IP position and potential;
  • Clear market need, competitive (preferably global) position and commercialization potential;
  • Potential for generating revenue within two to three (2-3) years after the project start;
  • Viable implementation methodology and capabilities;
  • Use of funds and adequacy of the project budget;
  • Technology and implementation risk management.

Only Applications excelling in all the above-mentioned criteria will be recommended for financing. Additional details regarding the evaluation process can be found in the Review Guidelines document, available at the link.

Application documentation

In order for any Application to be evaluated, it needs to be submitted as a complete, structured documentation package within the given submission deadline electronically through the Innovation Fund’s portal. A complete set of necessary Application documentation can be found on the Innovation Fund’s website and the Matching Grants Program portal - Documentation. Applicants are obligated to use predefined document templates provided on the IF web page.

Each registered project will automatically receive a predefined Applicant Statement document which the Applicant must read and agree to.

In order to apply for financing Applicants are required to submit the following documentation:

  • Applicant Statement
  • Business Plan;
  • Project Budget;
  • Project presentation*;
  • Financial Forecast (Projected income statements for the next 5 years);
  • Environmental Screening Questionnaire (ESQ);
  • CVs of the key personnel engaged in the project (maximum 5, free format, in English);
  • Financial statements for the last applicable business year

Note: Application documentation must be submitted in the exact same visual and structural format and style as it is provided on the IF website. Any attempt to modify the Application documentation by unlocking and/or altering the formulas or text will result in the Application being disqualified from further evaluation. Applicants are allowed to use style formatting options within the predefined text boxes in the business plan.

* Project presentation in the PowerPoint format is the only exception, and needs to be submitted based on the instructions provided in the template itself.

Due to the international two-phase evaluation process,  submitted Application documentation must be in English, except in situations where this is not applicable (applicant statement and financial statements).

Оnly one (1) Application under this call for proposals regardless of the Program is allowed.

The deadline for Application submission is April 01st, 2024 by 12:00pm.

Incomplete Applications, as well as Applications that are not submitted by the submission deadline, will not be considered.

Please use the following link to APPLY.