Serbia was one of the first countries in the region to embrace the so-called innovation imperative, that is the notion that successful participation in the global knowledge economy requires the ability to adapt and advance new technological and research capabilities that involve public and private collaboration.
Operational since 2011, the Innovation Fund has been a pioneering effort to operationalize and institutionalize this imperative – first by increasing the capacity of startups and resources available for their growth. It is part of a broader innovation strategy now under development.
Our Vision: The Republic of Serbia Innovation Fund aims to contribute to the country’s economic development, facilitate the bridging of the technology and development gap, by promoting enterprise innovation through various financial instruments, particularly by fostering the establishment of new and strengthening the existing companies, by positioning them to access venture capital markets, and serve as the key state actor in developing innovation entrepreneurship in Serbia.
Our Mission: The Republic of Serbia Innovation Fund promotes enterprise innovation by managing financial and technical support provided by public and donor sources to support innovative Serbian companies and strengthen linkages between research and business sectors, following the highest ethical, financial and business standards and practices in its internal operations, treatment of staff and external relations with stakeholders.
Innovation Fund aims to promote linkages between research and technology development and economy and encourage and support the development of innovative technologies.
The EU’s support for the Innovation Fund has been instrumental in advancing Serbia’s innovation financing and promoting better integration between the research and private sectors. The Fund is thus an important step towards closer links between Serbia’s and EU’s research communities and innovation ecosystems. It enables the positioning of Serbia as a leader in the region and the establishment of links with the EU and global markets. So far, the EU has allocated around EUR 13.2 million from the IPA funds to the Innovation Fund.
The Innovation Fund has established an independent governance structure, with a robust international peer review system and a distinguished Investment Committee that includes international and diaspora professionals experienced in managing technology firms, scientific research, commercialization, and the investor community.
Since its inception, 1,300 applications for innovative projects have been submitted to eight public calls. A total of EUR 15.8M was approved for 352 projects, which were realized by 288 enterprises and 59 R&D organizations.