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Presentation of the Innovation Serbia Project 2012 Annual Report

Belgrade, May 13, 2013 – Innovation Fund presented today the results of the Innovation Serbia Project and showcased Mini and Matching Grants awardees that received financing in 2012 at the 57th International Fair of Technique and Technical Achievements, which is organized and sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. Mini and Matching Grants Programs are implemented by the Innovation Fund through the Innovation Serbia Project, financed by a EUR 8.4 million donation from the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds and administered by the World Bank.

“Support through Innovation Serbia Project is crucial for establishing capacity of the Innovation Fund to manage financing for innovation and encourage knowledge based entrepreneurship”, stated Prof. Žarko Obradović, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, and added “We see significant participation of the Serbian research community confirming that innovative ideas and skilled workforce are building blocks of the long-term economic stability and prosperity”.

In 2012, the Innovation Fund successfully engaged Serbian entrepreneurs and awarded EUR 2.6 million to 23 projects selected for financing by the Innovation Fund’s independent Investment Committee. Over 200 companies both from hi-tech and traditional industries participated in the calls for proposals under the Innovation Fund’s Mini and Matching Grants Programs.

“Potential for commercialization of new technologies in Serbia exists, and we expect that the Innovation Fund and the Government of the Republic of Serbia, along with the private sector will continue to further build on this successfully established base.” said Mr. Adriano Martins, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia.

Innovation Fund successfully established an independent, merit-based, competitive selection process supported by a network of international peer reviewers and the Innovation Fund’s independent international Investment Committee comprising industry experts from areas of early stage technology development, finance and venture capital, entrepreneurship, business development and applied science.

“It has been our pleasure to provide the support to the Innovation Fund over the past two years, to contribute to the successful course of this project, and witness the results of a collective effort by many people, including the dedicated staff of the Innovation Fund, who is working tirelessly to manage these opportunities for the private sector and the scientific community in Serbia.”, stated Mr. Loup Brefort, World Bank’s Country Manager for Serbia.

The Enterprise Training is one of the key elements of the Innovation Fund programs. Designed to be as interactive as possible with extensive time for one-on-one meetings with experts, it is an opportunity for the companies’ core teams to gather the knowledge in areas of relevance for their early technology development, such as intellectual property rights protection and management, business development and fundraising.

“Innovation Fund’s one year experience with Mini and Matching Grants awardees reveals that Serbia has many highly motivated entrepreneurs developing thrilling technologies and the Innovation Fund programs are supporting them on the way to achieve their vision and compete in the international markets.” said Ljiljana Kundaković, Interim Managing Director of the Innovation Fund.

Source: www.innovationfund.rs