Governments vs. Innovation

Serbia’s Innovation Fund Grants €5 Million To 35 Startups And Science-Business Joint Ventures

Serbia Innovation Fund
© Pixabay

The Serbian Innovation Fund announced that it had allocated five million euros to 22 new ventures and 13 joint projects of companies and scientific research institutions through its Mini Grants and Collaborative Grant Scheme programs. The selected initiatives come from various industries, including natural sciences and biotech, environmental protection, IoT, energy, agriculture, ICT, and automation. At the same, the governmental institution opened a new round of applications for innovation development grants, according to which the chosen young innovative enterprises will receive another six million euro. 

Established back in 2011, the fund has distributed over 30 million euros to more than 750 projects with a large part of the money being contributed from EU’s Pre-Accession Assistance funds (an instrument used for financial support of EU candidate countries). The other sources for the fund are the budget of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development as well as a loan agreement between Serbia and The World Bank.

About Serbia’s innovation development programs

The government of Serbia has actually created several programs aimed at different goals for the innovation progress of the country. For example, the Mini Grants program targets early-stage Serbian startups that are developing innovative technology in a market with a clear need. The amount of financing tops up at €80k and the receiving end should provide at least 30% of the total project budget.

Then, there is the Collaborative Grant Scheme Program, which has been designed to support collaborations between the public sector research organizations and private sector companies. Here the maximum funding reaches €300k with between 30 and 40% of the project budget covered by the lead applicant. Another Serbian government initiatives in this direction are innovation vouchers that enable SMEs to use the services of the public R&D sector,  a technology transfer program to help scientists with the commercialization of their inventions, and a proof of concept program that promises up to €20k for researchers who want to test and validate a product on the market.  

PROGRAM NAME Number of applicants Supported projects Total value of projects 
(in €)
Approved funds
(in €)
Mini Grants  942 120 11.167.912 8.887.275
Matching Grants 366 36 13.354.416 8.382.527
Collaborative Grant Scheme 217 36 13.195.063 8.676.555
Innovation Voucher 614 514 3.196.019 2.681.839
Technology Transfer Facility 36 25 540.350
Proof of concept 269 26 481.665
COVID-19 229 12 552.793 468.907
Total 2.673 769 41.466.203 30.119.118

Distribution of the funding allocated through the different programs. Source: Serbia Innovation Fund

The latest supported projects

Mini Grants Program

Company name: Om3ga Solutions
Industry: ICT
Description: A software solution for the high-precision synthesis of speech into text for Slavic languages.
Company name:  Beyond 42
Industry: ICT
Description: A software platform for effective creation and management of online communities.
Company name: RehabShop
Industry: Electronics
Description: Insoles for shoes with advanced sensors for contactless monitoring of data, designed for use in the rehabilitation industry.
Company name: ServerBytes
Industry: ICT
Description: A software platform for intuitive, faster and more efficient development of game servers.
Company name: Duality
Description: A sensor-based device for professional pianists that combines the functions of analog pianos and digital synthesizers.
Company name: Machine Can See
Industry: ICT
Description: AI computer vision device for better safety of vehicles and passengers.
Company name: Smart Power
Industry: ICT
Description: A software solution for the design and modeling of transmission lines that enables faster operation and automation.
Company name: Foxy Voxel
Industry: Gaming
Description: A  video game with the mechanics of complex colony construction whose goal is to raise, maintain and expand a medieval colony with numerous challenges.
Company name: DR.KNIGHT
Industry: Environmental protection
Description: A gel ball for multiple use that absorbs color during washing and is made from renewable resources.
Company name: Truff truff
Industry: Agriculture and food
Description: A technology for the production and processing of truffles with increased quality and yield.
Company name: MEHANIK PATENT
Industry: Mechanical engineering
Description: An easy-to-use, ergonomic and affordable device for manipulating pipes made of ceramics, PVC and fiberglass.
Company name: Ruthenotope
Industry: Natural sciences
Description: Optimization of the production process of ruthenium catalyst used to make medicines for various diseases.
Company name: SmartCat
Industry: Mechanical engineering
Description: AI-based solutions for the optimization and control of energy consumption in buildings and plants.
Company name: HireApp
Industry: ICT
Description: An on-demand staffing platform aimed at the hospitality, construction, moving, and general labor industries and using advanced Machine Learning algorithms.
Company name: RenwAI
Industry: ICT
Description: Software for data analysis and business intelligence intended for municipalities and electricity producers.
Company name: BACILLOMIX CO
Industry: Agriculture and food
Description: A bioproduct based on bacteria for improvement of plant growth and soil enrichment.
Company name: Trickest
Industry: ICT
Description: A Cloud-based platform for an automated data collection and testing process to increase cyber security.
Company name: Product Hive
Industry: ICT
Description: Development of a comprehensive channel for delivering digital content through the most popular real-time messaging applications.
Company name: Distill Games
Industry: Gaming
Description:  A mobile video game for car racing that uses advanced physics for driving.
Company name: BEM Team
Industry: ICT
Description: Development of tools for customer relationship management through the systematic collection and processing of feedback.
Company name: BIO LAB SOL Belgrade
Industry: Agriculture and food
Description: A plant for automatic distillation and production of alcohol.
Industry: ICT
Description: A software solution that enables efficient management of spare parts and after-sales service for various machines.

Collaborative Grant Scheme Program

Consortium leader: IntuiS
Main partner: Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences
Industry: Biotechnology and bioengineering
Description: Mobile ECG device for early, reliable and fast detection of heart attack symptoms.
Consortium leader: Fasek Engineering and Production
Main partner: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade
Industry: Environmental protection
Description: Ultrasonic sensor and software based on machine learning to detect oil pipeline leaks.
Consortium leader: Totient
Main partner: Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade
Industry: Biotechnology and bioengineering
Description: A platform for DNA-encrypted files that allows biotechnology companies to access services for the latest discoveries in the pharmaceutical industry.
Consortium leader: Plamen
Main partner: Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad
Industry: Electrical engineering
Description: New responsive surge arresters and insulators for low and medium voltages.
Consortium leader: NIKOM-AUTO
Main partner: Faculty of Engineering, University of Kragujevac
Industry: Mechanical industry
Description: Eco-friendly automated contactless car wash system based on 4.0 industrial technology.
Consortium leader: Manufaktura
Main partner: Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Novi Sad
Industry: ICT
Description: Advanced software for automating GIS object detection with the assistance of artificial intelligence.
Consortium leader: Aleksandrija Fruška Gora
Main partner: Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade
Industry: Agriculture and food
Description: Natural, tasty, nutritious, gluten-free flour mix for the healthy food industry.
Consortium leader: MVP Workshop
Main partner: Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Industry: ICT
Description: Decentralized blockchain platform for reading, writing, publishing, selling and buying e-books.
Consortium leader: mBrainTrain
Main partner: Faculty of Engineering, University of Kragujevac
Industry: Natural sciences
Description: Wearable EEG system for prevention of accidents and human errors in high-risk workplaces.
Consortium leader: AbelaPharm
Main partner: Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade
Industry: Agriculture and food
Description: A new generation of probiotics based on probiotic yeast and yarrow extract.
Consortium leader: Euro Herbs
Main partner: Faculty of Technology, University of Novi Sad
Industry: Agriculture and food
Description: A new concept for processing peppermint and similar plants in order to obtain value-added products.
Consortium leader: DECODE
Main partner: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade
Industry: Energy and energy efficiency
Description: A system for wireless monitoring of solar installations and real-time production prediction.
Consortium leader: WIPL-D
Main partner: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade
Industry: Internet of Things
Description: Intuitive and affordable 3D environment simulator for the development and validation of systems based on IoT and 5G principles.


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