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EU sets aside EUR 80 mln for research and innovation

03. October 2011. | 07:30

Source: Tsnjug

Since 2000 the EU has invested EUR 58 million in the SME sector in Serbia through direct financial and non-financial assistance. The EU has set aside EUR 80 million in its budget for financing research and innovation between 2014 and 2020.

The EU has set aside EUR 80 million in its budget for financing research and innovation between 2014 and 2020, representative of the EU Delegation in Serbia Jose Antonio Gomez Gomez has said.

At a workshop on the influence of innovation on an economy's competitiveness held last Thursday, he said the EU will continue to support the development of the private sector in Serbia.

In two weeks' time, in addition to the ICIP project for improving the innovation and competitiveness of small and medium businesses worth EUR 3 million, another project of the same value will start up, which will be financed from the IPA 2010 program and is designed to support the implementation of the national strategy for small and medium enterprises (SME) competitiveness and innovation and the development of new financial instruments for innovation and technology transfer, Gomez announced.

Since 2000 the EU has invested EUR 58 million in the SME sector in Serbia through direct financial and non-financial assistance.

State Secretary with the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development Dragijana Radonjic Petrovic said SMEs do not sufficiently recognize the importance of innovation in improving their business and therefore do not invest in it.

Only one in seven companies conducts innovative activities and one in 14 has innovative cooperation with other companies and scientific institutions, she said during workshop.

The state secretary said Serbia invests only 0.8 percent of its GDP in scientific research and innovation, which is well below the EU average and the three percent target.

The workshop entitled 'Innovation Support Dialogue - Innovation for Competitiveness?' was organized by the Improved SME Competitiveness and Innovation Project (ICIP), financed by the EU, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Mihajlo Pupin Institute.

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