The Innovation Fund has said it granted EUR 5 million in total as it completed a public call through its Collaborative Grant Scheme Program and the Mini Grants Program. Serbia’s government institution immediately published an open invitation for EUR 6 million more.
Among the 234 applicants in Serbia, 22 new firms and startup teams and 13 joint ventures of companies and scientific research organizations received funds from the Innovation Fund. They got the best grades for capability, potential, sustainable competitiveness, the clarity of development plans and the quality for competing in the international market.
The budget for the 35 projects was EUR 5 million from the Collaborative Grant Scheme Program and the Mini Grants Program. At the time of the announcement, the Innovation Fund also issued a public call for EUR 6 million in stimulus from its Matching Grants Program and Mini Grants Program. The deadline for applications is August 31.
The EUR 5 million from the Collaborative Grant Scheme Program and the Mini Grants Program was divided among 35 projects
Some of the awarded endeavors are in the fields of mobility, electricity, automation and energy efficiency. The Matching Grants Program secures up to EUR 300,000 or a maximum of 70% for micro and small private enterprises and 60% for medium-sized ones. The Collaborative Grant Scheme Program is equivalent and incentivizes the cooperation between private sector companies and public sector research and development organizations.
The Mini Grants Program is for early development and research of technological innovations with established market demand. The fund awards up to EUR 80,000 or a maximum of 70% of the project budget to teams of five people or less or to micro or small private enterprises that exist up to five years.
The open call for EUR 6 million is for endeavors that will be funded via the Matching Grants Program and the Mini Grants Program
Smart Power from Novi Sad was backed with a mini grant for a software solution for the design and modelling of long distance power lines that enables faster operation and automation. In the same category and the same city, SmartCat invented software for the optimization and control of energy consumption in structures and plants based on artificial intelligence.
A startup called RenwAI from Belgrade received funds from the Mini Grants Program for the development of software for data analysis and business intelligence for municipalities and energy producers.
The new round was also launched within the Serbia Competitiveness and Jobs Project
Bacillomix Co from Novi Sad was awarded for the improvement of plant growth by using bacteria-based bioproduct called Biotic B. The Innovation Fund picked Machine Can See, also from Novi Sad, for its fleet safety camera, which combines artificial intelligence and machine vision.
A new generation of silicone and zinc-oxide surge arrester and insulators for low and medium voltage levels is one of the 13 joint ventures selected within the Collaborative Grant Scheme Program. The electrical engineering project is based in Inđija and led by Plamen, while the Faculty of Technical Sciences from Novi Sad is the main partner.
Funds for both the completed public call and the next round are from the Serbia Competitiveness and Jobs Project, financed by a loan secured by the World Bank. So far, the European Union has allocated EUR 15.8 million from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) to the Innovation Fund.