Entrepreneurship and innovation

Since the launch of the StarTech project in 2020 with a donation from Philip Morris International and in collaboration with the Government of the Republic, the area of high-tech and innovative entrepreneurship has become a major focus of NALED. The goal of the three-year StarTech project is growth acceleration of Serbian companies, through financial aid and expertise and improvement of the innovation environment, and the promotion of domestic innovative business.

Public Policy Innovation Lab

Within the framework of the StarTech project, a separate NALED project unit was formed: the Public Policy Innovation Lab. The main task of the Public Policy Innovation Lab is to provide an analytical basis for reform planning and the creation of evidence-based public policies that should stimulate the acceleration of the growth of Serbian companies and the transformation of the traditional economy into a digital, export-oriented economy based on knowledge and innovation. The Public Policy Innovation Lab consists of permanent members - employees from the ranks of NALED - and external experts hired to produce and quality control the Lab's research results.


Direct financial and expert support for private companies

Domestic small and medium-sized enterprises can apply independently or in cooperation with faculties and research centers for the allocation of non-refundable financial resources in the amount of 15,000 to 100,000 dollars for investments in the digital transformation of their business, research, and introduction of innovative products and services. Startup teams and companies can apply for three public calls and receive approximately 100 grants, as well as vouchers for 1,000 hours of expert support in the field of business planning, marketing and design, legal services, consulting in the field of intellectual property, certification, etc.

Council for encouraging the development of the digital economy

At the initiative of the Laboratory of Innovative public policies, the Serbian Government established the Council for encouraging the development of the digital economy, innovation, high-tech entrepreneurship and digitization in the business operations of economic entities. The council was formed in April 2021 with the primary role of discussing issues and making proposals for the systemic increase of the volume of exports in the field of digital economy, the increase of gross domestic product, increase in volume of professional staff, improvement of business infrastructure, improvement of implementation of high technologies and the increasement of overall employment through development of innovative entrepreneurship.

Grey book of innovative and high-tech entrepreneurship

The goal of NALED’s second sectoral Grey book is to inform decision-makers of key bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles in the operation of innovative business entities in Serbia, with concrete proposals for turnkey solutions.

Mobility of the future

Mobility of the future, which includes electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles and flying objects, represents an opportunity for development and further economic growth through investments in infrastructure and vehicles, and a chance for greater use of renewable energy and reduction of pollution. The main goal of this initiative is for Serbia to secure a leading position in the region in the future mobility sector in two aspects: a) the application and use of future mobility and b) the inclusion of the domestic economy in the development of products and services in the function of this sector.

Inclusion of the diaspora and foreigners in the flow of knowledge-economy in Serbia (brain gain)

The goal is to strengthen the connection of the diaspora with the home country, encourage the start of innovative businesses, increase the employment of qualified foreigners and investment in startups in Serbia. In the coming period, the plan is for NALED to be actively involved in the promotion of changes in the innovation ecosystem of Serbia through info days abroad and to approach the preparation of the Analysis of the utilization of support programs and tax benefits by the diaspora.

Unified collection of taxes and contributions for entrepreneurs

Although tax solutions for entrepreneurs have been submitted exclusively in electronic form since 2020 through the tax box on the eTaxation portal, the unified payment of tax obligations has not yet been implemented, but it is still carried out through four separate payment slips. In this regard, NALED is working on an ex-ante analysis of the introduction of unified payment of taxes and contributions for entrepreneurs to propose concrete solutions and help their implementation.

Simplification of import customs procedures for R&D materials

The procedure for importing samples and materials used for research is a regulatory burden that limits the market potential of high-tech companies. The customs clearance procedure is complicated and time-consuming since the Customs Law does not distinguish between goods that are imported for further placement on the Serbian market and samples that are used in testing such as hardware components that are used to create prototypes. The goal of this initiative is to simplify the customs procedure for the import of materials relevant to R&D (samples, hardware components, etc.).

Other initiatives

As part of the StarTech project:

    • a survey was conducted of citizens' and businesses' attitudes about the innovation ecosystem,
    • contribution was made through participation in the Working Group for the development of the Startup Ecosystem Development Strategy,
    • comments on the Draft Law on Innovation Activities were submitted,
    • the preparation of the Analysis of the legal framework in connection with the pilot project on the use of artificial intelligence for reading X-ray images is underway,
    • the preparation of the Analysis of comparative legal practice in prescribing the use of artificial intelligence is underway.

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