Innovation Month launched - point out the challenges and suggest solutions

Is special regulation needed for drones to deliver food? Can robots take over jobs in supermarket warehouses? And what can the state do to have autonomous vehicles in Serbia in a few years? Although seemingly futuristic, these are topics that developed countries are largely dealing with, and the focus will be on the Innovation Month campaign launched today.

During the campaign, entrepreneurs, researchers, academics and anyone interested in strengthening Serbia’s innovation ecosystem can nominate new initiatives, indicate problems and possible solutions on the Startech program website. The best proposals will become part of the first Grey Book of innovative and high-tech entrepreneurship prepared by NALED which will be presented in the months to come to the public, as well as relevant institutions and the Council for Development of the Digital Economy.

Innovation Month was launched at the Museum of Science and Technology, at a roundtable on access to finance as a key step on the path from idea to realization, whether the funds come from corporations, banks, business angels, through crowdinvesting platforms or from own sources. The month of innovations is part of the annual campaign "One step closer to the stars", about the importance of innovations and innovative companies, launched within the Startech program for digital transformation of the Serbian economy.

- It is essential that we develop a culture of investing in the startup community. To address access to finance as one of the underlying issues cited by startups, we need to create a supportive environment in which investing in innovation will become an attractive option. PMI is a company that wants to take an active role in its environment and make visible progress, contribute towards creating a society interested in developing innovative solutions, promoting and applying science and a better quality of life for all of us - said Dragana Vujko, Senior Corporate Manager at the company PMI.

NALED Executive Director Violeta Jovanović pointed out that finances are often a missing link.

- According to NALED’s research, nine out of 10 companies finance innovations with their own funds. What is missing is a higher number of private initiatives and this is why it is crucial to have many support programs like the one offered by StarTech. Last month, at the first annual competition, we awarded the first million dollars of grants for 29 domestic teams, micro and small companies, and by the end of 2023, that support will exceed three million dollars - said Jovanović.

During the Month of Innovation, two more round tables will be held in Niš and Novi Sad, which can be followed live on The meeting in Niš will be dedicated to the topic of cooperation between science and economy, while in Novi Sad, an analysis of the state of innovation in Serbia will be presented.

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