All interested innovators have another month to apply for the StarTech program and win a grant of up to 100,000 euros, and a few more days, until April 7, to apply for the support program in the development of the application. The StarTech program is a five million dollar project of Philip Morris, implemented by NALED, with the support of the Government of Serbia.
At the info day of the StarTech program, dedicated to cooperation between science and economy, Minister of Science, Technological Development and Innovation Dr Jelena Begović said that she hopes that the number of innovations coming from the scientific community and institutes will be higher than in the previous two cycles. She added that it is encouraging that the StarTech program has given the greatest support to teams dealing with artificial intelligence, biotechnology, agriculture and ecology, which are, as she assessed, the topics that are most important today.
– There are currently about 500 startup companies operating in Serbia, but we hope that their number will be even higher. For the entire ecosystem, the StarTech program is very important, which shows how important it is for all of us to cooperate together – the state, the economy and the non-governmental sector. I would like to thank Philip Morris and NALED for such a good project and invite other companies in Serbia to support innovators because it is very important for the development of science and innovation in our country. The Government’s priority will be the commercialization and internationalization of our domestic solutions, in order to catch up with global trends – Begović explained.
Ivan Miletić, Director of Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris Serbia, said that this international company made a very bold turn towards new products and completely new technologies a few years ago.
– We decided to base ourselves on innovation, but then we started facing problems we didn’t know existed. Two years ago, PMI’s biggest business problem was the shortage of microchips on the world market. Innovators from the auto motive industry solved this challenge because they remembered that every washing machine has a chip, and bought 30,000 washing machines and thus solved the shortage in the market. This innovative way of thinking, we see and nurture in teams from StarTech – said Miletić.
Last year, the Government of Serbia formed the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution with the idea that, in addition to financial support to innovations, regulatory support should be provided by developing public policies to make the implementation of innovations much easier in everyday life, said the Director of the Center Jelena Bojović.
– We have been investing in innovation for many years and this is the path we need to continue. The number of patents increased by 3.6% compared to last year. What is the next step is connecting innovative and commercial and finding ways for these innovations to reach all of us – Bojović concluded.
Information about the program, conditions and documentation for participation can be found on the website of the www.startech.org.rs, as well as through the contact center at the address firstname.lastname@example.org and number 0800 000020.