StarTech 2023: Third chance for innovation in Serbia

Our director Jelena Bojović today attended the launch of the third StarTech in Serbia – a program to support the digital transformation of small and med-sized enterprises, implemented by NALED with the financial support of Philip Morris International.

As of today, local innovators can apply for grants of up to $100,000. The StarTech program has opened the third annual competition aimed at informal teams, startups, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, who want to invest money in developing an innovative product, entering the domestic and foreign markets or transforming business by introducing new technologies.

The program is open until May 3rd and all interested parties in the next month can ask for support in the preparation of the business plan and applications, and the winners of the grants will be known in October.

– I am pleased to be here today to jointly promote the third round of calls for the StarTech program and to thank Philip Morris and NALED for a fantastic initiative that is entirely on the line of what is the vision and desire of the Government and what we have been doing for the last six or seven years. Digital transformation is one of the key priorities of the Government of Serbia. There are currently four science and technology parks operating in our country, in which 200 startups operate.

Our capacities have been filled and we are starting to expand, the project for the science and technology park in KruŠevac and the innovation district in Kragujevac is ready, within which there will be a science and technology park. Initiatives from the private sector, such as this one from PMI, are significant as support for the realization of this goal – said Minister of Information and Telecommunications Mihailo Jovanović.

At the launch of the new third StarTech program, Senior Corporate Affairs Manager at Philip Morris International Dragana Vujko also spoke.

– As a company, we have recognized that the narrative and priorities of the Government of Serbia are fully complementary to Philip Morris’ strategic commitment. Serbia has an ambition to transform the economy and has already made significant progress, while our company is leading the transformation based on science and from a traditional company in the past decade we have become an innovative technology company – Vujko said, adding that this program is not just a grant scheme, but much more than that.

– Laboratory of innovative public policies established by NALED within the project aims to help the Government implement some of the measures that will improve the innovation ecosystem and we are pleased to be recognized as a reliable partner in these efforts – Vujko pointed out.

Director of the C4IR Serbia, Jelena Bojović, pointed out that it is the obligation of both the state and private sectors to invest more in innovation.

– Our Center, which was founded by the Government of Serbia a year ago, is working on connecting and networking, and exposing it to the foreign market. I believe that in this domain we can all work together, and organize the presentation of our innovators in cooperation with the World Economic Forum – added Bojović.

To place their product on the US market and get all the permits, with the help of the StarTech grant, has already succeeded in the company HerbElixa, which produces a preparation against helicobacteria, and presented itself at this event. Through the foreign market, they hope to soon start from the company Golden Bee, which produces a hive for home conditions, and at the last competition they received a grant that will allow them to have serial production.

Competition propositions

Director of Competitiveness and Investments at NALED Dušan Vasiljević pointed out that innovators can apply for grants from 15,000 to 100,000 dollars. In addition to the money, grant beneficiaries will be able to count on 1,000 hours of mentoring support for patent registration, support for entering new markets, legal advice, etc.

As part of LOT 1 intended for startups and businesses founded before 2021, it is possible to receive grants of 15,000 to 25,000 dollars in order to develop an innovative idea (with co-financing of 10%). LOT 2 brings grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 (with 20% co-financing) for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises established by the end of 2020 at the latest for product placement or digital transformation of business. Companies from these sector can also apply for LOT 3 if they plan new employment and entering the foreign market, for which they will receive grants from 50,000 to 100,000 dollars (with co-financing of 30%).

Information about the program, conditions and documentation for participation can be found on the website of the, as well as through the contact center at the address and number 0800 000020.

Source:  NALED

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