Serbian companies invest almost nothing in research and development
“Most researchers, up to 72%, work in higher education and public institutions (26% of them). At the same time, only 3.3% of companies innovate in collaboration with universities and scientific institutions. This gap is one of the main problems of the transformation towards the innovative economy ”; these are the observations made during the presentation of NALED’s Startek program in favor of innovation and digital transformation.
According to Dusan Vasiljevic, director of entrepreneurship and innovation at NALED, the project funded by the Philip Morris Company with five million dollars will last three years.
“This year, in March, a competition for the million dollar award was launched and lasted until June 4. 230 companies participated, mainly small and medium-sized businesses and startups. In September we will select which projects will receive support and over the next two years two more competitions will be launched with a budget of around $ 1 million. In addition, we will provide mentoring and vouchers for the purchase of consulting services. Aid to businesses ranges from $ 15,000 to $ 100,000, ”explains NALED.
Serbia is well below the EU average of 2.19% of GDP in terms of R&D investment, with only 0.89% of GDP in 2019. At the same time, private sector investment in R&D is very low, at only 0.36% of GDP.
However, as noted by NALED, some progress has been made since the budget for these purposes has increased from 100 million dinars in 2017 to 972 million dinars in 2020, with various tax breaks accompanying investments in innovations.
In terms of innovation, it is interesting to note that 2/3 of companies do not have a budget for research and development, because they are mainly micro and small companies. Most companies that haven’t invested in innovation say they don’t need such investments.
About 90% of companies finance innovations with their own funds or loans from relatives and friends. Just under 8% use bank loans for this. In addition, it seems that they totally ignore state support programs, so about 80% of companies have not applied for financial support for these programs.
This article is also available in: Italiano