Serbia receives EBRD loan to construct science and technology parks
Serbia will expand science and technology parks (STPs) and construct new ones in cities across the country, including Nis, Cacak, Krusevac and Belgrade, with EBRD financing. A sovereign loan of EUR 80 million and accompanying project agreements were signed in Belgrade by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, the Minister of Finance, Sinisa Mali, and the EBRD Regional Head of the Western Balkans, Matteo Colangeli, as well as directors of existing STPs.
STPs will be equipped with the technology needed for R&D and will offer co-working spaces and offices as well as services to support the growth of nascent and innovative businesses. Offices will be leased primarily to SMEs, entrepreneurs and start-ups that focus on innovation and the development of technology. The project will be accompanied by a technical assistance programme with the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation and the local STPs, which will offer advisory services and capacity building to promote international best practice in the operations and management of the parks and strengthen the wider innovation ecosystem in Serbia. The roll-out of an internship programme across the STPs will also be supported as part of the project.
“We continue to invest, first of all, in our young, educated, creative and innovative people, and what is particularly important is that we continue to invest outside Belgrade. Serbia and the EBRD also have excellent cooperation in the field of energy, green transition, energy efficiency and sustainability, and the green agenda”, said Prime Minister Brnabic.
Serbia already has four STPs and an incubator, which are home to about 180 innovative companies, but existing STPs are approaching full capacity in terms of rental space, and the potential to attract and host more tenants is increasingly limited.
LATEST issue 4/2023