By 2020, the European Union will have invested most of the financial assistance for its members and candidate countries in innovation and small & medium enterprises (SME) with the aim of raising competitiveness on the global market relative to its biggest competitors – it was said at the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce.
Executive Director of the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce, Svetozar Krstic said at the Info Days-EU Project Funding Programmes seminar that the EU is now priority for companies.
He also announced that the Chamber would continue organizing seminars and training sessions for business people, educating them about using EU funds. An assistant director of the EU Integration Office, Branko Budimir pointed out that, in the period from 2007 to 2013 , Serbia used 1.4 billion EUR Of grants for different sectors.
– The new financial instrument of support is devised with a view of supporting legal, economic and institutional reforms which are the prerequisite for joining the EU. Up until 2020, the IPA funds will provide financial support to innovation, business competitiveness and implementation of national and local development strategies to the amount of 11.7 billion EUR with 1.5 billion EUR allocated to Serbia alone – Budimir said.
– The EU has allocated the biggest amount to research and innovation within the framework of the Horizon 2014-2020 Programme which budget stands at 78.6 billion EUR and which has three pillars – excellence in science, leadership in industry and social challenges – said Zeljka Dukic from the Ministry of Education, Science and Techonological Development. According to Dukic, Serbia can participate in all of the mentioned programmes, and this especially applies to the SME sector which is entitled to a third of the Horizon 2020’s budget.
– The terms and conditions for using the funding have been simplified and, so far, there have been 200 applications from Serbia – Dukic added.
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