The European Investment Bank (EIB) held a seminar on Monday, 29 November, to present the support it will offer to innovative and developing companies in the West Balkans.
It was explained at the meeting that under the programme InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators over €24bn will be available over the period until 2020 to innovative companies to finance debt and capital, enabling an investment of €48bn in research and innovation throughout Europe, including the Western Balkans.
The Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Mladen Sarcevic announced that innovation and scientific work in Serbia has a good future. He said that the Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development of Serbia for the period 2016 to 2020 had been adopted, establishing objectives in the field of science and innovation until 2020 and guidelines for attaining them.
According to the Minister, the strategy places scientific and technological development at the service of the country`s economic development, improving the competitiveness of its industry, and overall social development.
EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco said that the bank supports the development of innovation, as it is critical for long-term competitiveness, the sustainable development of each country and ensuring new jobs. He said that the EIB group made a total of €18.7bn available for innovation in 2015.
EU Head of Delegation Michael Davenport said that greater support was especially needed to micro and small enterprises, as they have an important role in sustainable employment and increasing competitiveness. “Innovation is crucial to respond to the challenges facing us”, said Davenport, adding that the EU will continue to support Serbia.
It was explained at today`s meeting that the InnovFin – EU Finance for innovators programme, which is a common initiative of the EIB group and the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, provides products for banks and financial intermediaries and for medium- and large-sized innovative companies.
The products are aimed at large research and innovation projects developed by universities and public research institutions.
It was pointed out that Innovfin also offers financing opportunities for well-reputed commercial projects of large dimension in the fields of renewable energy sources and hydrogen fuel cells, and for projects to develop vaccines, medicines, medical and diagnostic devices or innovative research infrastructure for researching infective diseases that have successfully passed the pre-clinical trial phase.
The programme also offers advice to companies and others investing in innovation to better prepare themselves to access financing from the EIB and other sources.
This post is also available in: Italiano