According to the Global Innovation Index (GII), which measures the innovative capabilities of a country’s economy, Serbia ranked 54th in 2021, three places better than in 2019, but one position worse than last year.
In the part measuring inputs for innovations such as conditions for innovative business, Serbia progressed much faster and ranked 50th (62nd place in 2019), while in innovative outputs, innovative products the country stagnated at 57th place.
Kosta Andrić, director of ICT Hub, says that all stakeholders must work closely together, from entrepreneurs to academia, through the state, to investors and businesses so that these innovations can be implemented.
“In recent years, our IT sector has grown rapidly, but in the long term, we are concerned about the future. Our success is based on the fact that we provide quality products with an acceptable, but not cheaper, price of labour. However, the price of labour is rising and people are leaving the country. In two years’ time, we may no longer be price-competitive,” Andrić said, adding that the fantastic growth of the Serbian IT sector over the past 10 years only seems fantastic when you compare it to itself, but compared to other similar countries, it is not growing fast enough.
He mentioned the so-called “Big Bet”, i.e. the idea of countries choosing areas of the economy in which they have the knowledge and are exceptional and recognisable, such as, Romania, Poland and Sweden and added: “We see great successes of our companies, stock market listings and acquisitions of big global companies, but one or two unicorns (startups with a valuation of more than a billion dollars) do not have an effect on the whole economy,” he said.
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