Photo: FoNet

The Technology Transfer programme (TTF) was launched today at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, whose main objective is the commercialization of research and development (RD) by bringing together researchers from academia and the private sector and by strengthening the local technology transfer organizations (TTOs) at universities in Serbia.

This program is part of the EUR 6.9 million Serbia Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer Project, which is financed by the European Union from its IPA pre-accession funds in the amount of EUR 4.9 million, and co-financed by the Republic of Serbia and the Serbian private sector in the amount of EUR 1 million each. It is implemented by the Innovation Fund in cooperation with the World Bank.

“The previous project of the Innovation Fund has demonstrated that Serbia has innovative entrepreneurs capable of providing products and services with high added value for both domestic and foreign markets. Today we are announcing a new project of the Fund, which should significantly strengthen the ties between our RD organizations, primarily in higher education, and private sector and economy based on knowledge and high technology. Innovations are made every day. In order to benefit from them, we need to recognize and support them at the institutional level above all”, said Srdjan Verbić, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development in his opening speech.

TTF Program is a pilot activity aimed to support the RD community in Serbia. Through its mechanisms, the local technology transfer organizations at four universities – Belgrade, Niš, Kragujevac and Novi Sad – as well as public-sector RD institutes are enabled to identify a private-sector partner for the development of their research with commercial potential and get it to the market.

“I welcome the commitment of the Government of Serbia for the development of the innovation sector, which should include funding and actively connecting researchers from academia with interested investors from the private sector. The development of a knowledge-based economy, which Serbia is dedicated to, will depend on long-term and sustainable effort. The European Union supports the Government and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development on that path.  As the largest donor in Serbia over the last 15 years, through this project and its component – the TTF Program, the EU continues to contribute to the improvement of conditions for researchers in Serbia”, says Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia.

The services of the Technology Transfer Facility (TTF), established within the Innovation Fund to implement the TTF Program, include screening of technology and commercial readiness, funding the proof of commercial readiness in the amount of around EUR 10,000, providing and executing commercialization strategy, identifying potential commercial partners and negotiating and closing transactions.

“Serbia’s innovation potential is indisputable. In the past years, we had the opportunity to evaluate hundreds of innovative projects. However, we lack institutional mechanisms to ensure that these ideas develop and reach the market, where they can fulfill their purpose. This requires financial means, which have been chronically scarce, as well as expert support in finding appropriate private-sector partner, protecting intellectual property, designing a good business plan… For the first time in one place, all this is now available to our researchers through the TTF Program”, says Ivan Rakonjac, Interim Managing Director of the Innovation Fund.