Source: eKapija/RTV | Thursday, 15.03.2018.| 09:45
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EBRD awards green innovation vouchers – Second call open until April 30

(Photo: Maryna Pleshkun/shutterstock.com)
The director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Serbia, Daniel Berg, invited Serbian companies from various fields to apply for the second call for the awarding of green innovation vouchers, which was placed on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, and will last through April 30, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced.

At the ceremony of the awarding of the EBRD's green innovation vouchers to ten Serbian companies in various fields, Berg said that as many as 80 small and medium companies responded to the first invitation, which lasted for a short time.

The green innovation vouchers of EUR 150,000 were awarded to representatives of ten Serbian companies in various fields so that they could use to funds to hire scientists from various faculties and institutes to help them develop their products.

The minister without a portfolio in charge of innovation and technological development, Nenad Popovic, said at the ceremony that small and medium companies were provided with an opportunity to gain knowledge from scientific research organizations in order to improve their products, increase the sales and provide higher salaries to their employees.

– Cooperation between scientific research organizations and the economy is best realized through the program of green innovation vouchers. This cooperation should result in the development of new products and services which will lead to an increase in the competitiveness of the Serbian company and the creation of new jobs – Popovic said.

He said that the Government of Serbia made great efforts to strengthen innovation capacities of the Serbian economy through the realization of a closer interaction between science and the economy.

– We want to work with the partners from the EBRD on the strengthening of the development triangle consisting of education, research and business. We see this as a basis for the development of an economy based on innovations and knowledge – Popovic said.

Minister of Environmental Protection Goran Trivan thanked the EBRD for the program it had initiated and said that he expected that the ecological trend in innovative projects would continue. He invited small and medium companies to get involved in the program.

– I can't think of a better symbiosis and I can't see what could be more important than innovations in environmental protection. Thanks to the knowledge and innovative solutions, we will be able to make up for years of lagging behind in this field. Intertwined, innovations and environmental protection can lead Serbia down the path of development and progress – Trivan said, as reported by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

As said, the help to companies was provided under the Green Innovation Voucher scheme, started by the EBRD in partnership with Austria’s DRIVE (Delivering Resource Efficiency InVEstments) Programme, and funding from Italy through the Central European Initiative. The aim is to increase innovation capacities in small and medium companies in the field of green technology and a more efficient use of resources – energy, water and materials.

Companies will work with providers of research, mainly local universities, on proposals; one proposal can receive an innovation voucher of up to EUR 20,000. The EBRD believes that such innovations will not only help Serbia better prepare for the changing climate, but will also support its long-term economic competitiveness, the press release says.

The companies Esensa, Avalon Partners, NS Koncept, Gomma Line, E-nergia gas and power, Dorado, Muvaround, Dogama, PG Marko Carnic and Biofor System presented the best projects of the 80 applications, and those companies are to cooperate with local research and development organizations on projects that can be co-financed with innovation vouchers of up to EUR 20,000, RTV reports.
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