Serbia creates innovation – Smart Specialization Strategy adopted

11 / 03 / 2020

At its session held on 27 February 2020, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Smart Specialization Strategy.
This strategy is an important instrument for improving the innovation and research ecosystem in the Republic of Serbia, as well as for the development of innovation and knowledge-based economy. The priority areas identified through the preparation of this document, which represent competitive advantages for our country and as such require further investments, include: information and communication technologies, food for the future, creative industries, machines and production processes of the future.

“One of the plans presented through this Strategy is to focus education on industries that deliver high-quality, and highly-skilled jobs that contribute to greater and faster growth of companies. This wide-ranging issue connects faculties, rectorships, science and technology parks, through the collaboration of science and industry, with the aim of creating highly skilled personnel and developing a knowledge-based society, “said Mladen Šarčević, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development.

IT industry is the fastest growing industry in our country, with a potential to develop own sophisticated software solutions and services thanks to the growing number of technology start-ups, entrepreneurial spirit and growing interest of young people in IT science.

When it comes to agriculture, the changing habits of modern consumers dictates the demand for high quality and diverse products. In order for our food products to enter advanced markets, manufacturers must turn to high-tech and sustainable production, but also to value-added products, such as organic, functional products, special needs food and other finished food products.

In the field of machinery and manufacturing processes of the future, local economy can offer components for the automotive, rail and aviation industries, eco-friendly and sustainable combustion devices, smart components and tools, while creative industry development can be expected in the field of audio-visual production, video game industries and smart and active packaging where a significant  potential has been identified.

The smart specialization strategy has been developed in line with best European planning practice, which means that it is based on extensive analyses aimed at establishing the facts and highlighting the problems that need to be addressed, with the concrete measures that were presented today.

The National Smart Specialization Strategy has been prepared over the last three years, according to the best practice methodology of EU Member States. Following the identification of priority areas, a series of workshops with almost 300 participants from the public, scientific, research, economic and civil sectors drafted a strategy with a comprehensive package of measures for each identified area.

“For this reason, Serbia’s case been recognized as one of the best examples of good practice in this regard by the international community as well, and our country has been selected by the UN as one of 5 pilot countries for policy making in the field of science, technology and innovation to achieve sustainable development goals”, said prof. Viktor Nedovic, Coordinator of Smart Specialization Strategy Development.

Key measures include cross-sectoral cooperation, modernization of the education system, increase in innovation capacities of local businesses, cooperation between research and business sectors, as well as specific programs for cooperation between industry and science in the fields of specialization implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development in cooperation with Public Policy Secretariat, through the Innovation Fund and the Science Fund, as well as in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Agriculture of Forestry and Water Management, Ministry of Culture and Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc., with specific budgetary funds allocated for these purposes.