The Agency’s Director Dejan Jovanovic said at the celebration held to mark the occasion that most of the funds, almost 70%, were allocated to SMEs for introduction of new quality control and certification systems, while the remaining 30% of funds were allocated for all other requests. Individual companies were allocated between RSD 100,000 and RSD 600,000.
Jovanovic said that 157 companies received funds for introduction of new quality control systems, 17 received funds for market research, 29 for improvement of the production process and organisational structure, and 29 companies received funds for improvement of existing and development of new products and services.
The largest number of companies that applied for non-repayable funds is from the processing industry – as much as 55%, then those specialising in agriculture, construction and services, Jovanovic specified.
The companies that applied are from Belgrade – 34%, Novi Sad – 15%, Nis – 14%, from Kragujevac, Krusevac, Loznica and Valjevo 7% each, and smaller numbers from Subotica, Vranje and other Serbian towns.
Serbian Assistant Minister of Economy and Regional Development Igor Brkanovic said that the SMEs sector is still the most competitive sector of the Serbian economy.
Development of innovativeness is the key to further development of SMEs, meaning new technologies, improvement of the production process and new markets, Brkanovic said and added innovativeness will be supported by Serbia’s competitive development strategy until 2012, which should be adopted by the new government, and through the formation of a council for competitiveness.
According to him, Serbia’s participation in the EU competitiveness and innovativeness programme, which has a budget of €3.6 billion until 2013, is also of great importance.