By signing the accession agreement, the Republic of Serbia became a partner in the Innovation Fund (ENIF) and thus enabled technology companies at early stage of development to use funds in the amount of 41 million euros.
ENIF is a risk capital fund with the focus on small and medium-sized innovative enterprises in the early stage of development in the Western Balkans. The ENIF strategy is to invest in local teams of extraordinary skills with the ambition and potential to develop regionally or globally. It has been active since September 2015 and is operated by South Central Ventures, which has been selected by the European Investment Fund. The investors in ENIF are the European Commission, the European Investment Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the German Development Bank, as well as the economies of the Western Balkans, as well as several individual investors. So far, eight early technology development companies have been supported through ENIF, four of them from Serbia.
The conference was held today at the Science Technology Park Belgrade. Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Mladen Sarcevic, Head of Operation – Section II Stefan Hudolin and Acting Director of the Innovation Fund Ivan Rakonjac spoke after the welcome speech of Professor Nedovic, Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. On behalf of the international financial institutions, Iber Kotoni from the European Investment Fund, Claudio Viezoli of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Danijel Trkis from the German Development Bank welcomed the visits. Jan Kobler, partner of South Central Ventures, spoke about how ENIF operates. Igor Jovic from Cityexpert spoke about his experience as an ENIF user.
ENIF is one of the pillars of the Western Balkans Enterprise and Innovation Development Program, which offers a set of complementary financial measures to support the SME sector in the Western Balkans.
The Innovation Fund participated in the launch of this regional program and it’s authorized to participate in the work of ENIF, as well as the Program as a whole, signing an agreement on the accession of the Republic of Serbia to ENIF as an investor. For the purposes of the participation of the Republic of Serbia as an investor in ENIF, funds were provided from the division of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development in the amount of 21.5 million dinars. The Ministry of Economy also participates in the governance bodies of the Program.