News Article EBRD investment SEE Serbia STP
by Property Forum | Investment

With EBRD financing, Serbia will expand science and technology parks (STPs) and construct new ones in cities across the country, including Niš, Čačak, Kruševac and Belgrade (in the BIO4 Campus). A sovereign loan of €80 million and accompanying project agreements were signed in Belgrade by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, the Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, and the EBRD Regional Head of the Western Balkans, Matteo Colangeli, as well as directors of existing STPs.

The loan is provided to the Ministry of Finance, while the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation. The Ministry of Public Investment will be responsible for the tendering and supervision of works.

STPs will be equipped with the technology needed for R&D and will offer co-working spaces and offices as well as services to support the growth of nascent and innovative businesses. Offices will be leased primarily to SMEs, entrepreneurs and start-ups that focus on innovation and the development of technology. The project will be accompanied by a technical assistance programme with the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation and the local STPs, which will offer advisory services and capacity building to promote international best practices in the operations and management of the parks and strengthen the wider innovation ecosystem in Serbia. The roll-out of an internship programme across the STPs will also be supported as part of the project.

Serbia already has four STPs and an incubator, which are home to about 180 innovative companies, but existing STPs are approaching full capacity in terms of rental space, and the potential to attract and host more tenants is increasingly limited.

Technical cooperation grants for the project have been provided by the Austrian CREATE fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

To date, the EBRD has invested €8.5 billion in the country, with approximately €500 million already approved this year (including this project).