This project is funded by the European Union (EU) and is implemented by WYG International on behalf of the EU Delegation to Republic of Serbia.
Last Wednesday, at the Cultural Centre of Nis, Nis Regional Centre for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises and entrepreneurship, under the auspices of the Palilula municipality, presented a study “Increasing competitiveness of Nis, Pirot and Toplica region by encouraging innovative activities in the sector of small and medium enterprises’. The study was implemented under the Regional Socio-Economic Development Programme 2, in cooperation with the Regional Chamber of Commerce and the University of Nis. The project was funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia.
The importance of this project and the study was presented by Vladimir Dodić, Director of the Regional Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises, Ljiljana Stanković, Professor of Economics, University of Nis and Igor Novakovic, Mayor of Palilula. Main objective of the project, according to Vladimir Dodic, project manager, is to support balanced regional development in Serbia through encouragement and support for innovation activities of SMEs in the Nis Region.
‘Situation in the economy is quite heavy and has a lot of problems’, pointed out Dodic and explained ‘Our team of experts and university professors visited about 300 companies and after processing the questionnaire we have done a study that would provide us with an insight into the current state of our economy. The project lasts for two years and we plan to work on innovation so that the final result is transformation of our regional centre into an Innovation Centre. Project is worth about 154 000 euro. According to prof. Dr. Ljiljana Stanković, who presented this research, some 300 companies in this region are ready for innovation.
“Innovation is an important factor in the competitiveness of both global and domestic market. Country’s ability to sustain economic growth and competitiveness lies in the activation of innovation and learning processes. Therefore, innovations are a challenge for any business, especially for those that are exposed to international competition, said Igor Novakovic, President of Palilula Municipality, at the presentation of the Study.
Compared to European countries, potential for innovation in the private sector in Serbia is in a worse position in terms of market access, funding and investment in research and development of new products. In order to create climate that will stimulate innovation processes, in Serbia there is a national innovation system which has been operating as a complex system composed of a number of relevant institutions and sectors involved such as the government, financial sector, education system, labor market, technological organizations and research institutions. Their activities are designed to be aimed at achieving specific goals through effective use of public instruments.
Palilula Municipality has shown great interest in this study and so as a part of the presentation the Agreement of Cooperation was signed between Municipality of Palilula and the Regional Centre thus regulating the implementation of two projects: ‘Increasing competitiveness of the economy by stimulating the Region of Nis’ innovative activities of SMEs’ and ‘How to do business with the EU’, which are both a part of cross-border cooperation between the City of Nis and Municipality of Pernik, Bulgaria.