The EU funded RSEDP2 started in 2009 as extension of RSEDP1 programme.
Supported by an EU-funded M€12 Grant Scheme, RSEDP2 and the European Union encourage projects that directly impact job creation and business development.
The grants under this scheme are specifically designed and targeted to create new employment opportunities as well as safeguard existing jobs.
The goal is for the grants to support the following: inter-municipal partnerships, better connections between private and public sectors, creating of clusters in agricultural-food processing industry, production, distribution and storing of goods and tourism.
Under RSEDP2 component for Grant Scheme Support, there were two Grant Calls. The first ‘pilot’ call was launched in November 2009. From that first Call, three projects received awards and are currently being implemented.
The Second Call for Proposals was launched in June 2010 and was an ‘open call’ with a wide range of eligible organisations across all Serbia under two lots:
- LOT1 – Small-scale projects up to 250,000 EUR
- LOT2 – Large-scale projects up to 1,000,000 EUR
Eligible organisations were required to form regional partnerships capable of preparing and taking forward projects that reflected three key objectives:
- create new employment opportunities and safeguard existing employment in the regions of Serbia
- to improve competitiveness of enterprises
- to improve business related infrastructure in the regions of Serbia
Five themes were promoted under the grant scheme encouraging:
- Industry clusters
- Supply Chains
- Training and Employment
- Business Innovation
- Physical Business Infrastructure
The Second Grant Call was completed on 10th of September 2010 and generated an overwhelming response. A total of 234 grant applications were received by the EU Delegation. Moreover, out of all the applications received, only 5 of them (2%) were non-compliant after administrative assessment. the technical assessment of the 229 compliant applications was then carried out by a team of independent technical assessors. Of those 32% had their Concept Notes approved and 12% of them were granted awards, distributed as follows:
- Lot 1: 14 projects = 2.34 million EUR
- Lot 2: 15 projects = 8.52 million EUR
Project awards were generated from a variety of business and industry activities throughout Serbia, including Agriculture, automotive industry, Engineering, Electronics, Employment training, IT, Food and Wine production, Film industry, Textile, Tourism, SMEs and Human Resources sector.
RSEDP2 Grant Scheme Projects:
Pirot municipality recognizes that community development depends heavily on small and medium enterprises. The project aims to accelerate economic growth by facilitating the start-up and growth of enterprises; creating jobs and employment opportunities and improving the regional framework of micro, small & medium enterprise development.
Serbian ICT companies specialized in design and manufacturing of electronic devices are facing a number of challenges in accessing foreign markets. The problem identified as the crucial one is the lack of proper EMC testing and certification infrastructure in Serbia. Also, the overall level of know-how related to product design for EMC compliance is very low among Serbian companies.
Data on unemployment in Serbia are devastating. Young people — especially the growing number of secondary school graduates—lose the opportunity to enjoy successful and rewarding careers. At the same time, Serbian companies suffer from competitiveness disadvantages as they become less able to cope with the today’s “war for talent”.
During the last decade textile factories in Leskovac closed down and thousands lost their jobs. Jablanica District is one of the districts with highest rate of persons searching for job more than 12 months, half of them are women and almost 30% are young people up to 30 years of age. Since Leskovac has many young people that wish to design and tailor fashion street ware clothes but they are lack in materials, equipment and knowledge on how to realize ideas, this project will give them the opportunity to show what they know.
Metal industry is the biggest export industry sector in Serbia. At the same time, the greatest number of jobs was shed in the metal industry. The explanation of this misbalance lays in the fact that less than 1% of the total number of metal industry companies generates most of the Serbian growth and export, while several thousands of metal industries SMEs are barely making ends meet and generating unemployment. The high unemployment is concentrated in specific regions where large state-owned factories were the sole employers.
In Vojvodina province as well as in Banat region there is no institution that provides employed welders with relevant education and certificates. So far, only 2 Serbian companies obtained ISO EN 3834 . Every company which submits application to obtain this standard has to fulfill number of conditions. One of them is that it employs at least one certificated welder.
This project will directly improve the capacity of the municipalities of Kovin, Vrsac and Zrenjanin to design and implement interventions intended to increase economic growth and create employment. This project builds capacity to maximize the benefits of this infrastructure. Technology parks and industrial zones initiatives will support development of innovation, stimulate technology transfer and attract advanced technologies, create more jobs for highly qualified personnel and increase the quality production of national SMEs.
Automotive enterprises are mainly located in the provinces of Vojvodina and Sumadija, especially in the surrounding area of Kragujevac City. Since the early nineties, the number of Serbian employees in the automotive sector has been constantly and significantly decreasing. The project aims to create a training centre, based in Kragujevac, where students, adults and technicians can acquire modern concepts for a deeper education regarding the main aspects of the automotive Industry.
Prijepolje is a municipality with a high rate of unemployment, which is one of the main problems in the region. In Prijepolje there are five business zones: Velika Zupa, Ivanje, Kolovrat, Zalug and Brodarevo. The current project targets Kolovrat business zone with 19 companies. A critical problem for the companies in the business zone is lack of constant water supply from an authorized source, which put under threath the licence of the 19 companies.
Development of regions successful sectors which include cheese production focus on actions in sectors asnd sub-sectors which are important to the regional/sub regional economy, to harness the employment creation potential from inter-trading, the localised sourcing of procurement and non-competitive collaboration between enterprises.
Raski and Moravicki districts in Central Serbia are lagging behind in development and suffer from high unemployment and poor living standards. Forest based industries overall are fairly labor intensive, and this implies that even small increases in productivity could result in high employment opportunities.
Leskovac is one of the underdeveloped cities in Serbia. The lack of institutional framework for business service delivery, inadequate municipal infrastructure and skilled workforce for SME development are the main problems. The city of Leskovac has no sufficient institutional support to existing business and new investors. The available infrastructure capabilities are also a limiting factors for expansion of existing business capacity and launch new business activities.
National heritage and culture, customs and traditional values are the key elements of the image of Serbia. In addition to preserving culture of Serbia and its national minorities, the craft associations are influencing economy of Serbia by facilitating jobs for formerly unemployed women and allowing them the chance to create their own business as well.
The purpose of the project is to present Divcibare to the market not only as a tourist destination but as a location suitable for investment and in this respect to invite domestic and foreign investors to invest in tourist industry. It is also planned to provide a basis for improvement of tourism products and to find the best solutions for improving the offer of Divcibare and make this tourist destination more competitive in the market.
Rural development is of great significance for the future of both the EU and Serbia. Agriculture is a leading branch of economy in rural areas. Central Banat has great potentials in agricultural production due to favorable climate conditions, available water resources and natural characteristics of soil. The agriculture in Serbia cannot on its own, without any support, enter a fair game with the competition of EU countries.
South East Europe has been a favorite fim making destination for years. Located in the heart of Europe, offering good service at low price and developed infrastructure, this region is quite competitive on the international film production market. This is also a good chance for Serbia too and production on location in Serbia has risen in last four years.
Agriculture is one of the key sectors in Branicevski and Podunavski districts. The region has favorable natural preconditions for agriculture but competitiveness of agriculture is very low. Value chains in fruit and vegetable production have several weaknesses and gaps. The action addresses common problems of fruit, vegetable, flower sectors and beekeeping related to production quality, adding value, marketing and overall organizational capacities.
Official statistical data on the position of the Roma shows that their education level is significantly lower than average, thus influencing their difficult position in the labor market. Lack of employment is one of the main reasons for poverty among the Roma. Due to poverty, lack of basic knowledge and possibility of continual education or as a result of discrimination, the Roma are further away from employment opportunity, realization of income and education, as well as from inclusion and participation in social networks and activities in the community.
The fruit and vegetable processing sector in Serbia has a tremendous potential for export, but only 15 percent of all vegetables and about 20 percent of all fruits go to the processing sector. Due to their size, SMEs in F&V processing sector in Serbia do not possess enough internal capacities, as well as human, technical and financial resources.
Competitiveness of SME sector in Serbia is not at the satisfactory level. One of the causes of low competitiveness of SME sector is the lack of innovative activities. Specific problems of SME sector are not just lack of capability to solve the problem in innovative way, but also insufficient absorptive capacity, regarding the percentage of SMEs that confirmed implementation of innovations in business. On the other hand, innovative SMEs do not have adequate support.
Competitiveness of Serbian economy lags at the bottom of European countries. Design and development of cutting-edge products is the only way to become competitive in open international market. This requires, among other things, presence of high-level R&D institutions and extensive collaboration between universities and industry. The overall objective of the project is to increase competitiveness of manufacturing companies of Moravicki, Raski and Rasinski District by enhancing innovation through support to development of new products by modern development technologies.
The project focuses on mutual problems of beekeeping sector that concern services, quality of production, value added, marketing, selection and procurement of selected raw material. On the territory of the Branicevo, Zajecar and Danube district, there are cca 1400beekeepers, organized in 14 beekeeping organization with a total of cca 50.000 beeshives and annual production of cca 550.000 kg of honey, which is 11% of the total annual production of honey in Serbia.
Southeast Serbia is part of the country with the largest number of undeveloped municipalities and highest unemployed rates. The action aims to contribute to the reduction of regional economic disparities and gender equality. The action addresses the needs of active women entrepreneurs for supportive measures in business management and development by providing need-oriented and customized entrepreneurial training. The action focuses on women entrepreneurs in agro-food, tourism and services.
The economic situation of inhabitants in municipalities of Nova Varos, Cajetina and Prijepolje is quite low. Large production companies have closed and the number of unemployed persons is large. The situation for women in the rural areas is more difficult; most of them are only household support staff and receive no salaries.
One of the key challenges facing Serbia’s region is the loss of talent due to emigration. Especially alarming is the fact that that most emigrates have degrees in engineering and other technical fields. The reasons most often given for leaving are invariably lack of local employment opportunities. Outsourcing Center of Serbia’s primary goal will be to increase the capacities of Serbian small to midsize IT outsourcing companies.
In Western Serbia the Arilje Raspberry is regional product. Arilje is known as the leading region in raspberry production in Serbia and beyond, in Europe. The overall economic decline and low investment led to the fruit production decrease in quantity and quality. The entire production was and is being exported at a low level of processing.
One of the mayor problems which threatens economic development and competitiveness of the region of Vojvodina is the discrepancy between the demands of companies for skilled labor force and supply of workforce that has necessary qualifications to answer the needs of the employers. Lack of skilled workers influences competitiveness of companies.
Central Serbia region is mostly underdeveloped with very weak industry sector high level of unemployment and poverty. In last few years some agricultural sectors, especially high quality wine production, emerged as a possibility for growth and development. But, for the majority of small wineries (200 in the region), the wine production process is not yet market oriented and it is not harmonized to the standards of the EU, the export is extremely weak and the wine is mainly dedicated to local market.
There are unfavorable indicators of economic activity of the Sumadija and Pomoravlje region, specifically high unemployment rate, low level of SME development, b high mortality rate of start-up companies as well as insufficient level of cooperation between the industry and the university. The high mortality rate of start-up SME’s in the region is mainly caused by high overhead costs and insufficient funds for the development of products, services and markets.
Metal manufacturing and engineering is one of the third industrial sector in Serbia and one of the most perspective and technology driven industry. The largest companies of this sector are coming from ex-large systems and facing the following problems: law knowledge and application of new technologies, usage of software in engineering and design, delays in introduction of new materials, lack of finances.
Economic activity in Serbia in recent years has been characterised by a decrease in manufacturing output accompanied by an increase in unemployment particularly within the 18 – 34 age group. Activities og this project will be conducted in 4 districts in central Serbia – Sumadija Pomoravlje, Raski and Moravicki. Objective of the project is to accelerate economic growth in central Serbia by facilitating the start up of new enterprises, the growth and competitiveness of existing SMEs, job creation and employment opportunities for the young and unemployed.
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