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CEI Fund at the EBRD supports new EBRD-run scheme for innovative climate-friendly solutions for small businesses

The first innovation vouchers for “green” solutions were awarded in Belgrade, Serbia on 13 March. The award ceremony took place before the Minister of Innovation and Technological Development, Nenad Popović, the Minister of Environmental Protection, Goran Trivan, and the EBRD management team, including Terry McCallion, EBRD Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, and Dan Berg, EBRD Director for Serbia. 

10 companies will receive a total of €150,000 under the Green Innovation Voucher scheme, started by the EBRD in partnership with Austria’s DRIVE (Delivering Resource Efficiency InVEstments) Programme and with funding from the CEI Fund at the EBRD (contributed by Italy).

Innovation Vouchers are an established mechanism for supporting business innovation, especially SMEs, which tend to have many innovative ideas but often lack the necessary capital, technical and/or business expertise to transform their innovation project into a market success.

The EBRD believes that such innovations not only will help Serbia better prepare itself for the changing climate, but they will also support its long-term economic competitiveness.

In 2016, the EBRD led a study (funded by the CEI Fund at the EBRD with EUR 74,000) to confirm the relevance of this scheme in Serbia. The Politecnico di Milano, in cooperation with the University of Belgrade have successfully completed the study and in their final report, they have provided key inputs for the design of the scheme, which the EBRD is currently implementing. 

In 2017, the CEI Fund at the EBRD also financed a KEP project with EUR 40,000. The project aimed  at supporting Serbian SMEs in adopting resource efficient (energy, water and material efficiency) technologies by providing vouchers for Research and Development (R&D) services to be purchased in the country from accredited R&D suppliers, which has  led to the awarding of the first green innovation vouchers in Serbia.

The second call for applications will be open to companies from 13 March to30 April 2018. SMEs and R&D service providers can apply HERE.


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