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EBRD and EU help Serbian businesses to access Industry 4.0 services

By Bojana Vlajcic

Laboratory for digital transformation launched in the Science and Technology Park Novi Sad

  • Facility to boost digitalisation of Serbian businesses 
  • SMEs given insight into automation and digital services 
  • The project is co-funded by the European Union 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), researchers and students will be able to develop and test their products and systems with the help of modern digital technologies in a newly opened laboratory in the Science and Technology Park Novi Sad. 

DEAL (Digital Enterprise – an Active Learning and training Lab), which is financed by the European Union in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ministry of Economy of Serbia, is a place for research, development and application of the latest technologies in the field of digitisation and automation. 

The laboratory was created in response to the need for a stronger connection between science, modern production systems and the economy, which would then support the creation and adoption of Industry 4.0 systems – the fourth industrial revolution. The DEAL laboratory will therefore allow companies and researchers to learn about Industry 4.0 and become familiar with the latest trends in the digital transformation of production and logistics systems. 

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, believes the DEAL laboratory is key to the cooperation between the academic and business communities.  

"Science and innovation are one of the EBRD's priorities because innovation is at the very centre of local economic development, which is why we extended €80 million to Serbia earlier this year for the development of science and technology parks in several cities in the country." 

Plamena Halačeva, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union in the Republic of Serbia, said: “This laboratory will serve the development of new ideas and solutions that will improve production processes and create new products and services; it will create new values. Innovation is exactly what the European Union has always supported in Serbia – it was the first to support innovation and science funds, the first to give grants to innovative companies and support their collaborations with research and development institutes. Of course, the EU continues to support and encourage the economic development of Serbia." 

SMEs full insight into the entire automation process –  from digitised product design and development to the digitisation of production and logistics systems. This will be the first laboratory of its kind, not just in Serbia but also the entire region of the Western Balkans. 

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia and has now invested more than €8 billion in the country, with over 70 per cent of this in the private sector. The Bank focuses on SME support, the improvement of public utility services and the overall transition to a green economy. 


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