Summary of the first ever EIT Open Day in Serbia
The first ever EIT Open Day in Serbia was held at Startit Center in Belgrade on November 15th 2022. This all-day event gathered in Belgrade the most relevant stakeholders in the local and European innovation ecosystem and brought to Serbia lively discussion on further development and improvement of the innovation and technology sector.
The event was opened by Saskia Nuijten, EIT Food Director of Communication, and Ivan Rakonjac, Director of the Innovation Fund of Republic of Serbia who spoke about the successes Serbia made so far on the way to transforming its innovation scene.
At the ever-changing border of business, academia & research, government and wider public, there is an opportunity for more effective joint effort for bringing forth new solutions to systemic challenges. This was the main taking from the round table discussion on priorities in local innovation in Serbia. The moderator, Irena Đorđević, and panelists Aleksandar Jović, Nataša Vujnović Sedlar and Vanja Mandić - all experienced actors in the Serbian startup and entrepreneurship scene, highlighted the importance of EIT programs and European funds as one of the main supporting factors for driving change in Serbia, but also in Western Balkans region.
The program continued with presentations of EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, both international and local, where the public had the opportunity to learn more about the activities and successes of actively supporting the innovators and future trailblazers. Good practices and testimonies were shared from the EIT innovation fields of Raw Materials, Manufacturing, Climate, Urban Mobility, Health and Food.
After the networking session, in the second part of the program, the public had the opportunity to learn more about the main challenges in the Serbian agrifood ecosystem. Audience was introduced to the latest solutions developed by Challenge Labs participants. This four-week long program supported young students, researchers and innovators on their first steps into successful startup entrepreneurship. With the help of expert mentors, Delta Agrar industry partner and the jury, the best solutions were announced - an edible organic coating for fruits and vegetables, and a bioboost for sustainable agriculture. Teams Spray OK and NSoilab were the winning teams, sharing a grant of 2000 euros for the further development of their innovation.
EIT Open Day Serbia was organized by EIT Food and EIT Food Hub Serbia (Startit). The entire event was livestreamed and can be accessed for further viewing here.