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Law on Innovation Activity

(“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 129/2021)

In the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 129 from 28 December 2021 the Law on Innovation Activity (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 129/21, hereinafter: the “Law”) was published and entered into force on the eighth day from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, i.e. on 5 January 2022, with the exception of provisions relating to the Register of National Innovation System Entities, whose application is delayed until the establishment of the said Register, and in any case no later than 31 December 2022. On the date this Law enters into force, the Law on Innovation Activity (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 110/05, 18/20 and 55/13) shall cease to be valid, except for the provisions relating to the Register of Innovation Activity, which shall cease to apply upon the establishment of the Register of National Innovation System Entities, and in any case no later than 31 December 2022.

The most important innovations introduced by the Law are primarily related to the establishment of the Register of National Innovation System Entities, while other innovations mainly refer to the specification of certain legal institutes and further regulation of the Innovation Fund (hereinafter: the “Fund”).

When it comes to innovations related to the operating of the Fund, the Law introduces addional regulations related to the businss performance, earmarked usage of funds, and the election of the Fund’s bodies, which is all related to the obligation to keep the Register of National Innovation System Entities that will be discussed below.

In addition, the term “innovative entities” and types of innovative entities were specified, while their new types were identified – startups and spin-offs, and the term “business-technology incubators” was replaced by the term “startup support organization”.

The financing of innovation activity is further regulated, primarily through economic incentive measures, which, among other things, include stimulating procedures and procedures, support programs for innovation activity, targeted support programs and projects within targeted programs.

The Law envisages the establishment of the Register of National Innovation System Entities, which shall keep the data on innovation entities, innovation infrastructure entities and business angels, while in addition to keeping records of national innovation system entities, facilitates access to innovation financing, economic incentives and incentive procedures and procedures.

The Register of National Innovation System Entities shall replace the existing Innovation Activity Register, so that all persons registered in the Register of Innovation Activity shall be transferred to the National Innovation System Entity Register, and the data contained in the Register of Innovation Activity shall be removed on the date the Register of National Innovation System Entities is established, and in any case no later than 31 December 2022.

Contrary to the Register of Innovation Activities that is maintained by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Register of National Innovation System Entities shall be maintained by the Fund, with the support of the Government.

Intellectual property rights created as a result of research in an accredited scientific research organization are no longer regulated by the Law on Innovation Activity, but by the Law on Science and Research.

Finally, in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 9 from 21 January 2022, the Decrees on determining Program for the Promotion and Popularization of Innovations and Innovative Entrepreneurship and the Program for Supporting the Development and Promotion of Women’s Innovative Entrepreneurship were published, and shall enter into force on the eighth day from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, i.e. 29 January 2022.

The right to use non-refundable funds awarded under these programs have scientific research organizations (competing either independently or together with the local government unit) that meet the prescribed conditions, while the funds must be used for its intended purpose (for example, to conduct a campaign to promote innovation and innovation entrepreneurship campaigns, or campaigns on the importance of the development of women’s innovation entrepreneurship).

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