Serbia Will Be Fully Recognised as Country of New Technologies

Photo: The Government of the Republic of Serbia

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic expressed her belief that the BIO4 campus will further strengthen our economy, raise the average salary and pension level, and ensure that young people stay in Serbia, but also that many move to our country to work in the most challenging projects in biotechnology.

At the presentation of the conceptual design of the BIO 4 campus in the government building, Brnabic pointed out that construction is expected to begin next year, and occupancy is planned for 2025.

According to her, when we succeed in this intention, Serbia will be a country that no one will ever be able to stop and that will be fully recognised as a country of new technologies, knowledge and innovation and one of the most important European centres when it comes to new technologies.

The Prime Minister added that this will ensure that we have a high level of quality of life, which is not only reflected in the fact that we will have higher salaries, adding that BIO4 is a huge visionary project that has been worked on for more than 18 months.

Brnabic pointed out that the construction of this campus will cost EUR 190 million and that EUR 100 million will be invested in equipment, noting that the money will probably be secured from a loan from the Development Bank of the Council of Europe.

The future is in two fields – artificial intelligence and biotechnology, and the BIO4 campus introduces these two new fields to our country. If we manage to do that, and I have no doubt that we will, then the sky’s the limit for Serbia, she said, adding that Serbia is not the same country as it was in 2012 or 2015 and that more and more foreign companies are coming to our country.

According to her, there are already companies that are interested in opening their development centres for biotechnology and want to be tenants of the BIO4 campus.

The Prime Minister emphasized that BIO4 is an upgrade of what the government, in cooperation with the educational and scientific system, has been doing since 2016, when the beginning of the transformation of our economy into an economy based on knowledge, innovation and new technologies was announced.

Since then, we have built four science and technology parks, a network of start-up centres in Serbia, the most modern data centre for data storage and reforms in the education system, primarily by introducing programming, we have managed to attract a large number of the most prestigious foreign companies that have chosen Serbia as the place where they open its development and research centres, the Prime Minister stated.

Brnabic presented that the company NCR in Serbia has built its largest campus for development and research outside the USA, that Microsoft is going to make their research centre in Serbia the main development centre in Europe that will employ several thousand people in the coming years.

Also, French Schneider Electric has its largest development centre in Novi Sad, Epik bought Serbia’s Trilateral, one of the most successful start-up companies in the world, she emphasised.

She pointed out that the IT sector has become the fastest growing sector of our economy and the largest export sector in Serbia, specifying that the export of IT services has increased three times in the last six years.

In the first four months of this year, it is equal to our export of IT services in 2016, and we believe that this year it will exceed 2.5 billion euros, said the Prime Minister.

Brnabic emphasised that since 2016, Serbia has more than doubled the number of programmers from 19,000 to more than 40,000, and expressed her belief that we will soon reach the number of 100,000 programmers.

The Prime Minister reminded us that we retain developers by enabling the development of more and more start-up companies, by increasing innovation funds that invest in start-ups, and by adjusting legislation.

As she stated, 2021 was a record year for the number of start-ups and investments in them, and more and more development centres are opening, so in addition to keeping our own, foreigners are also coming.

The BIO4 campus will house three faculties – Biology, Pharmacy and the Bioengineering Group of the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy.

The campus will house eight scientific institutes, the Extension of the Science and Technology Park and research centres of private companies.

Source: The Government of the Republic of Serbia