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In December 2016, the Serbian Government formed the Ministerial Council for Innovative Entrepreneurship and Information Technologies, so that Serbia could catch up more quickly with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The then minister of state administration and local self-government, and today’s Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, was appointed as the Council’s President. The sector of information and communication technologies is one of the largest sectors in Serbia, and one of the largest net exporters.
Key initiatives of the Government for increasing the number of IT experts:
- Increase in the capacity of technical faculties through increased number of students, by as much as 20% compared to 2017, with the recruitment of addition teaching staff and provision of additional space.
- Programming and computer science was introduced in elementary schools from the fifth grade as a mandatory subject.
- 1,750 schools received safe internet.
- Computers and equipment were purchased for all schools.
- The state invests more than EUR 100 million in large infrastructure projects: STP Novi Sad, STP Niš, Biosense Institute, section of the building of the Faculty of Electronic Engineering in Niš, Institute for Physics, new building of the Faculty of Organisational Sciences, STP Belgrade, Data Center in Kragujevac; which will enable better integration of education, science and economy.
- Re-training for developers: In 2017, the Government began an IT Re-training Project. The training was successfully completed by 800 trainees, training for more than 1 000 participants is in progress, while many companies have organized internship for or employed the trainees.
We are continuing to improve programming in secondary schools by introducing dual IT profiles, and in particular by increasing the number of computer science classes in gymnasiums:
- At the beginning of school year 2017/2018, 9 classes
- At the beginning of school year 2018/2019, 44 classes.
- Introduction of digital textbooks, the first 2,000 digital classrooms introduced.
- The budget of the Innovation Fund (financing innovation) increased significantly from 537 million in 2017 to RSD 964,046.00 in 2018 and, in addition, to 1,092,000.00 in 2019.
- In 2019, a Science Fund was established, which will enable better and more competitive development of science and research in Serbia. The budget for 2019 is RSD 500 million, while the budget is planned to be RSD 5 billion in the coming years.
Other Government initiatives for supporting digital economy:
- The commencement of digitization of educational materials in schools, pilot project commences on 1 September 2018.
- The budget of the Innovation Fund has been significantly increased (financing innovations) from 537 million in 2017 to 964,046 million dinars in 2018.
- Encouragement of larger number of investments by adoption of the Law on Alternative Investment Funds.
- Enhancement of the business environment for digital business through changes of laws (e.g. Law on Foreign Exchange Operations, Law on Trade, Labour Law, Law on the Capital Market, Personal Data Protection Act), cooperation with NBS concerning open questions of international business, cooperation with companies Google and Apple so as to ensure undisturbed business from Serbia, etc.
- Fostering entrepreneurship through exemption from taxes and contributions for beginners in business.
- Enhancement of the general business conditions by eliminating the obligation to issue paper invoice, use stamps, project e-inspector and digitization of the state services.
- Support digital development of classical industries, g. agriculture (BioSense and Digital Farm), healthcare (enable significantly higher number of clinical trials by shortening the approval process).
- Construction of the national telecommunications network.
- Office for IT and eGovernance has already enabled payment through the eGovernance portal and it is carrying out the open data project, while digitization of an additional large number of state services is expected after the adoption of the E-Governance Law.