Capacity Building in Serbia

Summary of skills development and capacity building activities carried out in Serbia by POLICY ANSWERS.

In the following, we would like to give you an insight into the work POLICY ANSWERS has done in Serbia to further develop various skills in the economy.

Strengthening the Capacity of the Business Sector for Digital Skills

During March-April 2023, five training workshops focused on basic and advanced skills in Digital Transition (DT) for SMEs in Serbia. You can read our summary of the workshops here and here and watch our videos prepared about the events.

Four trainings were focused on basic digital skills:

  • 27 March 2023 in Belgrade (at IMP),
  • 31 March 2023 in Novi Sad (Regional Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina),
  • 7 April 2023 in Cacak (S&T Park),
  • 13 April 2023 in Nis,

while one additional workshop was dedicated to advanced DT skills for SMEs in Belgrade on 21 April 2023 (in IMP).

A close partnership was created with the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) project in organising a side event to the workshop on basic digital skills in Belgrade, facilitating b2b meetings that brought together providers and seekers of digital solutions, on 27 March 2023. SMEs from the EEN Serbia and the Republic of Srpska-BiH were involved, supported by the Development Agency of the Republic of Srpska and Chamber of Commerce.

Further synergy was achieved with another work programme within POLICY ANSWERS, which involves the creation of educational materials on innovation. Since the workshops were recorded, educational contributions were made in the form of videos, which will be included in the WB Research and Innovation Academy under the segment “Managing Innovation”.

IMP also created new partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina, the Regional Chamber of Commerce of Nis and the Cacak Science and Technology Park, and the cooperation within the EEN project was strengthened.

Overall, 138 representatives of SMEs attended the five workshops. The participants rated the event and the trainers with the highest scores. Due to immense interest and positive feedback, this training was repeated in Novi Sad on 27 November 2023.

Green Transformation: New Skills required to master the Green Transition

Two workshops on Green Transformation have been realised, one on 25 May 2023 in Belgrade (CCIS) and one on 30 May 2023 in Novi Sad (CCV). A partnership was created during the workshop in Belgrade with the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Centre for Circular Economy, which hosted the event in their premises. In total, 36 SMEs took part. The participants gave the highest ratings to the experts in the evaluation. For further information, check our event review here.

Although Nis was initially not recognised as a region with interest in the green transition, interest clearly came up as some new regulations in this area are emerging and SMEs should adopt them fast. Since there is a gap in knowledge, it seemed valuable to provide this training also in the region of South Serbia and its capital, Nis.

Improving Project Proposal Writing Skills

Serbia has been considered a good performer in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects according to the latest ERA report, so it seems that capacity building in this area is no longer a priority. However, the strong response to the workshop in Nis demonstrated that there is greater interest in the green transformation topic than initially estimated. Therefore, it is planned to hold a training on Green Transformation in Nis instead of the workshop on improving project proposal writing skills.

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