EBRD brings Industry 4.0 to Serbian SMEs

  • January 31, 2024
  • William Payne

A new laboratory is providing small and medium-sized businesses in Serbia with access to Industry 4.0 technologies and services. The laboratory aims to expand the country’s mid-tier manufacturing base by providing access to modern prototyping and development tools to smaller industrial companies.

DEAL (Digital Enterprise – an Active Learning and training Lab), is funded by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the EU and Serbia’s Ministry of the Economy.

The laboratory provides a space for research, development and application of the latest technologies in the field of digitisation and automation.  Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), researchers and students will be able to develop and test their products and systems with the help of modern digital technologies in a newly opened laboratory in the Science and Technology Park Novi Sad. 

The laboratory was created in response to the need for a stronger connection between science, modern production systems and the economy, which would then support the creation and adoption of Industry 4.0 systems – the fourth industrial revolution. The DEAL laboratory will therefore allow companies and researchers to learn about Industry 4.0 and become familiar with the latest trends in the digital transformation of production and logistics systems. 

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, believes the DEAL laboratory is key to the cooperation between the academic and business communities.  “Science and innovation are one of the EBRD’s priorities because innovation is at the very centre of local economic development, which is why we extended €80 million to Serbia earlier this year for the development of science and technology parks in several cities in the country.” 

Plamena Halačeva, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union in the Republic of Serbia, said: “This laboratory will serve the development of new ideas and solutions that will improve production processes and create new products and services; it will create new values. Innovation is exactly what the European Union has always supported in Serbia – it was the first to support innovation and science funds, the first to give grants to innovative companies and support their collaborations with research and development institutes. Of course, the EU continues to support and encourage the economic development of Serbia.”