Public call for innovators to participate in providing Official Development Assistance of the Republic of Serbia

Belgrade, 14 May 2021 - In order to turn local innovations, expertise and knowledge into a part of the official development assistance that the Republic of Serbia provides to the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania within the “Mini-Schengen” initiative, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Serbia launches Serbia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Challenge Call for innovative solutions that can respond to the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis in these two countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a wide and long-term impact on human health and economic wellbeing. The consequences of the crisis include disruption in supply chains, affecting access to essential goods such as food and medical supplies, as well as a reduced demand for services, which bears a negative impact on small and medium enterprises, especially in the areas of transport, tourism and production. This turn of events threatens to undermine both the achieved and the future progress toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), which may result in an increase of people at risk of poverty, a regression in the areas of education and healthcare, and a deepening of inequalities. To respond adequately to these challenges and build resilience to the current and future crises, the Western Balkans region, needs proactive solutions, as well as a joint response from several countries.

The goal of this public call is to support the public and private companies and the academic and research institutions from Serbia to transfer innovative solutions to partner companies and organizations in the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania, with the aim to mitigate the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in these two countries and contribute to their recovery.

Private sector companies, public enterprises, universities and research institutes registered in Serbia may apply to the call. They may offer solutions in the following areas:

• New digital services – Innovative, inclusive and sustainable digital solutions in the service sector.

• Contactless economic activities – Innovative solutions that introduce new ways of production and consumption, and support contactless economic activities, remote delivery services and teleworking opportunities, to stimulate economic growth.

• Health and well-being – Innovative solutions that support individuals and communities' health and psychosocial well-being, and other ways to improve the well-being of individuals and communities.

Candidates may apply with a new approach, product or service that has already been implemented, or they can propose a feasibility study that would test a proposed solution. The applicants have the obligation to establish partnerships in the Republic of North Macedonia and/or the Republic of Albania on their own, in order to make sure that the proposed solutions are adapted to the local context and sustainable in the local conditions. The feasibility of the idea in the partner state(s) must be proven and documented in the application process.

The detailed instructions on how to apply can be downloaded here, the application form can be found here and budget form here. Please note that the documentation can be filled in English only.

Please submit your applications or any questions about the call by e-mail to: oda.challenge.rs@undp.org.

The application deadline is 28 June 2021, and the implementation deadline for projects is December 2021.

Serbia’s ODA Challenge Call is being launched under the “Development Service Agreement – SDG Acceleration Framework”, funded by the Government of Serbia and implemented by UNDP.

 

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