Serbia is increasingly becoming a significant player in the biotech industry, particularly in areas related to biotechnology and artificial intelligence in healthcare. The country’s government plays an active role in fostering this ecosystem through investments in science and technology. For instance, the establishment of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) in Serbia has been a key development. This center focuses on biotechnology and AI in healthcare, aiming to make Serbia a global center in these fields. It involves collaboration between government, industry, academia, and civil society to create a robust environment for innovation.
One of the major projects in this regard is the construction of the BIO4 campus in Belgrade, set to begin in 2023. This campus aims to be a hub for biomedicine, bioinformatics, biotechnology, and biodiversity, fostering collaborations between biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, scientists, clinicians, startups, and entrepreneurs. The campus will include the Faculty of Biology and Pharmacy, various institutes, and a Science and Technology park for BIO4 startups.
Moreover, Serbia offers nearshoring advantages to EU companies, especially in digital services. The country has a skilled IT workforce and provides cost-effective solutions compared to Western Europe. Its cultural affinity to EU countries, combined with competitive pricing and skilled professionals in various IT domains, makes Serbia an attractive destination for outsourcing digital services. This nearshoring opportunity is beneficial for EU companies seeking to optimize costs, access top talent, and expand their market presence in the EU.
In addition, the trend of nearshoring, which involves locating production capacities closer to main markets, is becoming important for Serbia. The country is seen as a potential destination for companies looking to reduce risks such as those posed by pandemics and other global disruptions. The case of Benetton moving part of its production from Asia to countries closer to Europe, including Serbia, highlights this trend. Nearshoring to Serbia and similar countries offers advantages like reduced transport costs and delivery times, which are increasingly important for companies in the current global economic climate.
Overall, Serbia’s biotech and digital service sectors present growing potential for nearshoring and collaboration, especially for EU companies seeking to leverage the advantages of this region.