Inovativnost malih i srednjih preduzeća kao faktor privrednog razvoja Srbije
Innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises as a factor in economic development of Serbia
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Knowledge and innovations are the most significant source of changes and constitute the basis for the establishment of a modern, knowledge-based society. A knowledge-based economy ensures an efficient transfer and creation of new knowledge, and provides favourable conditions for an effective commercialization of innovations, which altogether alters the nature and the speed of knowledge and innovation development. Innovativeness makes a profound impact on the level of development and the future development of enterprises, economy, and a society in general. Innovative SME are the most dynamic, flexible, and efficient segment of a modern economy; they propel the growth of competitiveness, new employment, and overall economic development. New as well as already operating innovative SME take the place of less efficient enterprises and boost productivity and competitiveness of economy. These enterprises act as a major source of knowledge that is the most important factor in development of in...novations. Within the SME sector there is a comparatively small number of highly innovative SME that boast considerable potential for growth and innovation, and a prevalent number of SME which are not innovation-oriented and do not boast serious innovation potential. Republic of Serbia belongs to the group of less developed European countries whose development is not driven by knowledge and innovations. The role and significance of knowledge and innovation in the development of Serbian economy are small, innovativeness of domestic SME is at a relatively low level, and only a small number of SME tend to innovate. The rise in the number of SME is not coupled with the rise in innovativeness that would yield a sustainable competitive advantage for these enterprises both on the national and on the global market. The institutional framework in Republic of Serbia is not efficient and complete, and the business environment is not adequately adapted to the development of innovations and innovative SME. Most elements of the innovation system are in the early development stage and have limited capacities, while mechanisms and methods that serve to facilitate the development of the doing business and innovations are limited, insufficient, and inefficient. Domestic SME are faced with major obstacles to the development of innovations (funding, the transfer and application of knowledge, engagement of professional staff, etc.) that seriously restrict opportunities for innovation and dynamic development. Therefore it is necessary that the economic development model used so far should be altered through the formulation of a new, systemically well-crafted policy of development of innovative SME, and by undertaking specific programmes of support for SME so that they would rely more on their development and innovation potential as a major factor in economic development of Republic of Serbia.