Serbia's BioSense Institute opens new Center of Excellence

New ministry project to support agriculture; more than 260 thousand farms registered in new digital system; massive irrigation scheme planned in Voivodina in coming years; €400 million investment into biogas in the country - Our weekly briefing on agriculture, food and nature news in Serbia.

A picture of the International style headquarters of the BioSens Institute in Serbia
Beeld: ©

BioSense Institute now in its new building

Two years ago, the cornerstone was laid in Novi Sad for the construction of the new building of the BioSense Institute, which is marked as the Serbian European Centre of Excellence. On April 19, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and EU’s Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel opened the new BioSens Institute building. About 250 scientists studying natural sciences will work in the new premises. The Prime Minister emphasized that the opening of this European center of excellence would bring new values and innovations, not only to Serbia but also to the region. She added that Serbia had shown that it could be a center of excellence in one of the areas that are very important for the future development of the country, which is digital agriculture. According to Prime Minister, it is the intersection or synergy between technology and agriculture, something that is necessary in times of climate challenge and global food challenges. Commissioner Gabriel said that the BioSense Institute would be the light of future research not only in Serbia but also in the Balkans. “We can say that the creation of this institute has shown how European support and global investments work together to achieve concrete results. The institute, as a new center of excellence, will drive the Serbian innovation ecosystem forward, and at the same time provide digital solutions in agriculture,” said Gabriel. BioSense Institute Director Vladimir Crnojevic announced that a new era of scientific and research work in Serbia began yesterday. “This building is one of the most technologically complex premises in Serbia and the first in Europe with an anti-vibration solution,” said Crnojevic.

The new building of the Biosense Institute has been financed through the Antares project that is jointly implemented with Wageningen University and Research, and DLO from the Netherlands, and supported by  the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.

“Grow Up – power of the soil”: A new project supporting to the agro sector

The Conference “Grow up – the power of soil” organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, marks the beginning of a new project with the aim to affirm agriculture and the food industry as one of the key pillars of the country's economic progress. Through a series of debates, sectoral talks, and finally through a regional conference, the goal is to open up the most important questions, provide answers and solutions, and outline future steps in the development of Serbian agriculture.

At the debate within the Grow-Up project,  a dialogue conceived on the principle "You have a say - be part of the solution" was launched. All agriculture subsectors will be represented equally (from animal husbandry, farming, fruit growing, vegetable growing to organic production) and experts will be offering solutions and practical solutions to the challenges of farmers.

267 thousand farms registered on e-agrar platform

Agriculture Minister Jelena Tanaskovic has stated that 267.000 active agricultural holdings (farms) were registered on e-Agrar platform. “It is constantly brought up that we have older people, the older generation, that they are digitally illiterate. But if 267.000 farmers have already registered, I think that shows that we are not digitally illiterate,” explained the Minister to RTS, the national broadcaster . Tanaskovic reiterated that e-Agrar serves to recognize the real farmer and minimize the possibility of fraud with government or EU subsidies. Starting this year, registration and renewal of registration of agricultural holdings, without which farmers cannot apply for subsidies, is done exclusively through electronic platform: e-Agrar.

Irrigation of 100 thousand hectares in Vojvodina planned in the next two years

This week, Minister of Agriculture Jelena Tanaskovic spoke with the director of PUC Vojvodina Waters, Srdjan Kruzevic, about investments in irrigation of around 100.000 hectares. "We will focus on farmers in Vojvodina and on the system for irrigation and electrification of fields in this area. The plan is to implement irrigation on 103.000 hectares in the next two years," stated the Minister. According to Kruzevic, in the coming years, "farmers will also witness serious construction works that will enable flow of water over Fruska Gora towards Srem". "This is demanding activity, and when the irrigation process on Fruska Gora is finished, we will witness a new era in PUC Vojvodina Waters," concluded Kruzevic and reported Beta new agency.

Investment of €400 million in biogas facilities in Serbia

Wabio Investment Holding SR is to begin the construction of the first biogas facility in Nova Crnja next MOnday, in which it plans to invest around €20 million, the company announced. They add that the beginning of the construction in Nova Crnja also marks the launching of an investment cycle of investments in Serbia in the amount of €400 million. "The Wabio technology uses exclusively waste matter as raw materials, such as manure from cow farms, chicken farm floor coverings, harvest residue (corn stalks, straw). The processing technology that Wabio has enabled the production of three billion cubic meters of green methane from those raw materials, which is sufficient for the gas independence of the country," the announcement says. This will be the first such facility in the wider region, and the plan is to build a total of around twenty such facilities in Serbia. The beginning of the construction in Nova Crnja will be attended by Raphael Fitz, the CEO of Wabio Technologie GmbH, Dusko Boskovic, the CEO of Wabio Investment Holding SR, Anke Konrad, the ambassador of Germany to Serbia, and Dubravka Djedovic, the minister of mining and energy of Serbia, reports portal e-Kapija