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Workshop on smart specialisation, co-organized by the Ministry of Science and European Commission's Joint Research Centre

Workshop on smart specialisation, co-organized by the Ministry of Science and European Commission
Published date: 05.02.2019 18:00 | Author: Ministry of Science

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Ministry of Science  Ministry of Science 

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Ministry of Science

“There is a challenging road ahead for the Western Balkans, but I firmly believe that we can make an efficient transition towards the economy based on knowledge and innovation, given that the same region had in the past an intensive technological development and made significant scientific contributions on a European scale”, said the Minister of Science, Ms Sanja Damjanović at the opening of the first workshop on smart specialisation in the Western Balkans that is co-organized by the Ministry of Science and European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The workshop was also attended by Ms Charlina Vitcheva, Deputy Director-General, DG JRC, as well as by eminent experts from 13 countries of the Western Balkans and Europe.

Ministry of Science  Ministry of Science 

Minister Damjanović underlined the significance of the workshop, because for the first time, a wider audience in this part of Europe – the Western Balkans have an opportunity to hear about important aspects of the smart specialization process from colleagues from Brussels and experts from EU member states.

“Montenegro has recognized the importance of the Smart Specialization for its future development based on knowledge, technology and innovation, entering this new and challenging process in early 2017 in cooperation with several ministries of the Government, but under continuous guidance and with the strong support of the JRC“, Damjanović said.

Ministry of Science  Ministry of Science 

Minister Damjanović expressed her gratitude to the entire team of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre for continuous methodological support, expertise, advice and networking opportunities through organizing or co-organizing many workshops and seminars on smart specialisation.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Vitcheva said that Montenegro is at the advanced stage of building the Smart Specialization Strategy at national level and the results achieved by Montenegro in the process of the development and improvement of the Strategy are visible.

Ministry of Science  Ministry of Science 

Ms Vitcheva congratulated all the stakeholders involved in the S3 preparation process, which is a complicated concept that is being implemented in the Member States across the European Union. She highlighted that development of the Smart Specialisation Strategies is a part of the Multiannual Action Plan for the Western Balkans, aspiring to become members of the European Union.

Ms Vitcheva emphasized that the high political commitment such a political commitment from Montenegro, aspiring country to join the EU, is exemplary.

She commended Montenegro's efforts to transform the economy based on science and research, with the assessment that it is also important in terms of the integration of the country into the EU processes.

“Especially for small economies, and those are all economies in the Western Balkans, smart specialisation strategies should be outward looking. We consider ourselves in the bigger reference framework which will help create complementarities, synergies“, Ms Vitcheva said.

Mr Aivo Orav, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, highlighted that science and innovation represent a very important segment of European integration process and that the European Commission is ready to provide Montenegro with all possible support in that segment.

Mr Darko Petrušić, the Director General of the Directorate for Scientific Research Activity in the Ministry of Science and Ms Nina Radulović, an external expert of Montenegro Smart Specialisation Team outlined how the S3 process was organised in Montenegro and lessons learnt that can inspire also other countries of the Western Balkans region. They put a special focus on the explanation of the Smart Specialisation priority domains and the vision for their development.

During the Panel discussion: Sharing experiences - feedback from JRC, Member States and experts on Montenegro Smart Specialisation priority domains, which was moderated by Ms. Charlina Vitcheva, the strengths and challenges of the completed stages of the Smart Specialisation process in Montenegro are addressed. After commenting on Montenegro Smart Specialisation priority domains, the panellists focused on the EU experience and lessons learnt, thinking especially of the possible challenges concerning the implementation of the strategy and the opportunities resulting from international cooperation.

Roundtable discussion: How to initiate and nurture transnational cooperation for Smart Specialisation, was moderated by Mr. Manuel Palazuelos Martínez, Team Leader – Smart Specialisation Platform, DG JRC. In the roundtable, panellists presented the main points from the Smart Specialisation process in their own region or country, information about how it is organised, how far the process has gone so far, what challenges they have faced and how they solved them, as well as what challenges they anticipate in the upcoming period and discussed the potential for collaboration with respect to Montenegrin Smart Specialisation priorities, i.e. matching possibilities and complementarities with their own Smart Specialisation process, potential for regional value chains.

In the afternoon part of the workshop, Minister Damjanović presented the regional project called South East European International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (SEEIIST).

The final session called Governance of Smart Specialisation Strategy and key success factors was moderated by Ms Sanja Damjanovic. During this session, it was noted that good governance is particularly essential for the implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, where the roles of institutions and teams need to be clear and the tools well defined. Examples of good practice in Bulgaria, Crete region, and FYR of Macedonia were presented.

The Final Workshop Report is available to download here: Report_1st-WB-Workshop_Cooperation for Smart Specialisation_FINAL.pdf