D4.26 (T4.5) Report on the Feasibility of a Common RTD Information System for Western Balkan Countries

 With their legitimate ambition to integrate more closely into the European Research Area, the WB countries need to upgrade their national RTD information systems, and would benefit from developing a regional information system, effectively supporting these ambitions by facilitating closer and more balanced international collaboration. This awareness is slowly growing, primarily in some government and academic circles, but the first step is obviously to properly upgrade and connect various components of their fragmented national information systems. 

At the moment these systems cover primarily information on RTD institutions, researchers and publications, while other elements meant to attract foreign partners are covered by other information systems, characterised by fragmentation and limited connectivity.  With the exception of CRIS (Current Research Information System), other systems do not follow international standards/formats, their design is often not very user-friendly, and only few of them are fully operational in English. These partial RTD information systems are usually very poorly promoted, and therefore strongly underutilised. Some good practice cases from EU member states are not sufficiently known in the region.

Observed from a potential foreign partner's point of view, these national systems lack much information on institutions, policies, laws and support instruments available for international RTD cooperation in the respective countries.

Two surveys, an expert workshop in 2009, and communication among members of the project’s expert group on RTD information systems, have demonstrated the potential and growing interest for improving national systems, and for the possibility of their linking at the WB regional level. The key problem, however, is not of technical but of political and even psychological nature. For recently independent countries, with numerous problems and lack of resources, it is quite a challenge to join a regional information and promotion system, while still lacking proper facilities in RTD information systems at the national level. 

Therefore, building a regional RTD information system for the WB countries appears feasible as a long term project which will require also external support, particularly from the EU. 

Document type
  • Deliverable - wbc-inco.net
  • Report


Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Christina Miariti on February 28, 2011
Modified on November 20, 2012