News archive - Videos from the "Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth Conference"

Under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency a high-level conference was organised  together with the Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), on 3 and 4 May in Sofia, to discuss smart specialisation, technology transfer and digital economy. The Conference provided a platform to discuss and commit to placebased innovation as a priority for Europe, with a focus on South-East Europe, including the Western Balkans, and an arena for constructive dialogue between institutions and businesses.  Video streaming for sessions of the Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth conference is made available.

The event has considered the opportunities and challenges for Europe, notably South-East Europe, in research, development, education, employment and innovation and in particular, the process of skills creation, knowledge and technology. As stated in the event's final programme, after setting the scene and presenting the facets of the innovation landscape in Europe, policymakers, scientists, businesses, regional authorities and universities have had the opportunity to engage in a debate on good practices and key success factors to inspire countries, regions and stakeholders willing to reap the potential of Smart Specialisation.

On this basis and building on a variety of examples from the EU, participants could dig into the policy mix needed to connect actors from the quadruple helix (businesses, academia, government and civil society). This has taken place through two parallel streams focusing on: (i) the four challenges to regional innovation outlined by the European Commission in its July 2017 Communication on Smart Specialisation; and (ii) technology transfer and the digital economy. These exchanges will highlight the ingredients to make the most of innovation ecosystems and make Smart Specialisation a success story.

On first day, panellists presented and discussed how Smart Specialisation has changed innovation policy-making in their countries and regions. The innovation landscape in the EU with main actors, initiatives, tools and outcomes were debated. Moreover the discussion also focused on Experiences about implementation of smart specialisation. Lessons from the early stages in Serbia ere presented by Viktor Nedović, Assistant Minister, Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development ( see video's 11th minute). Success actors in R&D and Innovation were finally also focus of the first day to understand how Businesses Cooperate with Academia.

The second day begun with the session "Statements on Opportunities and Challenges in the Region: The Innovation Roadmap" that was opened by Vladímir Šucha, Director-General, Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), European Commission. The objective was to underline how starting early to transform research and innovation (R&I) systems is an important precondition for success.
For Western Balkans, Smart Specialisation is not an ex ante conditionality like it is for the EU Member States. It is, however, an increasingly popular innovation policy concept spreading worldwide. Those countries just starting their Smart Specialisation process could benefit from a sound and objective analysis of their economic potentials, similar to what the European Commission has been doing in Serbia. To assess relative performance and potentials, a comparative analysis of the entire region is necessary. The discussion has intended to finally underline the importance of cooperation in economic, innovation and research policies that benefits partners from the Western Balkans and EU Member States and regions that can deliver positive economic effects and help integration processes.

From the WB countries interventions were planned by:

  •  Viktor Nedović, Assistant Minister, Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development
  •  Besa Shahini, Vice-Minister of Education, Sports and Youth, Albania
  •  Sanja Damjanović, Minister of Science of Montenegro
  •  Jasna Šafhauzer, Counsellor, Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Republic of Bulgaria
  •  Marjan Gjorchev, Ambassador, Embassy of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of Bulgaria
  •  Arber Geci, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Kosovo*

Parallel Sessions followed about: Increasing Transnational Cooperation for Innovation Investments, How to Commercialise Innovations, Digital Transformation, Leveraging R&I in Less Developed and Industrial Transition Regions, Harnessing Synergies between EU Policies and Instruments for Financing.

Before the  Closing remarks,  the multiple initiatives already existing in South-East Europe were tackled as well as their mutual coordination for increased impact. according to the original plan, discussions are:

  • Building an Action Plan for Smart Growth in the Western Balkans - Lucian Brujan, Speaker of the Joint Science Conference of the Berlin Process, German National Academy of Sciences
  •  Smart Growth as a cornerstone of the WB6 Multiannual Plan of the Regional Economic Area - Gazmend Turdiu, Deputy Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council
  •  Evidence-based policies: analytical support for successful strategies in the Western Balkans, Marzena Kisielewska, Head of Division, OECD
  •  Smart Specialisation and the circular economy in the Western Balkans and South-East Europe: upgrading international cooperation, Christophe Yvetot, UN Industrial Development Organisation

Find the playlist with all videos   of the Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth conference here


Geographical focus
  • SEE
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin on May 8, 2018
Modified on May 8, 2018