Global challenges need global solutions - the view of Montenegro's Science Minister Damjanovic at R&I Days

Montenegro’s Science Minister Sanja Damjanovic addressed the European Research and Innovation Days  in Brussels on September 25.

Real international cooperation, the kind that brings people and projects together, is the best way to accelerate knowledge and innovation, stressed Montenegro’s Science Minister Sanja Damjanovic. The Minister was addressing the “Going global for greater impact” panel at the European Commission’s European Research and Innovation Days event in Brussels on 25 September.

“It is the best way to trigger new technologies and it is the best way to ensure a better life for our citizens,” explained Dr Damjanovic.
The Minister pointed to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), where she had worked as a scientist for 20 years. Dr Damjanovic described CERN as “one of the most powerful research infrastructures”. “If you look at CERN, there are about 13 000 users, 120 nations represented in this laboratory,” she told the conference. “Look at what CERN brought to us. The World Wide Web was created there. PET Scan was created there. These special grids that everyone is now using, cloud computers, were created there.”

 

Large-scale research infrastructure paving the way

Dr Damjanovic acknowledged feeling an enormous gap when returning to her homeland after spending 20 years at CERN. “This part of Europe very much suffered due to recent history,” explained the minister. “All scientific, economic activities had very much slowed down. As a consequence, this region suffered ever since the strong brain drain. This is the largest economical loss in our region. But the same region in the past had an incredible period of technological development.”

According to Dr Damjanovic, EU-funded programmes have ensured the gap facing the region does not increase every year.  “The question now is how to decrease this gap and how to return tradition in technology which we had. How to slow down brain drain or revert it, which is our big goal,” confirmed Dr Damjanovic.

In her view, the only way to achieve innovation in Montenegro and other countries in South East Europe is to create large scale research infrastructure that can offer first-class research to scientists.

She also offered advice – not as the Montenegro’s Science Minister, but as chairperson of the Intergovernmental Steering Committee of the large-scale research infrastructure, the South East European International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (SEEIIST). She highlighted the important role of the institute, which was founded just two years ago. Now “we are building a light”, she told the conference. “Building this institute that not only has the objective to promote science, technology and industry but also has the special mission to decrease the tension between the countries in our region. The mission of our institute is not only science for society, but also science for diplomacy.”

In her concluding remarks, Dr Damjanovic also stressed the importance of international cooperation. “Cooperation is something that can really help, if used in the best way to get Europe to be a leader in the world”. She also noted how “large-scale infrastructure will immediately trigger the development of other technology”.

 

European Research and Innovation Days

Dr Damjanovic was one of five speakers on the panel “Going global for greater impact”. The discussion delved into how the EU, as a global leader, can boost international cooperation to create synergies in strategic domains to maximise the impact of research and innovation.

The three-day (24-26 September) gathering is the first annual policy event of the European Commission. Its aim is to bring together stakeholders to debate, present, co-create  and shape the future research and innovation landscape.

More information can be found on the European Commission website.

Geographical focus
  • Montenegro
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on October 16, 2019
Modified on October 16, 2019