News archive - European Research and Innovation Days: R&I geopolitical outreach through association

Today, the session on R&I geopolitical outreach through association has taken place within the European Research and Innovation Days 2020. The session has involved also Ms. Sanja Damjanovic, Minister of Science of Montenegro, representing Western Balkan countries and Montenegro in particular.

As Ms. Damjanovic said, Montenegro is part of the Western Balkan region which is large and integral part of Europe but needs support to develop its sustainable economy. This region is strategic priority for the European Commission. In the past, the region had a strong research base (among others, they were also funding members of the CERN in Geneva). Due to recent history, all scientific and economic activities slowed down, the region suffered strong brain drain mostly of young generation, thus– large gap has been created between Western Balkans and Western Europe.

Thanks to the association of Montenegro and all other WBC to the EU Framework Programme, this gap has now stopped to increase further. Indeed the association has shown to be a strong instrument of developing national strategies.

Ms. Damjanovic stresses that they are proud that Montenegro is the first EU candidate country which adopted Smart Specialisation Strategy for smart economic growth and that all strategic priorities policies are in line with the European Green Deal Roadmap setup by the President von der Leyen. Ms. Damjanovic can also see clearly the transformation in Montenegro.

For example in connection with energy, Montenegro is becoming a regional green energy hub with large projects of a submarine electrical cable constructed between Montenegro and Italy with more than 450 km investment of 1 billion EUR with largest solar power plant in the region.

Thus, Montenegro is clearly contributing to the EU strategy to becoming climate neutral continent by 2050.

Association is a strong instrument of connecting Western Balkan Countries with Europe as it helps to bridge remaining gap between Eastern and Western Europe. The most effective way to do it – to revert brain-drain is to create strong poll of excellence in the region, a large scale competitive research infrastructure based on international technologies.

When asked about the readiness to grant reciprocal access of other EU countries to Montenegrin national infrastructures in the context of collaboration and about how much are they willing to pay for the collaboration, Ms. Damjanovic said that after initial difficulties in the EU competititive environment, Montenegro has been able to absorb the available funds and what is coming back is much larger than what they invest. Cost of assotion is being colculated as a set proportion of GDP. Montenegro has managed to initiate a large-scale pan-European research infrastructure and the gain is much larger if you think about a single contribution.

Geographical focus
  • Montenegro
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on September 22, 2020
Modified on September 23, 2020