News archive - Regional Cooperation and R&D for Innovation: Why, What and How?

Building on the existing collaboration in the area of research, development and innovation between the EU and the Western Balkan Countries, the World Bank and the EU signed an agreement to implement a technical assistance program for the development of a Regional Research and Development Strategy for Innovation in the Western Balkans. The strategy will identify priorities in terms of legal requirements, infrastructure, education and training, policies and programmes to be implemented by the beneficiary entities.

Identifying a common ground for collaboration at the regional level should be the first immediate goal. This means identifying not only the problems that are common to the countries in the region, but also those which are worth being addressed at regional level and can benefit from a regional approach.

The ultimate goal is to help countries mainstream R&D and innovation policies in their development processes. Given the scope of the existing collaboration between the EU and the  Western Balkans, the value added of the EU-funded technical assistance is twofold. First, the focus would be on how to increase the economic impact of R&D in the Western Balkans. Second, the technical assistance would have a comprehensive approach integrating the three axes of the knowledge triangle, namely education, research and innovation.

As a launching event for the two-year activity, the World Bank, in cooperation with the European Commission, the Regional Cooperation Council and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, has organised a workshop in Belgrade on November 23–25, 2011. This workshop aimed at setting the ground for a regional strategy preparation, namely by addressing the questions why to cooperate at regional level; what should be the areas for cooperation; how this cooperation should be implemented; and how the project should help. The idea was to focus on issues related to four intermediate objectives which are, when taken altogether, expected to contribute to the overarching goal of increasing the contribution of R&D to innovation, competitiveness and economic growth in the Western Balkans. Namely:

  • improving governance and policy-making of national innovation systems;
  • strengthening the science-base;
  • accelerating commercialisation and deepening collaboration with the business sector; and
  • increasing business R&D and facilitating innovative start-up companies.

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  • WBC
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Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on December 3, 2011
Modified on December 6, 2011