News archive - News from Serbia (taken from the WBC-INCO.NET Journal Autumn 2009)

Please find below the News from Serbia, as published in the current WBC-INCO.NET Journal (Autumn 2009).

FP7 Research Event in Serbia

On June 29, 2009 the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Commission's Research Directorate General and the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technological Development jointly organised a high-level conference in Belgrade entitled “Towards Serbia's Integration into the European Research Area".

The main purpose of the event was to present and discuss a wide spectrum of research cooperation opportunities in FP7, with a view to identifying specific areas and topics that would need special attention for support.

More than 400 experts attended the conference, which featured 36 speakers from both the EU and the Serbian side, including ministers, secretaries of state, deans of universities, directors of institutes as well as major media outlets.

Božidar Đelić, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Integration and Minister of Science and Technological Development, announced that Serbia plans to boost its research spending from the present level of 0.3% of GDP to 1.0% by 2014 and, moreover, that negotiations are underway with the European Investment Bank for an additional € 150 million investment in research infrastructure. Commissioner Janez Potočnik commended Serbia's good results in its first two years of association to FP7 and praised the assistance that the JRC is providing to the potential candidate countries.

Francesco Fedi, President of COST, confirmed the excellent performance of the Serbian scientific community that in a short period of time joined over 60 pan- European research networks. Viktor Nedovic´, Assistant Minister for International Cooperation and Serbia's representative in the JRC's Board of Governors, underlined the important role of the JRC in support to Serbia's approximation to the EU body of law. In order to improve future collaboration, Nedović proposed signing a Memorandum of Understanding (JRC – Ministry of Science and Technological Development) specifying priority areas and available instruments, including new positions for Serbian grant holders at JRC Institutes.

Đelić recognised the conference as the most important event that took place in Serbia in the field of research since its association to FP7. The topics and themes of the conference had been chosen based on specific interest expressed by Serbia (ICT, Energy, Food and Health), areas in which Serbia should pay more attention given its integration process into the EU, or topics which are new or in which Serbia is underrepresented (FP7 “People” programme).

Draft of S&T Development Strategy Published

The draft, prepared for a public debate, has been published at the end of June 2009 by the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technological Development. has compiled an extract of this draft version. The strategy addresses current key challenges of the local R&D community and proposes measures to resolve the issues, which were identified. The strategy is expected to be adopted in the first quarter of 2010.

Although public R&D expenditures have been rising since 2001, to reach € 100 million in 2008, its percentage of GDP stagnated (0.35% in 2003, 0.28 % in 2008), to one of the lowest in the developed world, according to the OECD Science Scoreboard for 2007. Besides funding, two of the most threatening issues of the Serbian R&D landscape are ageing and the unawareness of the importance of intellectual property issues.

The ultimate goal is to create an effective and efficient national innovation system, implementing a synergy between knowledge users and knowledge creators, at the national, regional and international level. An innovation system will be implemented through a partnership between institutes and universities, the Ministry of Education and other Ministries, industry, the scientific diaspora, international R&D institutions and society, in general.

A new system on intellectual property, which will include R&D based intellectual property, is expected to motivate both researchers and industry to apply for patents and share both risk and royalties of joint research outcomes. By a new law on intellectual property, innovation will belong to the institution, where royalty revenues will be regulated by contract.

While it is proposed to maintain the existing level of basic research in all disciplines, it is strategically decided that the investment in applied and development research should be increased, with a clear and measurable goal. Priorities are selected on the basis of different criteria, such as being in line with other national strategies, improved chances on successful participation in the ERA, number and quality of current human resources (including scientific diaspora), required level of future investments needed to reach relevant success, applicability in industry (in Serbia and abroad), international cooperation potential, importance for policy making capacity and affirmation of national identity.

Excerpt and translation by Milan Zdravkovic

Geographical focus
  • Serbia
Related users
  • Mr Viktor Nedovic

Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on October 23, 2009
Modified on October 23, 2009