News archive - S&T in Montenegro

The following article gives an overview on the S&T system in Montenegro. It is written by Tanja Knežević and Branka Zižić from the Ministry of Science and Education and was published in the eJournal summer 07.

Being the youngest recognised country in Europe has brought many changes to Montenegro in all fields, and to the RTD area as well. Taking this into consideration and bearing in mind the poor level of RTD activities throughout the region during the last 15 years, it is not surprising that Montenegrin RTD is at the very beginning of the reform processes.
Creation of both education and science policies is the responsibility
of the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministarstvo prosvjete i nauke).

Research funding

The Ministry is the main public funding body, but other ministries participate
in financing projects from respective fields as well. Research funding provided by the industry is at a very poor level. It is important to mention international funding, obtained through various aid programmes
in the past 10 years, such as CARDS, mainly dedicated to upgrading research infrastructure.

The legal framework

The new Law on Scientific-Research Activities was passed at the end of 2005. It stipulates that “all scientific-research activities are of public interest, free and available to all, domestic and foreign, private persons and legal entities.”

Some of the goals prescribed by the Law are the following:

  • Integration into ERA and EU Framework Programmes
  • Sustainable development of the country
  • Introduction of international quality standards
  • Increased investment into scientific and research activities
  • Connecting researchers at national and international levels

The Law stipulates the introduction of tax alleviation for the purchase of research equipment.

Legal Framework:

  • Law on Scientific-Research Activities
  • Law on Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Law on Recognition and Assessment of Educational Certificates (Bill)
  • Law on Higher Education

S&T Strategy

The Government established the Council for Scientific-Research Activities in August 2006, which is, among other things, responsible for the creation of the Strategy for S&T, for a period of 8 years. The Committee responsible for drafting the proposal of the strategy was appointed in March 2007. It is expected that this strategy will be completed by the end of October 2007. The Committee members are representatives of all scientific fields in Montenegro. Apart from defining the priorities of further S&T development, among which participation in all European scientific programmes takes top priority, this strategy should also define feasible mechanisms for increasing annual budgetary allocations for science, which are currently at a very poor level at the moment. The draft strategy should be put to public discussion and Government adoption.
The ongoing integration processes will also help the Ministry in defining
future policy development in RTD.

Research activity

Most of the research activities are performed at the University of Montenegro - at its faculties and institutes and at the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts. The research is carried out through annual national calls for research proposals, published by the Ministry of Education and Science. Funds allocated for this purpose are public, and have so far been restricted to Montenegrin nationals. For the first time, this year’s first call for research activities was aimed at teams which involved unemployed PhD candidates as a prerequisite. The second call for scientific-research projects is going to be published in autumn.

International activities

Apart from the national research programme, Montenegrin researchers
are also involved in bilateral and regional programmes, which have had great impact on improvement of the working conditions at the institutes and research centres. They have also created a good starting point for involvement of Montenegrin teams in wider European research programmes. In fact, Montenegrin researchers are starting to investigate more FP7 possibilities and are getting involved in projects with their international partners from previous common activities. For the time being, they are mostly interested in the `Capacities` programme.
As of January 2008, Montenegro is going to be associated to FP7, following the legal procedure related to the signing of the Decision on participation in the European programmes, which is expected in late autumn (see page 2).
A network of National Contact Points (NCPs) has been established and has already carried out several info days for the research community, raising awareness on FP7. The Ministry of Education and Science, which coordinates the network, has registered 21 teams involved in project proposals in the first round of calls. As one of the measures for stimulating participation in FP7, the Ministry offers financial incentive of 1,000 euro for each positively evaluated proposal.

Industrial Research

Research in industry exists at minimum level following the processes of privatisation, but there are some improvements in businesses with new management structures. We believe that investing in research will again be set as a priority by those companies.
SMEs in Montenegro are mostly in a position to outsource technology improvements, but there is still a shortage of structures that could articulate and support their quest. Innovation Relay Centre has not been established yet.

Research statistics

In order to be able to fully understand the situation in Montenegrin research, it is necessary to reform the existing statistical system, which at the moment does not recognize almost any of the important Frascati indicators related to S&T.


We think that it is important at this stage to help Montenegrin researchers in networking and joining their capacities at both national and international levels, as well as connecting different sectors. The concept of mobility of researchers needs to be examined and enhanced through adequate policies and organizational structures.
Montenegrin researchers are, in our opinion, under great pressure. In addition to their teaching and research commitments, they try to successfully
cope with poor funding and lack of human resources, keep abreast of participation in international projects etc. They need very strong support and a much more favourable environment to be able to fully contribute to the development of Montenegrin
and European societies.

Entry created by Elke Dall on September 3, 2007
Modified on September 4, 2007