New Narrative for the Western Balkans - Vision 2030

1st Forum ‘Science and Innovation 2030 Vision for the Western Balkans’

Due to the recent historical circumstances the Western Balkan Region is sharing common challenges in the field of Research and Innovation, such as a strong brain drain of the young researchers, low investments in R&D, weak links between science and industry, lack of competitive large-scale research infrastructures etc. In contrast, the same region had in the past an intensive technological development and made significant scientific contributions on an European scale.  The process of  integration into the European Research Area and Innovation Union is posing new challenges and opportunities for the WB Region which could most effectively be implemented and absorbed through international cooperation initiatives.

In the first part of the Forum, the Keynote speakers will present the vision and role of the main European partners in the field of Research and Innovation, as well as possible instruments of support to the Region by these institutions.

Western Balkan countries are in the middle of strong reform processes, primarily trying to transform their economies into knowledge based and globally competitive economies. Smart growth has become one of the main pillars of the country's development. Therefore, during the following Panel session the governmental representatives from the Region, responsible for the Research and Innovation policy, will discuss the present priorities and efforts of their countries to achieve this goal, by recognizing mutual interests and the way in which they could be jointly realized in the most efficient way.

Several presentations planned for the last panel session will be dedicated to the role of intellectual property rights, technology transfer, centers of excellence, science and technology parks for the effective innovation ecosystem. The need for a state-of-the-art large-scale competitive research infrastructure will also be addressed. The aim of this session is to present best practices and key success factors with a view to inspire the WB Region, but also to set up the main elements required for a functional and sustainable innovation ecosystem.