Damjanovic: Montenegro will be First in Region to Adopt Smart Specialization

By , 06 Feb 2019, 13:25 PM Lifestyle
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Montenegro will be the first country in the region to adopt a process of smart specialization implemented by the Ministry of Science of Montenegro and the European Commission's Joint Research Center, which will enable an intensive transition to the economic knowledge, attracting EU funds and directing public and private investments.

This was said at the International Workshop dedicated to the process of smart specialization, by Sanja Damjanovic, Minister of Science, stating that the project of smart specialization is part of the Multi-Annual Action Plan for the Western Balkan Countries, which is important for all the economies in the region, as reported by the PR Center.

"By entering this challenging process in early 2017, in cooperation with several ministries, we have continuous support from the European Commission's Joint Research Center," Damjanovic said.

She said that in the past 18 months, the ministry had implemented numerous activities in the process of defining guidelines for the Smart Specialization Strategy 2018-2024, in which, as she stated, 300 representatives of state institutions, economic and scientific communities and civil society participated.

"The result of such a comprehensive approach is identifying priority areas of science-based and innovation-based development, namely, renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture and food value chains, new materials and sustainable technologies, sustainable health tourism and information-communication technologies as a horizontal platform," explained Damjanovic.

She said that international and regional cooperation could contribute to better results in implementing the strategy of smart specialization.

"It is a challenging road ahead, but I believe that the Western Balkans can make an efficient transition towards the economic knowledge, given that the region has undergone intensive technological development in the past and made significant scientific achievements," Damjanovic said.

The Deputy Director General of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, Čarlina Vičeva, said that the process of smart specialization is a complicated one implemented in the countries that are members of the European Union.

"Montenegro has recognized the potential of smart specialization, based on knowledge, technologies and innovations, for its future development. By entering this challenging process in early 2017, in cooperation with several ministries, one of the ways to motivate states in which the process of European integration is ongoing, is that this concept that is represented in the EU is also applied in those countries that are preparing for the entry. Smart specialization provides economic transformation and knowledge-based economy," said Vičeva.

She said Europe has a highly profiled social model, which does not provide the EU members with the opportunity to compete in the world market by price or cheap labor.

"This is not a viable way of competing on the world market, and the only way to become competitive on the market is to base our competencies on innovations, new solutions and products, using everything science has done to achieve economic transformation. That’s why we must focus on investment, research and development," said Vičeva.

She said that cooperation of the region is of the utmost importance and that it is essential that all strategic guidelines are based on cooperation.

Head of the European Union Delegation in Montenegro, Aivo Orav, pointed out that the project of smart specialization is an important initiative for Montenegro as well as for the Western Balkans region, as this project will, as he pointed out, improve research innovations and enable new jobs.

Economic governance is one of three critical steps for the expansion of the strategy and it is natural that both the EU and Montenegro consider this to be a priority for the Western Balkans. Structural reforms are needed to attract as many domestic and foreign investments as possible," Orav said. He stressed that the purpose of the smart specialization project is to strengthen the planning of innovative policies so that countries can boost economic growth and create new jobs.

"This is something that all the economies of the Western Balkan countries can benefit from. Thanks to the hard work of all countries in the region, innovation is now at the heart of political agendas in the Western Balkans," stated Orav.

Text by Vijesti online, on February 5th 2019, read more at Vijesti 

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