13 June 2019 - Montenegro's Minister of Science Sanja Damjanović and Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Montenegro Karel Urban signed the agreement between the two governments on scientific and technological cooperation during the official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Tomaš Petriček to Montenegro, as stated by the representatives of the Government of Montenegro.
Before the official ceremony of signing the agreement, Minister Damjanović met with FM Petriček for talks on the exchange information on the systems of science and research in Montenegro and the Czech Republic, with particular reference to the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3), modalities of cooperation between the academic community and the economy through the establishment and financing of Scientific and Technological Parks, as well as on the regional project the establishment of the International Institute for Sustainable Technologies of South East Europe (SEEIIST).
In that regard, Minister Damjanović spoke about the challenges Montenegro, as a small country, has been facing in the field of science, research and innovation on its path to the EU, which is why, in order to identify the advantages the country has, it is finalising Smart Specialisation Strategy, whose adoption is expected by the end of the month.
"There is a particularly important link between the academic community and the economy, with the focus on the need for greater investment of private sector funds in science and research, and for this reason, Montenegro has joined the establishment of the first Science and Technology Park in Podgorica. Greater networking and the strengthening of the process of internationalisation is provided through the membership of Montenegro in many international scientific institutions, as well as through the regional project of establishing the International Institute for Sustainable Technologies of South East Europe (SEEIIST), which would also contribute to reducing the outflow of talent but also economic prosperity of this region," Minister Damjanović said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic emphasised his support for Montenegro's EU bid, pointing to the experience of the Czech Republic in the implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, as well as the knowledge gained in relation to the academic community. In that regard, he agreed with Minister Damjanović on the need to strengthen cooperation between the Czech and Montenegrin companies, especially within the framework of the NTP concept, but also through the possibility of joint implementation of projects from S3 priority areas: health tourism, agriculture, energy, and ICT.
He also referred the need to strengthen university cooperation, especially through the ERASMUS + programme, while in the terms of SEEIIST, he pointed to the possibility of cooperation with the Institute of Physics in Prague, with the indication that the country will support the placement of SEEIIST on the European Road Map (ESFRI). Both sides supported the proposal to jointly announce the Competition for submission of bilateral scientific-research projects, with special emphasis on large research projects.
The agreement enables the Montenegrin researchers to work in research centres and institutes in the Czech Republic, use of cutting-edge technologies and modern laboratories, exchange of knowledge and experience through joint research projects, as well as the possibility of training of masters and doctoral candidates engaged in projects. It also allows for greater joint participation in international and European projects, especially in Horizont 2020.
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