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Minister of Science Damjanović pays official visit to Brussels

Minister of Science Damjanović pays official visit to Brussels
Published date 10.05.2017 19:00 | Author PR Service

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Brussels, Belgium (10 May 2017) -- Minister of Science Sanja Damjanović is paying her first official visit to Brussels, where she will meet with EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, as well as other EU representatives and representatives of the EU scientific institutions. 

During the first day of visit, Minister Damjanović met with Director of the COST Association Dr Ronald de Bruin, for talks on a very successful engagement of Montenegrin scientific and research teams in the COST activities. The two officials also discussed possibilities for boosting the cooperation and creating new opportunities for Montenegrin teams, such as the ability to become not only partners, but also to undertake activities under the COST programme. In that regard, Montenegro will be also given an opportunity to host important events aimed at strengthening ties between the scientists, the two officials agreed. 

Mr De Bruin stressed that Montenegro has become full-fledged member of this programme in May 2015, adding that the country is engaged in 47 COST actions out of total 273. He added that these numbers are showing that Montenegro has achieved good results, voicing the COST’s continuing support in order to keep this trend vibrant in the coming period. He also accepted Minister Damjanović’s invitation to attend the forthcoming COST info day, which will be organised within the framework of this year’s festival “Open Days of Science”. 

COST programme does not provide direct funds for the research, Mr De Bruin explained, adding that the budget of this programme is aimed at financing cooperation of several institutions united in one COST project, such as organisation of work-shops, summer training schools and short-term scientific visits.
 
Minister Damjanović also met with Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, for talks on recently presented initiative for the establishment of International Institute for Sustainable Technologies in the Balkans.

Minister Damjanović stressed that this project is important not only for Montenegro, but for the entire region, adding that it could be multiply effective. This new Institute would create an opportunity for the so-called “first class research” and it will make space for joining forces in order to achieve the primary goal of “Science for Peace”. She also stressed that she is aware of the fact that the EU has been looking for a concrete and serious project which will reborn the Western Balkans and bring it closer to Europe. Having in mind that the DG NEAR is in-charged for the Berlin Process aimed at supporting the prosperity of the Western Balkans, this Initiative is supposed to be analysed by the EU structures in the coming period, Minister Damjanović pointed out. 

DG NEAR Director Calavera stressed that this project is very interesting and serious, adding that DG NEAR will consider this initiative at all levels in the coming period. She also commended Montenegro’s leadership position in the integration process, as well as this pioneer project in the field of science and research.
 
The meeting also discussed the Ministry of Science’s results achieved so far in the programme H2020 and plans for the coming period, as well as projects which could be supported throughout IPA and TAIEX structures. 

During the first day of visit, Minister Damjanović also met with Director-General of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Vladimir Šucha. The two officials discussed the importance of the Strategy for Smart Specialisation - S3 and agreed that preparation of this document should be one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Science in the coming period.

On the second day of the official visit, Minister of Science Damjanović will meet with EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, Director General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits and Director for Open Innovation and Open Science Jean-David Malo.