RCC delegation visits Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
The delegation of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat, headed by the Deputy RCC Secretary General, Jelica Minić, visited the Joint Research Centre – Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS) in Seville, Spain on 18 December 2009. The meeting, hosted by IPTS Director, Peter Kind, and co-organized by the Centre for eGovernance Development in South East Europe, helped exchange information on the activities of the three institutions and explored avenues for future cooperation. Ambassadors of Serbia and Slovenia to the Kingdom of Spain, H.E. Jela Bačović and H.E. Peter Rebec respectively, were also present.
Jelica Minić drew the attention to the current gaps faced by the Western Balkans countries in the areas of science, research and development, and innovation; and outlined potentials that the region holds in these fields. It was noted that the experience and expertise of the IPTS, as one of Europe's leading policy studies institutions, would be invaluable to the RCC members as they formulate their scientific, research and innovation policies going forward.
The work that IPTS pioneers in Foresight, a future oriented policy formulation framework, was identified as an area of particular interest for Western Balkans countries. If applied correctly, the Foresight framework could yield successful regional policy responses to changing socio-economic and technological landscapes. “We are witnessing an emergence of several regional initiatives geared towards bringing progress in the areas of science, research, education and competitiveness. Finding a way for these initiatives to converge into a common vision for our region is quickly becoming our shared priority”, noted Deputy Secretary General.
Director Kind indicated that JRC-IPTS has considerable interest in the Western Balkans, as evidenced by the work already done by the institution. The Institute is currently involved in wbc-inco.net web-portal programme as part of the consortium to enhance the cooperation between the Western Balkan countries, EU member states, and the EC in the field of science and technology. Also, in an effort to develop a Southeast East Europe Regional Research Strategy, high-level policy and decision makers from the region will attend Foresight trainings hosted by the IPTS during early next year.
The RCC invited IPTS and director Kind to participate at a regional conference on the future of Western Balkans – “Western Balkans 2020” – to be organized by RCC early next year. The participants agreed that this conference would pose a good opportunity to present an outline of a regional Foresight programme and explore interest and readiness of regional stakeholders to take an active role in articulating and implementing the programme.