On 13 March 2018, HERAS in cooperation with MEST organise a high-level conference on functionalization of the National Contact Persons (NCP) System in Kosovo. The event was opened by Mr. Shyqiri Bytyqi, Minister of Education, Science and Technology and Mr. Gernot Pfandler, Ambassador of Austria in Prishtina. During the event, the MEST officially launched the new Regulation on Definition and Functionalization of the Kosovo NCPs for the European Union Framework on Research and Innovation – HORIZON 2020, which was developed with the experts support of the HERAS project.
Mr. Bytyqi welcomed the support of the Austrian Government and stated that without support and cooperation of the Austrian, the higher education reforms in Kosovo would not be happening as they should. Minister Bytyqi highlighted the MEST priorities and commitment in research and innovation and the need to increase Kosovo participation in the research projects. Minister thanked particularly the HERAS project for continues support for Kosovo’s engagement to show stronger performance in international research collaboration and a stronger integration into the European Research Area (ERA). To this end, the Minister stated that there is no doubt that the new regulation will only contribute towards achieving the above.
From the other side, the Ambassador Pfandler stated that Austrian Government, through the HERAS project is happy to build capacities of Kosovo with regard to the possibility to get projects funded by the H2020. Mr. Ambassador mentioned that the Horizon 2020, is the largest research program in Europe, seven-year program (2014-2020), for which have been allocated around 80 billion Euro. This a great chance for Kosovo research organizations to compete and increase the absorption capacities, Kosovo wide. Noteworthy, the Ambassador also echoed that Kosovo has taken good steps to developed a special regulation on National Contact Points (NCP) system which outlines the efforts of the research organisations, higher education institutions, think-tank as well as other related institution, and all this, expected to improve the coordinated between the NCP and the MEST in the given matter.
The event proceeded with the presentations from the other panelists, discussions and exchange of views between the audience, mainly Rectors, Vice Rectors, current NCP, researchers, think tank representatives and other related stakeholders.