Policy Dialogue on Research and Innovation Conference

HERAS Plus together with Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) are very happy to have completed a successful Conference on Policy Dialogue on Research and Innovation (R&I) on 05 November 2021.

The event aimed to initiate a policy dialogue between the Governmental Institutions and the main stakeholders to develop a list of immediate, medium and long-term actions needed for developing an efficient and effective support system for growing research and innovation in Kosovo. Some of the topics discussed are R&I ethics, opportunities, barriers for researchers, Kosovo’s expectation from R&I, the role of the academic diaspora.

The Conference was addressed by Ms. Arbërie Nagavci, Minister of MESTI and Mr. Christoph Weidinger, Austrian Ambassador to Kosovo. MESTI Minister Ms. Nagavci declared that advancing research and innovation (R&I) capacities is a Governmental Priority towards increasing the quality of education and social and economic development. Whilst, Mr. Weidinger expressed the commitment of the Austrian Government to support and advance higher education (HE), and research and development in Kosovo, to which a significant contribution is given through HERAS Plus Project.

Meanwhile Mr. Aqim Emurli, HERAS Plus Team Leader, stated that HERAS Plus will support the MESTI to develop policies through an evidence policy-making approach, by enabling systematic policy actions across different levels and creating synergies towards achieving the agreed objectives. Among other issues, the Mr. Emurli mentioned the European Research Area (ERA) objective that is relevant for the project endeavor as well and which aims at “strengthening the scientific and technological bases by achieving a European research area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely, and encouraging it to become more competitive, including in its industry, while promoting all the research activities”.

In the first Conference panel dedicated to “R&I in Government’s Plans,” the Deputy Minister of MESTI, Ms. Edona Maloku-Berdyna, and Deputy Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Ms. Liza Gashi, contributed with presentations and discussions regarding the Governmental Vision and Planning for R&I and Inclusion of Diaspora. A broader perspective of Potential Futures for R&I in Southeast Europe, with Kosovo as a case study, was presented by Mr. Klaus Schuch, Scientific Director and CEO of Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), project’s consortium member.

Moderated by Mr. Ardian Morina, HERAS Plus expert, a panel discussion followed on a range of topics, such as R&I impact on economy and society; Kosovo’s ambition with its R&I system, growth of internationally recognized research outputs, multidisciplinary research, research in areas of national importance, generating economic impact, as seen from the perspective of different stakeholders (Government, universities, innovative companies).

Participants were invited to reflect on what needs to be done to bridge research (in Kosovo or elsewhere) with economic and social benefits, what are the phases from generating research to an economic/social impact- the innovation process, what is needed, and from who, to make the innovation process more efficient in Kosovo, and supporting and growing R&I human resources, etc.

The second Conference panel hosted presentations on the Research-driven innovation: delivering impact by Mr. Ardian Morina, HERAS Plus expert, University of Leeds, UK; R&I at University level (best practices, gaps, and needs) by Mr. Jeton Mehmeti, HERAS Plus expert, and Research and Development Ecosystem in Kosovo by Mr. Agim Kukaj, Ministry of Economy.

Moderated by Mr. Bujar Gallopeni, HERAS Plus Expert, Presentations of the second Panel were followed by panel discussions on a range of topics, such as Increasing investment in research, researchers’ ability in Kosovo to absorb the anticipated increase in research financing, research, and Innovation Ethics, what is needed to increase Kosovo’s R&I base: active researchers, advanced research infrastructure, and administrative challenges for managing research contracts with EU and industry.

Inputs and outcomes of the Conference will lead to a brief policy paper on the follow-up actions identified as essential to ensure the development of a fertile Research & Innovation system in Kosovo.

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