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BIH Bosnian Policy Makers Visit EU Institutions

In the framework of the project “Capacity building and institutional strengthening of science and research in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, policy makers from the state, entities and cantons have paid a study visit to the European Commission and the EUREKA and COST Secretariats in Brussels. Furthermore, the policy makers visited Belgian institutions that are responsible for Science, Technology and Innovation policy to gather information on how Belgium manages its STI policy.

This study visit gave the representatives a chance to learn more about current RTDI issues under preparation by the Commission. It was also an opportunity to inform the Commission on recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to discuss the cooperation. Capacity building and institutional strengthening of science and research in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first project under the EU assistance programme to Bosnia and Herzegovina that is aimed at the overall improvement of the Bosnian RTDI system.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Sets Up Council on Science

On April 22, 2010 Bosnia and Herzegovina set up a Council on Science of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This Council is the first state-level advisory body that is responsible for making recommendations to the government (in particular to the Ministry of Civil Affairs) concerning all issues related to research, technology and innovation policy. The Council will draw up guidelines for RTD strategy and monitoring its implementation. It is also expected to contribute to the
wider aim of including Bosnia and Herzegovina’s science and humanities in the European science and technology system. Finally, the Council will pave the way for a continuous dialogue between the scientific community and policy makers on the subjects mentioned above. 13 university professors, who have been working as partners with representatives from the state government and the entities’ governments, have been appointed as members of the Council for a four-year term of office.

Joint Scientific and Technological Committee Selects 26 Projects

The Agreement on bilateral scientific and technological cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia has produced substantial results for the cooperation between the research communities of the two countries. Regular calls for co-financing joint research projects have been launched and ideas for financing particular projects have been selected. These ideas will be materialised into concrete results for the benefit of science in Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The eighth session of the Joint Scientific and Technological Committee was held in December 2009 in Sarajevo. The Committee assessed a total of 67 project proposals that had been submitted during the Open Calls for the period of 2010 to 2011. A total of 26 projects were given the go-ahead for financing. The proposals were selected on the basis of several criteria, which included scientific significance, their relevance for economic and social development, and the potential to include the projects in EU programmes and cooperation mechanisms.
38% of the proposals are projects in the field of engineering and technology: they relate to industrial chemistry, mechanical, chemical and materials engineering, including electronics and specialised technology. This demonstrates the considerable interest of researchers in these fields. 15% of the proposals are projects in the area of medical sciences such as internal medicine, pathology, radiology and health sciences. Finally, the selection also shows the interest in and research potential for scientific and technological cooperation in social, natural and agricultural sciences.

Strategy for the Development of Science in Bosnia and Herzegovina Adopted

The Strategy for the Development of Science in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the period of 2010 to 2015 and the action plan for its implementation were adopted in December 2009. The documents prepared by the Ministry of Civil Affairs have specified the role of the public authorities at each level. The Strategy identifies priorities for the RTDI policy for the next five years. It provides an in-depth assessment of the current legal, institutional and financial framework for RTDI in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The assessment shows that science and technology were considerably more developed in the pre-1990’s period than today. Although the statistical data on expenditure are missing, the assumption based on available parameters says that Bosnia and Herzegovina today spends 0.1% of its GDP for RTDI. Thus, the expenditure per capita would be only € 3.1.
The figures show that the scientific potential is lagging far behind the potential of other EU countries. Activities to aid scientific and technological development are urgently needed.

One of the short-term priorities for Bosnia and Herzegovina is to set up a Scientific and Research Information System (NIIS BiH). NIIS BiH will contain a scientific data base, statistical indicators and other instruments for statistical research that will be in line with international standards. A five-year aim is to raise the expenditure on RTDI by 1%. This ambitious goal is the only way to keep up with European science and to prevent brain-drain of researchers to other countries.

Autors: Alma Hasanovic.

Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on June 24, 2010