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Western Balkans contribute to “Innovation Union”

EU-funded project WBC-INCO.NET supports innovation capacities in the region

In its communication “Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative: Innovation Union” adopted on October 6, the European Commission sets out the necessary ideas and actions for creating "more jobs, improved lives, better society" through innovation. It outlines that boosting innovation by applying research results is a key factor for economic growth and competitiveness, and calls upon all stakeholders to contribute where appropriate.

Western Balkan countries expected to contribute to Innovation Union

The Communication explicitly states that the candidate and potential candidate countries are expected to contribute to the realisation of the Innovation Union. National strategies to increase research funding, in particular by encouraging private investment, is of vital importance for integration in the European Research Area (ERA) and the Innovation Union − and thus in the EU. It is anticipated that contributing to the EU’s “3 percent target” (meaning that 3 percent of the GDP should be invested in research and technology) will also become a benchmark in future accession negotiations.

WBC-INCO.NET enhances innovation in the WBC

By joining forces of 29 partners − ministries responsible for science, technology and innovation, agencies and institutes from the EU, the WBC and Turkey − the project WBC-INCO.NET will implement a number of measures in order to support innovation capacities in the region in the course of the next three years.

The project will develop an Action Plan for further WBC cooperation in the field of innovation and closer cooperation between research and innovation stakeholders and exchange information and best practices on innovation policies. It will also implement trainings on technology transfer for innovation stakeholders as well as awareness raising measures concerning market demands and benefits of innovation targeted at the research community. The ultimate scope of these activities is to enhance the Western Balkan countries’ success with future joint initiatives on innovation.

A first “Innovation Dialogue Forum” was successfully held on November 8 to 9, 2010 in Bečići, Montenegro, focusing on the national innovation systems in the WBC and regional initiatives, followed by a Steering Platform on November 11, 2010 at which EU Member States, the European Commission and the WBC discussed upon measures on how to link business and research spheres and increase innovation capacities in all countries.

The International Bureau of the BMBF at the Project Management Agency c/o DLR - a WBC-INCO.NET partner in innovation

The International Bureau of the BMBF at the Project Management Agency c/o German Aerospace Center (DLR) is one of the WBC-INCO.NET project partners. Together with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the International Bureau leads the Work Package on Setting Research Priorities and contributes to the innovation activities.

For further information, please contact:

Elke Dall (project coordinator)
Western Balkan Countries INCO-NET
Information Office of the Steering Platform on Research for Western Balkan Countries
c/o Centre for Social Innovation
Linke Wienzeile 246, A-1150 Vienna. Austria.
Phone: 0043-1-49 50 442 62

Ulrike Kunze
International Bureau of the BMBF
at the Project Management Agency c/o DLR
Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1, 53227 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3821 483

Project website:
Additional information available at

WBC-INCO.NET is a project co-funded by the European Community’s Capacities Programme on International Cooperation under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (2007-2013) (Contract Number: 212029).

Redaktion: Länder / Organisationen: EU Bosnien und Herzegowina Kosovo Kroatien Republik Nordmazedonien Montenegro Serbien Türkei Themen: Berufs- und Weiterbildung Innovation