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On Smart Specialisation Strategy

Smart specialisation is a concept adopted by the European Union to ensure regional development based on innovation and synergy of diversity. Key features of smart specialisation are: stimulating innovation through entrepreneurship, modernisation and adaptation; courage in adopting innovative governance solutions for public administration; strategic technological diversification in the areas of relative strengths and potential; increasing diversification by promoting new linkages, synergy and spillovers (see Philip McCann (2012)).
The responsibility for drafting the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) lies with the Ministry of Science, which will develop the document in close cooperation with the Ministry of Economy.
S3 is a leading principle that brings together business community, scientific-research and public institutions and citizens, with the primary goal of developing and using innovations to foster economic growth and competitiveness through the application of an existing knowledge base and competencies in order to use market potentials and address social challenges.

Pursuant to the European Commission’s Guide to Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisations, it is recommended that this strategy is created through the implementation of the following six steps:

1. the analysis of the national/regional context and potential for innovation,
2. the set-up of a sound and inclusive governance structure,
3. the production of a shared vision about the future of the country/region,
4. the selection of a limited number of priorities for national/regional development,
5. the establishment of suitable policy mixes, and
6. the integration of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

The Joint Research Centre, Directorate-General of the European Commission, has supported the development of S3 in our country since May 2017. Montenegro is also involved in the work of the S3 platform, which provides information, scientific and professional advice to decision-makers to establish and implement their smart specialisation strategies.

The main goal of S3 is to increase the competitiveness of the Montenegrin economy by concentrating knowledge resources and linking them to a limited number of priorities. S3 will also enable the development of new sectoral areas or industries through investments in research and innovation in areas that contain strategic potential in our country.

The most important indicators that point to the strengths and potentials of Montenegro for research, technological development and innovation have been defined on the basis of preparatory analyses for the creation of S3 (quantitative and qualitative analysis). The Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) implies an interactive process in which the business sector, in collaboration with other stakeholders (scientific-research and public sector, international experts), reveals information on the future direction of development, getting to learn about the new activities through common communication, while the government assesses outcomes of entrepreneurial discovery and estimates the ability of the business sector to realise the potential and develop new niches and emerging industries. This disclosure process should be included in broader strategic goals and must establish governance mechanisms and criteria for determining Montenegro’s development priorities.

The identification of key priorities in S3 will enable concentration of research capacities and infrastructure. This will benefit both the public and the private sector, which will thus bring together a critical mass of researchers who will work together on strategic R&D topics in order to achieve research excellence, as well as to provide for their commercialisation.

The strategy will help Montenegro stimulate public and private investment in research, technological development and innovation.