22.09.2010 -

UNESCO Venice Office Director talks about fostering Cooperation and Excellence in Science and Technology Information at the International Workshop on STI cooperation in the Balkans

© TWASTWAS Executive Director welcoming the workshop participants

Engelbert Ruoss Director of the UNESCO Venice Office (Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe) took part in the workshop on 'The Role of the Academies in Promoting Regional Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in the Balkans jointly organized by TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world and IAP, the global network of science academies, at the request of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) in Trieste, Italy, on 9 and 10 September 2010.


UNESCOVENICE News (22/9/2010) : More than 60 participants from 19 countries, including presidents and representatives of academies in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, UNMIK Kosovo, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro were expected in attendance. Representatives from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) also participated.

In the Symposium 6 : Role of Academies in the Balkans in Providing Evidence-based Advice to Governments, Engelbert Ruoss UNESCO Venice Director made a presentation titled "Fostering Cooperation and Excellence in Science and Technology Information" :

The Science environment in the countries of the Balkans has undergone a fundamental transformation process from Academy-driven research institutions to the integration of research into higher education systems related to the Bologna process. The role of Academies has changed completely and while several countries have successfully managed this change process, others have demonstrated difficulties in accepting the changed context and in defining the new role of Academies.

Building the future through Science, Higher Education and Innovation represents a major challenge for all countries, and especially for South Eastern European (SEE) countries.  In fact, during the last few years the SEE sub-region has been marked by a profound, even dramatic process of transformation that has led to the emergence of substantially different societies and economies. In these processes Science, Higher Education and Innovation appear to act as an effective tool in facing national and regional challenges, such as improving the quality of life, environmental sustainability, health conditions, economic stabilization and growth as well as integration into European and world cooperation.

The transformation of society has given additional weight to the role of national policy, which now has a new opportunity to contribute with its legislative work on S&T issues to the common task of bringing enhanced economic and social progress in the entire region.

Modern Science and Education governance is characterised today, at both national and international levels, by a number of serious challenges for policy-making, such as: understanding and managing the complexity and uncertainty of science and education; responding to a new environmental, ethical and societal demands that require a reorientation; finding  an appropriate balance between public and private funding; ensuring an adequate infrastructure for the development of science and education;  assuring the free flow and exchange of scientific information; improving science and technology policy’s coherence and consistency through finding new forms of interaction between the scientific community, policy makers and society, as well as new institutional arrangements between the different areas of governance; creating participatory processes in S&E decision-making, involving a large number of partners integrating both the infra-national and supra-national dimensions; and integrating future-oriented, creative, non-linear thinking in decision making.

UNESCO Venice Office has organized in recent years a series of conferences dedicated to these transformations in the fields of science, technology, innovation and education. [...]


The full abstract of UNESCO Venice Office Director is available for download from the right menu. Download all abstracts of presentations from : http://twas.ictp.it/common/files/files-press/balkans-workshop-abstracts

Useful links

Workshop programme : http://twas.ictp.it/news-in-home-page/news/workshop-programme/?searchterm=None

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