This book analyses different aspects of science and technology policy in South East Europe (SEE). Some of these countries, particularly the ones facing political and economic crises, are still not integrated into the international community. Furthermore, their scientific communities have not been able to seize the opportunities offered to them on the international level. This has often been the consequence of the fact that R&D is not supported by efficient science policies. In addition, many of the SEE countries have not been able to develop modern management approaches in science. As a result, national scientific communities often do not have the support and information that they need to become integral and active players in the international arena. Without modern management strategies, these countries will not be able to use all of their intellectual and other resources, which are an essential part of economic development. This volume provides a comprehensive overview of S&T policies in SEE countries for the first time and brings these countries into comparative perspective with Central European and other EU countries. In addition, the volume contains analysis of several important science policy issues (human resource management, management of quality and finance, peer review and networking); in this respect, the volume will be of interest to a wider audience interested in S&T policy-making in general.
This book is a result of the joint efforts of a majority of the
participants in the NATO Advanced Training Course (ATC) "Modernisation of
Science Management Approaches in Central and South East Europe" that was held
on 28 and 29 November 2003 in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The event was
organised by the Slovenian Science Foundation and was attended by 45
participants from thirteen European countries and the USA. The speakers were
from NATO countries (Germany, Greece, Hungary, Great Britain and USA) and
Slovenia (which became a member in March 2004). The trainees were from the
South East (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro and Croatia) and Central
European countries (Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia).
The motivation of the NATO ATC was to provide intensive training of
public administrators (e.g. state secretaries, state under-secretaries,
government counsellors and experts in science and technology policy) working at
the ministries responsible for science and technology in South East European
countries. Some of these countries, particularly the ones facing political and
economic crises, are still not integrated into the international community.
Furthermore, their scientific communities have not been able to seize the
opportunities offered to them on the international level. This has often been
the consequence of the fact that R&D is not supported by efficient science
policies. Their social and historical frameworks prevented public
administrators from acquiring adequate skills that would enable them to become
active participants in the international science and technology community. In
addition, many of the South East European (SEE) countries have not been able to
develop modern management approaches in science. As a result, national
scientific communities often do not have the support and information that they
need to become integral and active players in the international arena. Without
modern management strategies, these countries will not be able to use all of
their intellectual and other resources, which are an essential part of economic
The NATO ATC helped public administrators to acquire the knowledge
and skills needed to overcome some of the problems facing them in science
policy management. The trainees of the course got deeper insight into the
skills and knowledge needed for the successful development and constitution of
national research programmes, for the development and support of international
science and technology co-operation and for science management.
The articles in this book are based on the presentations given by
participants of the course. We have also included a few studies (Chapters
1–3) that additionally illuminate the situation in Central and South East
Europe (knowledge-based economy and society, elements of national science and
technology policy). Moreover, a few special contributions from the Central and
South East European participants provide additional information for people who
work in science management and strive to internationalise the field of science.
As a result, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of S&T policies
in SEE countries for the first time and brings these countries into comparative
perspective with Central European and other EU countries. In addition, the
volume contains analysis of several important science policy issues (human
resource management, management of quality and finance, peer review and
networking); in this respect, the volume will be of interest to a wider
audience interested in S&T policy-making in general.
Edvard Kobal and Slavo Radosevic, Ljubljana and London, September
The establishment of a suitable institutional environment for comprehensive functioning of a market economy in the transition countries was one of the most important and complex matters in the 1990s. The central planned (socialist) economies of Central and Eastern Europe differed from Western market economies particularly in the matter of defining markets and the roles of the state and the financial system. For the development of a well-functioning market economy, it is characteristic to emphasize: the development of banks and financial markets; the fiscal environment; private property rights and contracts; labour market institutions; institutions dealing with competition policy, industrial policy and trade policy; and trust between economic agents and the honesty of public institutions.
To establish a knowledge-based economy and society, it is important to create and strengthen the connections between knowledge sources and business enterprises. Weak connections hinder the attainment of a successful level of this kind of economy. Different means of regulation, upgrading political-bureaucratic hierarchical intervention, and a sufficient quantity of social capital are also needed.
Intense investment in the creation and expansion of new knowledge is characteristic for a knowledge-based society. Hence, it provides for the national economy with an appropriate amount of scientific research work and researcher potential, a suitable state budget structure, and fluidity of the results of scientific research work. In addition, it also enables close connections between the research and business sectors. In the forefront is the successful transfer of knowledge and technological advances into the economy. Investments into a knowledge-based economy and society can be measured by the following: the number of researchers, education expenditure, information infrastructure, level of lifelong learning, and the extent of investments into capital assets.
The article presents the most important parameters of the knowledge-based society, facts that contribute toward strengthening presentations about development in some countries, and the limitations that countries face in the process of implementing a knowledge-based society.
Globalisation of the market economy has a great impact on connections between scientific research work and creation as well as the use of technologies. Therefore, it is not surprising that national science policies changed a great deal in the 1990s. The socio-economic research environment and, consequently, the concepts and practice of research policies have also changed under the influence of research politics.
In the centre of science policy-making is the realisation about the positive effect of scientific research work on economic growth and success and thus on social welfare. Increasing support for research is, therefore, not surprising. Many European countries realise that knowledge is the most important factor influencing economic growth and, accordingly, employment and welfare. On the other hand, a knowledge-based economy and society requires that innovations and innovation activities have a very important role. Therefore, the establishment and growth of innovation enterprises, a regulatory environment that fosters innovation, an improvement in “interim links” in the innovation system, and positive social inclinations for innovations must be encouraged.
Differences between research, technology, innovation and industry politics are decreasing. The integration of science and innovation policy is becoming prevalent.
Setting priorities in Science and Technology (S&T) is one of the most crucial and at the same time most difficult tasks for governments, both in developed and developing countries. In transition economies, the lack of knowledge in foresight studies, Delphi, brainstorming and other methodological approaches in the process of strategy building is usually replaced by the collective work of special, so-called expert groups or committees, with the final outcome being a compromise between different interest groups rather than an expression of national priorities.
This chapter is organised in the following way: first, the broader concept of setting priorities is briefly explored, and different levels and dimensions of prioritisation and methods for the establishment of priorities are illustrated with several examples of national developmental priorities; second, one case study of research and development (R&D) project proposal selection procedure is presented, which is usually the next step in application of national S&T priorities; third, as concluding remarks, some lessons are extracted from a case study regarding the relationship between theory and practice in setting priorities and selection of R&D project proposals.
This chapter summarises the key issues of innovation policy in the new EU member and candidate countries (NMCCs). Their recovery and growth has not led to the automatic recovery of demand for R&D and technology. Innovation processes still seem very much focused on the mastery and use of machinery and equipment, with a limited R&D component. Technology effort in the NMCCs is still very much concentrated on the mastery of production capability, with important policy implications.
Innovation policy has only recently re-emerged in the CEECs after having been relegated to a secondary role during the transition process. The early to middle 1990s saw the focus of innovation policy in the NMCCs to be much on so-called bridging institutions (academy-industry relations, S&T parks, commercialisation issues). Overall, the effects of these policy efforts have been disappointing due to several analysed factors.
In order to be effective, innovation policies in the CEECs should recognise the structural weaknesses of their individual innovation systems. This will require a search for country-specific solutions, as opposed to the rather imitative mode that has so far prevailed.
This text offers a short overview of S&T capacities in the Republic of Croatia. In the transition period (from 1990 on), S&T capacities have generally declined, due to reduced investments and slow and inadequate restructuring of the sector, which caused heavy brain-drain and worsened material conditions for research. Conceptual frameworks for the restructuring and development of S&T still remain unclear, which enables oscillations and radical changes in the treatment of the S&T sector by different Croatian governments. Priorities are being changed often, or remain undefined, and fluctuations in investment and turnover in proclaimed institutional reforms are typical. The text concludes with the strong recommendation that an S&T policy should be clearly formulated, publicly proclaimed and implemented, which would position S&T as a development priority for the country.
A description of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Science and Technology sector is given. Due to the lack of reliable statistics, it is merely qualitative rather than quantitative.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is situated in a part of Europe that has been labelled throughout history as a region of unrest, complications and constant perturbation. It is usually called the Balkans or South East Europe. And, to be honest, during the past 10 to 15 years this region has suffered a series of shocks such as the fall of the socialist system in Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and ex-Yugoslavia. After prolonged armed fighting, Yugoslavia was divided into five fragments. The consequences of this have been mass destruction, displacement of population and huge casualties.
Only in the last few years, a considerable effort has been made in this region to catch up with the advancements that have taken place in Europe and to join European integration. Higher education and science and technology sectors in the region are also moving in this direction.
Since 1980, the R&D system in Serbia and Montenegro has passed through several phases, from expansion until 1987 through stagnation in 1987–89, regression until 1995, consolidation and a “waiting” period in 1995–98, falling behind in 1999–2000, and transition starting in 2001. In the last 14 years, the R&D system found itself in a very unstable environment. Consequences of the dissolution of the former SFRY – the economic and political isolation of the country and a war in 1999 (which caused destruction of country's infrastructure), devastation of the natural environment, and an extremely poor economic situation – exhausted the economy and society. These unfavourable conditions formed the starting point for the unavoidable transition of the R&D system. The traditional way of policy- and decision-making, which is predominant in the country and also in S&T, preserves the autonomy that keeps the S&T system detached from other segments of the economy and society. Therefore, transition of the R&D system, aside from the restructuring of R&D organisations, includes a substantial change in long-term planning and the adaptation of EU/OECD best practice in S&T policy creation and implementation in Serbia and Montenegro.
Scientific activities in the Republic of Macedonia are performed and organised by a network of scientific institutions comprising 3 universities, several research institutes active in various fields and R&D units in industry. Considering the overall political, social and economic conditions the country has faced during the past years, while additionally burdened by instability, the role and position of industry has significantly decreased in the domain of research and development. Despite its difficulties, however, the country has managed to achieve significant results in certain scientific areas.
The main driving forces behind recent changes in science and innovation policy in Bulgaria are sustained macroeconomic stability and preparation for NATO and EU accession. Economic growth is the major challenge of the country's development. A new law promoting research was adopted in 2003. For the first time after the socio-economic changes of the 1990s, R&D was proclaimed to be a national priority. The participation of Bulgarian entities in the development of ERA and the Framework Programmes of the European Union is the most important direction of international scientific co-operation. The Ministry of the Economy has drafted a National Innovation Strategy and envisages the establishment of a National Innovation Fund supporting SMEs and start-up companies in 2005. The complex nature of research and innovation and their interaction with every economic and social activity requires a well-thought mechanism for policy co-ordination at the national and regional level. The integration of the business community and the citizens in the policy-making process should be further encouraged.
The aim of this chapter is to characterise the present situation of the RDI system in Romania, highlighting the way it plays a crucial role in boosting economic growth and social progress and the degree of its compatibility with the structures, overseas trends and demands of the European integration process. We focus mainly on three aspects: a current S&T system profile description, an assessment of the process of Romanian selection and implementation of RDI priorities and, finally, the key challenges for Romanian integration into the European Research Area.
During the last four years, the Greek research, technology and innovation policy marked a significant turn in favour of innovation and the creation of conditions for effectively linking economic and social development to the research activities of public institutions, while at the same time encouraging the establishment of RTD activities in business enterprises. The structural change undertaken has been supported by funding from national and community sources (regional and social funds) as well as by private funding expected to exceed 35% of the total budget. The model has its limits in fulfilling the “demand for knowledge” by the business and public sectors to produce and market new products and services.
Due to its forthcoming EU Membership, the Hungarian R&D sector faces new challenges both on the domestic and international level. To answer these challenges, Hungary has to carry out serious reforms in the field of R&D and technology innovation. In this paper we would like to focus on restructuring elements of the Hungarian innovation system.
The chapter introduces the institutional setting of Slovenian innovation policy, describes the current research and development system as a part of the innovation system, and presents the innovation activity of Slovenian enterprises. The selected list of measures, introduced by the government during the past ten years, is presented. Key problems in setting up a more efficient and business-friendly national innovation system are discussed. Also, most recent events in the area of national innovation policy are described and possible future activities suggested.
The activities of regional technology and innovation policy mainly refer to stakeholders in a region with potential in innovation. Regional innovation capability is strengthened by the formation of co-operative approaches, and service institutions are formed for mediating co-operation. Also, public bodies are integrated in networks. Regional technology and innovation policy is an approach for regional development in innovation and technology and combines regional capabilities in a complementary way according to their strengths and constraints. In this way, quantitatively significant positive economic and social effects are achieved and confidence in the region's competence to solve problems is created. Due to the “globality” of new technologies, better access to international and national technology programmes is also provided by regional synergies. This is necessary for regions to engage in interregional and global co-operation.
The paper describes the Young Researchers Programme, which has been running in Slovenia since 1985. The aims were to renew and rejuvenate research and teaching personnel in universities and research institutes, to educate highly skilled personnel for employment in the business sector, and to promote postgraduate education and training in Slovenia in general. So far, around 5000 postgraduates have been included into the programme, and around 2800 have finished by obtaining a Ph.D. or M.Sc. degree.
Janez Slak, Miloš Komac, Nada Švob-Đokić, Slavo Radosevic, Edvard Kobal
163 - 169
Efficient management of quality and finances in research places a great demand on people participating in the implementation of national research programmes. This is especially true for higher administrators working at the ministries responsible for science, as well as at other important state agencies that manage public funds for science.
This article presents the main findings of the participants of the NATO Advanced Training Course (ATC) “Modernisation of Science Policy and Management Approaches in Central and South East Europe”. They were developed by working groups and present a direct contribution of the NATO ATC participants toward modernisation of management, as well as preparation of science and technology policies on the national level.
Peer review has been used to judge the quality of science for several centuries. It is now the standard method by which proposed research projects are selected and funded by government agencies in much of the world. By focusing on the peer review process that is employed by various agencies in the United States and elsewhere, the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the system are highlighted. Ideally, peer review helps scientists do their jobs better by giving them feedback from others. It also helps control the quality of scientific research and scientific publications. The process makes it more likely that research funding is distributed on the basis of scientific merit and that quality criteria will prevail over social, economic and political considerations. However, the process is often overly bureaucratic, time-consuming and inaccurate. It tends to cater to scientific elitism and to discount more practical considerations. Applicants whose proposals are reviewed frequently get discouraged by unconstructive and negative comments. Reviewers are often frustrated by the sheer volume of paperwork they are asked to review along with the inclusion of detail that obscures more critical issues. Overemphasis on peer review may also discourage the funding of innovative research because peers tend to view research somewhat conservatively. For peer review to be effective, the system must be more efficient in focusing the attention of peers on legitimate scientific issues rather than on considerations that are more effectively handled by agency administrators. Regardless of its shortcomings, however, peer review will remain the mainstay of formal scientific evaluation for the foreseeable future. With the advancement of the Internet and electronic publishing there is the potential, on the one hand, for improving the current system and, on the other, for un-reviewed, second-rate science to further dilute the world's scientific literature. Even in this world of instantaneous communications, some system of quality assurance must survive for science to continue to advance.
Unless Europe takes a very different attitude towards entrepreneurship and the entire innovation process, it is useless to talk about the Lisbon Agenda. The gap between Europe on one side and the US and Japan on the other has continued to increase after the year 2000. The only EU countries contributing substantially more to GERD in 2002 were Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Belgium, while the EU-15 average reached 1.99% for public and private sources together.
New members and accession countries face an additional gap vis-à-vis the EU-15 in most aspects of R&D and competitiveness. These countries are not joining only the Single Market but also the creation of the European Research Area. In order to be able to benefit fully from European RTD funding, they need to enhance their links with research communities in existing member states. In addition, they should install R&D lobbying offices in Brussels, as most member states have. At the moment, there are only four from accession states (Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia and Poland) along with an office from Turkey.
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