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New project launched: support to R&D and innovation
Launch: Serbia Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer Project
February 2, 2015SANU, Belgrade

A joint project of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the European Union and the World Bank financed from the EU pre-accession funds was launched in Belgrade. It aims at supporting the Ministry and the Innovation Fund to further boost research and development, and innovation in Serbia.

The Serbia Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer Project was launched on February 2, 2015 at the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade.

This joint project of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the European Union and the World Bank is financed with €2.5 million Euros from EU's pre-accession funds through July 2018. The project builds on the successes of the ongoing EU-funded Serbia Innovation Project, which helped establish the Serbia Innovation Fund. With an EU grant of 8.4 million Euros, the Innovation Fund has successfully supported 53 innovative start-ups between 2011-2014.

The new Serbia Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer Project will help the Ministry and the Innovation Fund to further boost research and development (R&D), and innovation in Serbia and to pilot a system of technology transfer in order to foster a knowledge-based economy.

State Secretary Mr. Aleksandar Belic addressed the audience on behalf of Mr. Srđan Verbić, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development, as well as H.E. Michael Davenport, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia and Tony Verheijen, World Bank Country Manager for Serbia.

10:30   Welcome note

Nikola Hajdin, President of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences

10:35   Keynote addresses

Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of the EU Delegation in Serbia

Tony Verheijen, World Bank Country Manager for Serbia

Natasha Kapil, Senior Innovation Policy and Private Sector Development Specialist, the World Bank

Aleksandar Belic, State Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development

11:00   Coffee break / Press statements

11:20   Presentation by Dr Aleksandar Belic, State Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development

Discussant: Peter Lindholm, Lead Innovation Advisor, the World Bank

11:30 Q&A

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    Nikola Hajdin

    PhD Civil Engineering, President of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU)
    Professor of Civil Engineering in Belgrade, retired. At the same university he graduated in 1951 and his doctorate in 1956. Elected corresponding member of SASA in 1970 and full year 1976. Vice President of SASA from 1994 to 2003, president of SASA since 2003. During his professional career N. Hajdin held a series of scientific and technical functions in various domestic and foreign societies. Member of the (foreign) Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Academy of Science, Art and Literature seated in Paris, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, based in Salzburg. He was elected in 2000 as an honorary doctor of the National Technical University of Athens. Scientific activities of N. Hajdin in which he made a significant contribution relates to the following areas: Numerical methods in elasticity theory and the theory of structures, theory of thin-walled beams, bridges, Dynamics of impact on civil engineering structures. Particularly important and rated as outstanding achievement and accomplishment, is the Hajdin Cable-Stayed Bridges (cable). Cable-Stayed Bridges appeared as a shy new bridge construction in the sixties of the twentieth century. Noticing this novelty as something promising a revolutionary change, N. Hajdin immediately dealt with the theoretical studies of the structure and the first opportunity that appeared to him, and it was a railway bridge over the Sava river in Belgrade, set out to conquer this system. After this enterprise, just a little bit later, N. Hajdin designed the Sloboda bridge in Novi Sad, at that time the world record for Cable-Stayed Bridges in high level. In a series of bridges of this type of crown of the author's creation is the bridge over the Vistula River in the Polish city of Plock, was awarded the first prize in the international competition. What should be emphasized is the fact that N. Hajdin was one of the pioneers in the adoption and verification of this system, which after more than forty years became the dominant system in the world for a wide span of more than a thousand bridges of such system.
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    Michael Davenport

    Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Serbia
    Michael Davenport presented his credentials to the Serbian President on 19 September 2013. Prior to this posting, he had served as the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Serbia since January 2011. Before coming to Serbia, Davenport was Director for Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London. Between 2007 and 2010 he advised successive Foreign Secretaries on Britain’s relations with Russia and the wider region and was responsible for the FCO’s network of twelve diplomatic missions. His first foreign posting as a British diplomat was to Poland in 1990, where he was responsible for establishing the first British Know-How Fund, supporting Poland’s early political and economic reforms after the fall of Communism. In the mid-nineties Michael headed the FCO’s UN Peacekeeping Section before learning Russian ahead of a posting as First Secretary to Moscow in 1996. In 2000 Michael returned to Poland as Commercial Counsellor and Consul-General in the run-up to Polish accession to the European Union, and in 2004 was appointed Deputy Ambassador to Cairo. Michael did his first degree in French and German language and literature at Cambridge University, after which he taught English at Graz University in Austria. Later he studied law at the College of Law in London and qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1988, having trained at the City firm of Macfarlanes. Michael and his wife, Dr Lavinia Davenport, have three children. Michael is a keen tennis player. He first started learning Serbian at Graz University in 1982 and is continuing his studies.
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    Tony Verheijen

    Tony Verheijen, World Bank Country Manager for Serbia
    Tony Verheijen is the World Bank Country Manager for Serbia Since August 2013. Since joining the World Bank in 2002, Mr. Verheijen has focused on public sector management, civil service reform, governance and anti-corruption, and economic management issues. He has worked on projects in South and East Asia, Central and East Africa, Russia and Central Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Verheijen worked as Chief Technical Adviser for the UNDP Regional Office in Bratislava, Slovakia, for the OECD and for the European Institute of Public Administration. He has contributed in particular to transformation processes in Central and Eastern European states in the context of their EU accession, serving as adviser to European Integration offices and EU accession negotiation teams. Mr. Verheijen graduated from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, holds an MA in International Relations from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and a PhD from Leiden University.
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    Aleksandar Belic

    State Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development
    Aleksandar Belic was born in 1962 in Belgrade. He graduated physics at the Faculty of Mathematics in Belgrade, his MA and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana (USA). He worked at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, International School for Advanced Research in Trieste, and the European Centre for Theoretical Nuclear Physics and related fields in Trent. Then he returned to the country and worked at the Institute of Physics in Belgrade. From 2002 to 2005 he worked in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia as Assistant Minister for International Cooperation. Upon returning to the Institute of Physics was elected in 2005 to the position of Research Associate, and from 2011 to the position of Research Fellow. Since November 2010 he became the Director of the Institute. In his research dr Aleksandar Belic dealt with analytical and numerical studies of complex physical systems, especially classical and quantum many-body the system. During his career, Belic has published more than 80 papers in journals and conference proceedings. He is the founder of the Laboratory for Scientific Computing Institute of Physics and Head of the best ranked project of basic research in the country and a number of European projects.
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    Natasha Kapil

    Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, The World Bank
    Natasha Kapil is a Senior Private Sector Development Specialist in the World Bank Group's Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice. She focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness policy broadly speaking and has coauthored several strategic national and regional studies in ECA including on reforming public research and development institutes and building more efficient innovation systems. Natasha recently led the review of Poland’s Smart Growth Operational Program Review, evaluating the blueprint for the Euro 10 Billion that Poland is about to spend on building the innovation ecosystem in the coming decade. Natasha has supported capacity development of national agencies in Central Asia, new EU member states, the Balkans and Latin America and designed programs and financial instruments for startups and technological entrepreneurship. She has supported the establishment of the Serbia Innovation Fund and designing flagship financial instruments for Poland’s National Center for R&D.
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    Peter Lindholm

    Lead Innovation Advisor, The World Bank
    Peter Lindholm is a recognized expert of the world level in the sphere of technological management and international scientific and technical cooperation. For more than 20 years Peter Lindholm has been consultant in the spheres connected with innovative systems for states, regions and international organizations. He worked in the majority of the European countries, paying special attention to Russia since 1993 (participation in the development of federal action programs). His employment record includes a vast experience of work on realization and management of specific practical projects and consulting at high level as project manager and senior consultant. It includes centers for science commercialization; financing of innovations (seed and venture financing) and restructuring of scientific centers. Peter Lindholm has an experience of management of large-scale projects in the sphere of research and development, transfer of technologies, assessment, financing of innovative systems for the European Commission, European countries and clients of the World Bank.
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    Tony Verheijen, World Bank Country Manager, gives opening remarks. Panelists include Aleksandar Belic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Michael Davenport, Head of EU Delegation to Serbia, Natasha Kapil, World Bank (left to right).
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    Michael Davenport, Head of EU Delegation to Serbia, speaks about building on the achievements under the ongoing project of support to innovations in Serbia.
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    Tony Verheijen highlights the importance of innovation for creating new jobs, particularly in a situation of lackluster economy.
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    A detail from the presentation.
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    Participants in the event.
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    A view of the full SANU conference room.