| Rezar Balla

SCiDEV’s Contribution to the 7th Joint Science Conference of the Berlin Process

The Center Science and Innovation for Development (SCiDEV) is pleased to announce its engagement with the 7th Joint Science Conference of the Berlin Process “Partnering for Excellence – Partnering for Europe” to ensure better coordination and synergies. The conference is organized by the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and this year was hosted by the Albanian Academy of Sciences in Tirana on 20-21 September 2023.

This year's #JointScienceConference centered around three key themes: (i) Assessing the progress of Balkan and Southeast European higher education, research, and innovation communities towards integration in European Union frameworks; (ii) Creating excellence in the Balkans through wise instruments and alliances, and (iii) Developing customized mobility schemes for students, researchers, and professionals, including (re-)connecting the academic diasporas to their countries of origin.

The Executive Director of SCiDEV, Blerjana Bino, presented the outcomes of SCiDEV’s work in the framework of the Thematic Working Group “Advancing Inclusive Regional Mobility and Catalyzing Mobility-Driven Innovation and Knowledge Transfer in Western Balkans”, part of the Civil Society and Think Tank Forum of the Berlin Process (#CSF2023). This Thematic Working Group explores the potential of inclusive regional mobility in fostering regional cooperation and the creation of shared values in the Western Balkans and with the EU, as well as in catalyzing innovation through knowledge and technology exchange, research and development collaborations, and entrepreneurial networks. In the third panel on mobility at the #JointScienceConference, Bino emphasized the significant role of mobility and knowledge transfer in addressing socio-economic disparities, enhancing regional cooperation, and incorporating the WB6 into the European research and innovation landscape.

As Albania currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Berlin Process, enhancing regional ownership and synergizing efforts are imperative. SCiDEV is working in collaboration with the #JointScienceConference to develop shared recommendations on mobility schemes within the region and the EU, including initiatives for diaspora engagement. The results of the consultation meetings with stakeholders organized by SCiDEV in the past three months, desk research, and advocacy visits conclude that in the current context, it's imperative to place the focus on science, research, and innovation. The EU is a global powerhouse in research and technological advancements. By fostering closer ties in these sectors between the WB6 and the EU, the Berlin Process can harness this potential to stimulate economic growth, enhance regional competencies, and bridge the technological divide. Intensified cooperation in science and research would not only equip the WB6 with tools and knowledge to tackle shared challenges, such as climate change, health, and digital transformation but also nurture a generation of innovators and thinkers who can redefine the region's future.

The joint statements from #JointScienceConference and the concluding recommendations from #CSF2023 will inform the dialogues at the 9th Western Balkans Summit of the Berlin Process in Tirana on 16th October 2023.

Learn more about the Joint Science Conference: https://www.leopoldina.org/en/international/science-diplomacy/western-balkans-process/

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