Zoran Vukčević, Director of the Directorate for Development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, opened yesterday a two-day International Conference “1st Innovation Dialogue Forumâ€? in Bečići which is organized within the project WBC.INCO.NET ENHANCED with Montenegrin partners – Directorate for SME Development and Ministry of Education and Science.

Mr. Vukčević said that the project is strategically important for supporting cooperation between the EU, countries associated to FP7 and the Western Balkan countries (WBC) in the field of Science and Technology and this is one more project that proves efforts Montenegro strives on its way to European Union.

1st Innovation Dialogue Forum has been organized within Work Package 8 „Innovation Support“, what is the key determinant of the ability of an enterprise, a sector, region or country to remain competitive, what is in accordance with EU Policy and Lisbon Agenda.

Also, this project is in accordance with efforts undertaken within the EU IPA – component II, which includes assistance to candidate countries and to potential candidate countries in their cross-border cooperation. Another key element refers to European Strategy 2020 and European Charter for Small Enterprises.

WBC.INCO.NET project will be focusing on closer cooperation between research and innovation, the inter-sector dialogue, to analyze innovation needs and barriers, to raise awareness of the research community for the market demands and of the benefits of innovation, said Mr. Vukčević.

The conference presented WBC national innovation systems, experience and cooperation at European and regional level, examples of good practice, the benefits that could be used, barriers to be overcome, and the following actions based on results of the 1st Innovation Dialogue Forum.

The 1st Innovation Dialogue Forum gathered over 50 representatives from the European Commission, OECD, GTZ, Ministry of Germany, Austria, Greece, England, Netherlands, Turkey, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and representatives from the Directorate for SME Development, Ministry of Education and Science and the University of Montenegro.