EuroScientist: Eastern European countries snub neighbours’ science policy

4. Dec. 2014

With an interesting analysis by Elke Dall, ZSI

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Looking East of an imaginary line going through Berlin and Rome all the way to the Urals creates a broad outline of what Eastern Europe is, in the widest geographical definition. What is striking about this broad region is the number of similarities between different countries, not least in science. And yet it is equally surprising how little these countries exchange good practice. Specifically, scientists and policymakers will talk for hours about problems in their country. But few will have much awareness of how similar problems have been overcome in neighbouring countries.
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Common challenges

In most of these countries the remnants of socialism and partly reformed research systems make them similar in some of the challenges they face, so they could perhaps learn from each other, according to Elke Dall, head of research and project management at the Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna, Austria.

“The Balkans had some very common issues that are also shared by Moldova and maybe Turkey, but by moving closer to the EU also Georgia, Armenia, etc.,” says Dall, who helped lead the WBC-Inco.Net initiative to enhance integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Research Area. This process included exchanging information and best practices on innovation policies.

She highlights existing regional projects that already work to help share policies and bring select countries in the region closer together. For example, another Inco.Net project exists for the so called Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). In addition, the MIRRIS project aims at encouraging a better exploitation of European research and innovation programmes and participation in the European Research Area of 12 EU member states in East Europe (and in Malta).

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Tags: Southeast Europe