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Balkans: Balkan cooperation hits buffers

Ten years after politicians began planning a regional R&D strategy for the western Balkans, concrete results are hard to find

In 2009, regional ministers and EU representatives signed an agreement to cooperate on the plans, with the World Bank swiftly agreeing to assist. By the end of 2013, the bank had developed a Western Balkans Regional R&D Strategy for Innovation. This, it was envisaged, would channel €200 million over five to 10 years into university PhDs, technology transfer and other activities.

Funding was to come from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as other sources including the EU. In September 2015, ministers agreed to set up a Western Balkans Research and Innovation Centre (WISE) in Split, Croatia, to coordinate implementation.

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