Event review: 1st co-design workshop in Skopje planning region

This event gathered together appreciated quadruple helix stakeholders whose involvement is of great importance for development of “anchor” RRI initiatives in the Skopje planning region.

Mar 17, 2022

This event gathered together appreciated quadruple helix stakeholders whose involvement is of great importance for development of “anchor” RRI initiatives in the Skopje planning region.

Date: 07.03.2022

Location: ZOOM platform

Organisers: Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, National Centre for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning

Who attended the event?

The event attracted 45 participants from educational institutions, industry, governmental and non-governmental organisations. Radmil Polenakovikj, president of the National Centre for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning, welcomed the participants by sharing his gratitude for the comprehensive attendance.

What happened at the event?

The event followed the agenda by keeping in focus the developed scenarios for institutional changes in Skopje planning region by 2024.

Introduction to WBC-RRI.NET, Radmil Polenakovikj

The participants were introduced to WBC-RRI.NET project and its consortium, as well as main goals and planned activities. Considerable attention was put on the RRI keys as drivers in this time, regardless of the type of institution.

The idea of the reflection and co-design process was presented in more details, mentioning the scientific focus and target RRI keys of the “anchor initiatives” in each participating region.

The main challenges identified in the Skopje planning region were shared in order to foster thinking of science education and gender equality.

The overall introduction was completed with an overview of what has been done until now within WBC-RRI.NET and what needs to be done in the future, including the expected outputs from these co-design workshops.

Presentation of future scenarios for development and implementation of RRI initiatives in the region, Jana Prodanova

The participants were intrigued by sharing the big vision for the institutional and territorial transformations expected to be achieved out of the RRI ‘anchor’ initiative in Skopje.

“To boost institutional resources and capacities that will encourage the application of RRI principles for promoting science education and fostering gender equality, positioning the institutions as leaders in integrating inclusive R&I and STI in the region. The territorial transformation is envisioned by establishing a vast Quadruple Helix network engaged in a scientific focus towards Culture, Creativity, and Inclusive Society by integrating R&I in various societal processes of the country while further delivering results beneficial for the entire WB macro-region. ”

A brief overview of the development of future scenarios has been covered, mentioning the trends that determine the realisation of the vision. The key points in the scenarios were structured in two main topics i.e., description of the current situation and RRI initiatives for regional development.

Scenario 1: Territory at its best

  • stable political and economic environment, successfully developed and implemented RRI practices
  • developed National Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) and National Development Strategy (2021-2041)
  • institutions are eager to strengthen the existing infrastructure and capacities in terms of R&I
  • the Skopje region follows all recommendations and guidelines for rapid growth and development
  • considerations for decentralisation and mitigation of differences and conditions between regions
  • VET strategies, higher opportunities for internship and scholarship
  • support from educational, industrial, governmental and non-governmental institutions
  • joint decision-making and striving for equal goals
  • higher use of national and international funding
  • inclusiveness

Scenario 2: How to deal with the territory’s development?

  • expected political and economic changes are still in their beginnings
  • institutional R&I infrastructure is trivial and weak
  • fragmentation of the institutions and a deficiency of public support
  • efforts to convert brain-drain into brain-gain
  • initial efforts to strenghten STEM education and gender equality, including public engagement in development of R&D initiatives, economic and political practices
  • North Macedonia continues to be stated as one of the leaders in Europe based on the indicator for women researchers
  • collaboration for joint decision-making and striving for equal goals
  • strong network, motivated citizens and delivery of competent human resources on the labour market

Open discussion and voting on the most objective scenario

MASA and NCDIEL teams encouraged the participants to take part in an open discussion in order to identify the most objective scenario with its strengths and weaknesses.

The awaited National Smart Specialisation Strategy and National Development Strategy will contain many of the aforementioned elements that deal with responsible research, development and innovation, not only in the educational institutions. The suggestion to promote and disseminate further existing good practices offered an opportunity to speak in more detail about the Open Call for Submission of Good Practices in RRI, launched by WBC-RRI.NET team. All QH participants were warmly welcomed to share their inspirational story and good practice with our team.

Although there are political fluctuations, for 3 or 4 years we live in a relative stability, meaning that political turbulences do not have such negative impact. Additionally, what is highly important and supported, is the fact that both of the scenarios contain collaboration, joint-decision making and stronger communication among institutions.

Macedonian citizens all around the world should be further engaged and encouraged to share their experience and contribute to the development of the Skopje planning region.

The participants had the opportunity to vote on the most objective scenario, resulting with the 2nd scenario: How to deal with the territory’s development? However, it was collectively agreed that it should be adapted and expanded with certain elements of the first scenario, which represents the region at its best.

The final future scenario that will pave the ground for identification of best RRI initiatives in the Skopje planning region will be a compound of both, according to the received remarks and suggestions. 

Take a look at the presentation 1, presentation 2 and agenda of the event (all in the local language).