By ITU News
ITU recently connected with H.E Dragica Sekulić, Minister of the Economy for Montegnegro, about her country’s efforts to boost its information and communication technology (ICT) innovation ecosystem.
How dynamic is the ICT ecosystem of Montenegro?
The continuous work of the Government in the previous period has created strong and sustainable preconditions for the accelerated development of the digital society and economy.
Montenegro’s strategic goals in the field of ICT are identical to those defined by the Digital Agenda 2020 for Europe and the vision of the Gigabit Society until 2025.
Montenegro has fully harmonized its regulations with the regulatory framework of the European Union and the EU’s policies and regulatory solutions, which has provided investors with a stable investment environment.
Creating conditions for the dynamic development of new generation networks; continuous improvement of e-services; and wide application of ICT in the work of public administration, economic activities and society as a whole, are the medium-term program goals of the Government.
Why does the Government believe in digital innovation?
Montenegro has recognized the potential of entrepreneurship and innovation, especially in the ICT sector, as providing strong potential for smart growth.
Government policies and strategies are strongly focused on stimulating and strengthening the innovation of companies and the growth of innovation, as a factor of further economic development, which will lead to visible results in the transformation of the Montenegrin economy.
The interest of the Government is, in cooperation and partnership with all ICT companies, to encourage the development of concrete digital solutions that will improve the living and working conditions of citizens and the economy.
Innovation policy is necessary to fully integrate the entrepreneurial policies, introduce mechanisms that will slow down the outflow of talent in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and accelerate the pace of creating innovation ecosystems.
A stimulating legislative framework, greater opportunities in the field of higher education and research, as well as new funding models that will follow, will bring many benefits to actors in the innovation sector.
What are the measures the Montenegrin Government is taking to boost innovation?
One of the key objectives of the Government is to build a robust innovation ecosystem, as a key component of national development, through continuous activities to improve the business environment, financial and institutional support to development of entrepreneurship, and eliminate barriers to business at the state and local level, through a series of programs. I will mention a few: the Program for Improving the Competitiveness of the Economy, Industrial Policy of Montenegro (2019-2023), the Smart Specialization Strategy (2019-2024), the Economic Reform Program for Montenegro (2020-2022), the Program for Encouraging Innovative Startups in Montenegro (2019-2021), as well as the Center for Excellence Encouragement Program.
We believe that with all these incentive measures, through cooperation between academia, business and the EU, we will encourage entrepreneurs and innovators, and develop an environment for multi-sector development, in order to have an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will make Montenegro a competitive country in the single European market.
How can the international community help to strengthen capabilities Montenegro in field of digital innovation?
We believe that international community recognized our efforts, which can help us through collaboration and support programmes in field of digital innovation as stimulus towards the realization of new projects in the direction of development of the entrepreneurial-innovative ecosystem in Montenegro.
In that sense, we look forward to continuing to work with ITU and our international partners to create and implement a sustainable digital ecosystem in the country.