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The project “POLICY ANSWERS” provided policymakers and civil servants in Macedonia participation in a Study visit in Brussels, Belgium

From 25-28 April, 2023 with the organisation of Foundation for Management and industrial research and Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, study visit for policy makes and civil servants in Macedonia was held in Brussels, Belgium.

Participants in the group are directly involved in the design and implementation of innovation policies. 12 representatives from the Ministry of Education (RDI and HE departments), the Ministry of Economy (Industrial and SME development), the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, Secretariat for European Affairs  and the Prime Minister’s Cabinet had the opportunity to see in practice the synergies between innovation, education, and youth policies. Considering the participants’ backgrounds in programs promoting creativity, entrepreneurship, research skills, and STEM among students and youth, as well as issues related to gender equality, they had the opportunity to see in action and learn more about the programs, initiatives, and opportunities they have in the aforementioned fields.

The study visit provided opportunity for the participants to visit the premisses of Directorate – General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Directorate – General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Directorate – General for Regional Policy and Urban Policy, Directorate – General for Research and Innovation, EISMEA – European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EIC & EEN), Junior Achievement Europe, General – Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development.

The study visit is designed as team building activity as well, so as to contribute to better exchange of information, co-design practices and creating stronger bonds between persons carrying the actual workload of the specific activities. Networking and peer-learning are especially favoured having in mind that most of the stakeholders during the consultation meeting emphasised the problems of inadequate career development practices in the public sector and stressed the importance of the established peer to peer institutional support networks for their everyday activities.

The event was organized by the Foundation for Management and Industrial Research and the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development as part of the “POLICY ANSWERS” project funded under the Horizon Europe program of the European Commission. Through the implementation of the activities of this project, MIR Foundation and FITR are taking a leading role in the promotion of the national and regional innovation ecosystem, with the aim of including national stakeholders in the common European market.

The project supports political dialogue, including formal meetings, monitoring and agenda setting, capacity building and implementation of the EU agenda for the Western Balkans, as well as alignment of thematic priorities. It will implement regional pilot activities and upgrade the information center based on the platform. 14 partner organisations, representing network nodes in the region and EU expert organisations, support policy dialogue through ministerial meetings, Steering Platform meetings and ad hoc policy meetings. They provide analytical evidence through monitoring and mapping activities (of the stakeholder ecosystem, implementation of the Western Balkans agenda and integration into the European Research Area).