Six national institutes of the Republic of Serbia have joined and signed the Agreement on Scientific and Business-Technical Cooperation. According to the Cooperation signatories, the association of the six leading scientific-research institutions in the country, unprecedented in the history of domestic science, could permanently reshape the landscape of the scientific scene in Serbia and strengthen the social relevance of natural sciences.
The joining together started with meetings preceding to the COVID-19 epidemics, and it was completed at the end of May 2020 by signing of the joint agreement. The document was signed by directors of all six accredited national institutes of the Republic of Serbia: the Institute of Physics, Belgrade, Institute for Biological Research ‘Siniša Stanković’, Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy, Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Institute for Medical Research.
As stated in the Agreement on Scientific and Business-Technical Cooperation of the national institutes of the Republic of Serbia, it regulates the existing cooperation and makes way for its expansion and development. The Agreement defines mutual work on planning and realization of scientific programmes through the participation of researchers from these institutions, as well as the joint use of the equipment to that purpose. The Agreement has been signed for a five-year period, during which mutual interests shall be acknowledged in the future, joint undertakings.
‘The national institutes want to enhance the cooperation, particularly their roles of significant catalysts of the process of strengthening and connecting individuals and institutions that improve our society’, says Dr Aleksandar Bogojević, the director of the Institute of Physics, Belgrade, the institution which, according to the Law, first acquired the status of the national institute in 2018. In the subsequent two years, five more leading research organizations in Serbia joined the Institute.
Under the Law on Science and Research, a national institute is a prime scientific-research institution which conducts research with a goal of development of general knowledge fund, raising the technical and technological level, evaluation of research results and disseminating knowledge, education and staff training for scientific research.
Within the extensive reforms of the scientific sector which preceded the epidemics, the relevant Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development repeatedly reiterated that the leading scientific institutions in the country should become a fundamental national repository of human resources, expert knowledge and competence employing this status.
‘Aside from the national institutes’, claims Dr Bogojević, ‘the network of leading scientific institutions certainly includes the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts as the umbrella institutions of the Serbian science, the University of Belgrade, our oldest higher education institution, Petnica Science Centre, one of the key centres for nurturing new scientists, as well as an entire variety of important institutions of culture, art, economy and security with which the national institutes cooperate closely.
Photo: Bojan Džodan – IPB