POLICY ANSWERS organised a Study visit to Brussels for policymakers and civil servants from North Macedonia

The study visit was organised between 25 and 28 May, 2023, organised by the POLICY ANSWERS partners Foundation for Management and Industrial Research (MIR) and Fund for Innovation and Technology Development (FITD). The participants in the group are directly involved in the design and implementation of innovation policies. Twelve 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, 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 an opportunity for the participants to visit the premises 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, as well as General–Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development.

The study visit was designed also as a team-building activity, so as to contribute to a 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 which is also powering the Western Balkans Info Hub. Through the implementation of the activities of this project, MIR Foundation and FITD 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.

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