Parallel Session 2 - Widening participation in SE Europe: Science for Societies in Transition

Saturday, 28 March, 2020 - 14:00 - 15:30
coming soon

Western Balkan countries have experienced difficult times recently that slowed down progress in their research and innovation sectors and continue to cause a pronounced and continuous ‘brain drain’. This session explores how and why science is relevant to societies in South-East Europe, and how this message can better reach and reflect public concerns in places which remain in transition, be that politically, economically, or socially. Topics include science communication and dissemination, improving links to industry and creating innovation ecosystems, the "sedentary" culture of research institutions and best practice in linking people and science output. What can we learn from others in the region in terms of best practice and who else offers positive examples so that regional stakeholders can improve their social and scientific relevance and drive full and active engagement in European institutions?


Antoaneta Mateeva
Freelance expert, affiliated with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Main interests and experiences: project/program management, international cooperation, policy analysis development, communication and dissemination of information, organization and delivery of trainings. In the last 10 years I have actively provided support for career development and mobility of researchers through networking, consultancy, and dissemination of information and best practices. As MSCA NCP (for the period 2013-2019) I joined the Net4mobilityPlus project team that has recently conducted analysis and has developed documents related to widening countries’ participation in MSCA (H2020) with recommendations for widening country MSCA NCPs, and to implementation of an effective MSCA promotional campaign in widening countries. I’m a member of the MCAA Bulgaria Chapter and a member of the MCAA Policy WG.
Dario Pellizzon
Head of the Research Area at Ca' Foscari University of Venice since 2014. Focussed on bringing innovation to real life, developing international partnerships, funding the most promising researchers, investing on talents. Devoted to boosting University's impact on global competitiveness and circulation of knowledge. 15+ years of experience in top italian universities, career development coach, Eu project management trainer. Research proposal evaluator, Human resources strategy for research - HRS4R - lead assessor. Honorary Recognition for "outstanding contribution for the development and growth of the Marie Curie Alumni Association"
David Matthew Smith
Dr. David M. Smith is the Director General of the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) in Zagreb. Prior to assuming this position in March 2018, he was Assistant Director of the RBI from 2009 to 2014, the Head of the Division of Physical Chemistry (at the RBI) in 2016 and 2017, during which time he was also a special advisor to the Minister of Science, Education and Sports for Research and Development. Dr. Smith began his scientific career in Australia, where he completed his PhD in 2000. From 2001 to 2004 he was a postdoctoral fellow in Munich, Germany. As a prominent computational chemist, he has published 65 scientific articles, which have been cited over 1500 times with an associated H index of 20. He has also led and participated in numerous domestic and international projects, including several financed under the European Framework Programs.
Maria Górna
Maria Górna is a group leader in structural biology at the University of Warsaw since 2015, when she received an MSCA Individual Fellowship. Previously, she obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge as a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher and later worked as a postdoctoral fellow at CeMM in Vienna. Maria directed projects funded by the EMBO Installation Grant, the Foundation for Polish Science, the National Research and Development Centre, Poland and the National Science Centre, Poland. She currently serves as a MCAA Board Member (2018-2020) and works part-time for a Polish biotech start-up WPD Pharmaceuticals. Maria’s interest is in using three-dimensional models of proteins to explain or design protein function, with implications for drug discovery and health diagnostics. Through her findings and inventions, she would like to help combat viral and bacterial infections or treat human inflammatory disorders.
Branka Zizic
Graduated at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Master degree gained at the University of Montenegro, in the field of comparative education policy. A UWCAD alumna. After gaining working experience in different sectors: education, business, NGO, she started working in the public administration (Ministry of Education and Science, later Ministry of Science), in 2007. She has led numerous projects in the field of design and implementation of research policies (national, EU, World Bank). Currently, she is carrying out the duty of the general director for innovation and technology development in the Ministry of Science of Montenegro (since June 2018). With regard to Marie Curie Actions, she has initiated and coordinated the first two Researchers' Night in Montenegro projects (2010 and 2011), whereby she became entitled to be a MCAA member. She is a member of the Western Balkans Chapter of the MC Alumni Association.