Smart Specialisation in Montenegro

Montenegro is the first non-EU state to adopt the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3), in June 2019.

This achievement was accomplished thanks to the strong political commitment at the national level and selfless support of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Montenegro’s EU Accession Programme 2019-2020 included the adoption of the Smart Specialisation Strategy 2019-2024, under the negotiation chapter 25: Science and Research and its section on the strategic framework. Thus, Montenegro harmonized its strategic framework for research and innovation with the EU’s strategic framework, although this was not its explicit obligation under the accession negotiations. A lot of effort has been invested in this project since May 2017, when close cooperation with JRC was established.

In line with the European Commission Regulation 1059/2003, Montenegro is defined as a NUTS4 region, given that its population is 620,029 in an area of 13,812 km². Accordingly, as regards the preparation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy and knowledge-based economic development, the country is also treated as one region, which should find its proper place among 272 NUTS II regions within the EU.

Main Goal of S3

Modernization and increase of the competitiveness of the Montenegrin economy, by concentrating available research, natural and economic resources in a limited number of priority areas. S3 should enable further accelerated development of the relevant priority areas, but also the development of new sub-areas within them, as well as new industries with strategic potential based on the synergistic interaction of priority areas. Achieving the main goal of S3, that is a modernized and competitive Montenegro, is based on three key strategic directions that represent the general long-term vision of the country’s development, and they are:




Strategija pametne specijalizacije Crne Gore utvrđuje četiri ključne prioritetne oblasti

Održiva poljoprivreda i lanac vrijednosti hrane

Knowledge and innovation-based agriculture is developed by following the principles of sustainability. It preserves the traditions and values of the country life, and complements the beauty of the Montenegrin landscape.

Energija i održiva životna sredina

The regional energy hub with a high level of utilization of renewable energy sources and mineral raw materials based on the principles of circular economy and sustainable environment.

Održivi i zdravstveni turizam

The destination for sustainable and health tourism with a diversified and authentic tourist offer that is based on innovative business models and services.

Informacione i komunikacione tehnologije

Digital Montenegro with advanced ICT solutions implemented in all sectors of the economy that enables dynamic and proactive access to new and innovative technologies.

Strategija pametne specijalizacije Crne Gore utvrđuje pet strateških ciljeva

Improve the excellence and relevance of scientific and research activities

Strengthen human resources in the field of research and innovation

Enhance collaboration within the innovation system

Support innovative activities in the business sector

Enhance framework conditions for the innovation ecosystem

Operational Programme

In order to improve and more effectively implement the Smart Specialisation Strategy, strengthen the links between the Industrial Policy and the S3 Strategy and human resources in this field, and better define the indicators to monitor the results of S3, in December 2021 the Government of Montenegro adopted the Operational Program for Implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy 2021-2024, with Action Plan 2021-2022.

The 2021-2022 Action Plan for implementation of the Operational Program for Implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy 2021-2024 allocated and set the following:

millions of EUR
Operational goals

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