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Second meeting of the Steering Committee, Tirana, March 30th, 2018

Steering Committee of the South East European International Institute unanimously selected the option of the Facility for Tumour Therapy and Biomedical Research – for shaping future science in the Region



Members of the Steering Committee of the regional project of “Establishment of the South-East Europe International Institute for Sustainable Technologies” have passed a unanimous decision to support Hadron Cancer Therapy and Biomedical Research with Protons and Heavy Ions as the option for the project of the Institute.

The decision was made at the second meeting of the Steering Committee of the project, which took place today at the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth of the Republic of Albania. The session was chaired by the Minister of Science of Montenegro, Dr. Sanja Damjanović.

At the beginning of the meeting, Prof. Dr. Ervin Demo, Deputy Minister, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Ministry and host country of the second meeting of the Committee, pointing out the great significance of the project for the region and stressing that Albania fully supported its implementation.

In her introductory address to the members of the Committee, Minister Damjanović thanked the host for the organization of the meeting and referred to the necessity of establishing a large scientific infrastructure in the region, which would present a platform for the education of young scientists and a unique centre of excellence that would make the countries of the region competitive to the rest of Europe.

A special guest at the session of the Steering Committee was Prof. Herwig Schopper, former Director General of CERN and the creator of the Initiative for the Establishment of the South-East Europe International Institute for Sustainable Technologies. In his address, Professor Schopper pointed out that such a large project could not be financed by a single country, recalling that CERN was founded after the Second World War not only to promote science and technology, but also to bring together people working in peace and for peace. In this context, he further indicated that the European Commission regarded the project positively, which meant that the decision on the option of the Institute was an ideal signal for Brussels that the countries of the region worked together and had a common goal.

Following the decision, agreement was also reached on a draft Memorandum of Cooperation, to be submitted by the Committee to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Rumen Radev, who initially proposed that the Memorandum be signed by the Prime Ministers at the EU-WB Summit in Sofia in May. In addition, the next steps of the Committee will be to implement the preparatory activities for developing the main design and the business plan.

The second meeting of the Steering Committee was attended by: Dr. Sanja Damjanović, Minister of Science of Montenegro and Chairperson of the Committee, Prof. Dr. Ervin Demo, Deputy Minister of Education, Sports and Youth of the Republic of Albania, Alma Hasanović, Independent Adviser for European integration and International Relations in the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prof. Kostadin Kostadinov, Adviser to the Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria, Prof. Leandar Litov from the University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Dr. Tome Antičić, State Secretary in the Ministry of Science and Education of Croatia, Prof. Dr. Neven Duić, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture Zagreb (Department of Energy, Power Engineering and Environment – Power Engineering and Energy Management Chair), Dr. Konstantinos Kyritsis from the Directorate for International and Technological Cooperation in the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of Greece, Arber Geci, Deputy Minister of Science, Education and Technology of Kosovo, Baton Dushi, Political Adviser for Science, Education and Technology of Kosovo, Biljana Trajkovska, State Adviser to the Minister for Strategic Planning in the Ministry of Education and Science of Macedonia, Prof. Mimoza Ristova from the St. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, Jugoslav Đorđević, First Counsellor in the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in the Republic of Albania.

On behalf of Montenegro, the meeting was also attended by: Prof. Dr. Vladimir Todorović, Director of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Clinic of the Clinical Centre of Montenegro, Dr. Sc. Med. Aleksandar Čelebić, Oncologist in the Clinical Centre of Montenegro and Marijeta Barjaktarović Lanzardi, Independent Adviser in the Ministry of Science and a contact person for the International Institute.

It is worth noting that Hadron cancer therapy with protons and heavy ions is the most modern and most successful method for treating a large number of different cancer types today. This method of treatment would be available to all citizens in the region through the Institute, which makes it one of the best examples of “science for society” projects.

At the same time, the project would be unique in the world, as the Institute would devote 50 percent of its operating hours to biomedical research. About 1,000 researchers, scientists, engineers, physicists and physicians would work on the project, while the number of patients would cover the needs of a territory of about 20 million inhabitants.