Consultant for Advisory Support to the Secretariat to the Innovation and Smart Specialization Council of Montenegro, Home Based 305 views


1. Background and Objectives: The strategic vision of development of Montenegro is in line with EU defined priorities based on the increase of competitiveness of the economy, innovation and technology development. Additionally, Montenegro’s economy should be built on the assets and resources available to the country and on specific socio-economic challenges in order to identify unique opportunities for development and growth.

A developed and competitive economy is based on knowledge and resources that are utilised through related priorities set in the Smart Specialization Strategy of Montenegro (S3), which is an innovation policy concept that aims to boost regional innovation (within EU), contributing to growth and prosperity by helping and enabling countries and regions to focus on their strengths. Smart Specialisation is also based on partnerships between businesses, public entities and knowledge institutions.

Government of Montenegro adopted the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Montenegro (S3) on 20 June 2019. Future investments are focused on domains and areas identified by the Strategy as the ones in which a country can be competitive on a broader scale.

In this regard, Montenegro has identified the following priority areas: a) sustainable agriculture and food value chain, b) sustainable and health tourism, c) energy and sustainable environment,

with technological support of information and communication technologies as a horizontal priority.

A S3 strategy is one of the requirements for using the EU funds and will be a strict prerequisite for the use of structural funds once they become available to the country.

In light of this perception, the Government established the Innovation and Smart Specialization Council (Government Decision on formation of Innovation and Smart Specialization Council, number 80/08, 14/17 and 28/18 dated 1 August 2019.) It brings together representatives from the academia, private sector and government on a quarterly basis to discuss and agree on the economic and structural reform priorities and investment opportunities that are in line with S3 that matter to stakeholders from all the three sectors.

The ‘Technical Secretariat’ function for the ISS Council is currently performed by the Ministry of Science’s Directorate for Innovation and Technology Development and the Office of the Prime Minister.

However, servicing the ISSC is only one of many important functions carried out by these institutions, which has stretched their resources. The Government has therefore requested UNDP to provide a support to Secretariat to the ISSC, in order to implement specific activities in line with ISSC Secretariat mandate, duties and responsibilities. This refers to the activities detailly described on the point 4 (Secretariat) of the document. More specifically UNDP will support ISSC Secretariat by providing advisory and consultancy service engaging two experts: for analytical and advisory support and expert for administrative support.

Based on UNDP’s experience with establishing effective innovation ecosystem trough UNDP Accelerator labs network globally and recognizing both the Government’s genuine commitment to enforce the Innovation potential in the Country as well as the Council’s strong foundations, the UNDP has committed to supporting an independent, professional Secretariat to assume functions within its mandate.

2. Mandate

The mandate of the ISS Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, is defined in accordance with the Government Decision on formation of Innovation and Smart Specialization Council, number 80/08, 14/17 and 28/18 dated 1 August 2019. As per this decision, the mandate of the CC is to:

  • Coordinate key activities of public administration bodies and other authorities and institutions in charge for implementation of defined priorities and measures drafted in the Smart Specialization Strategy of Montenegro (2019-2024), first of all, budgeting and donor planning.
  • Coordinates the activities of state administration bodies and other competent bodies and institutions in the field of establishing investment priorities and implementation of measures defined by strategic development documents in the field of innovation.
  • Propose to the Government a plan for implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) of Montenegro (2019-2024), with possibility of establishment of a new implementation body.
  • Analyse existing regulations and their impact on business environment for promotion and development of innovation; proposing changes in regulations in order to simplify and/or remove procedures that are barriers to innovation and innovative entrepreneurship.
  • Propose new regulations in regard to innovation.
  • Approve annual reports on realized activities on the Strategy for Smart Specialization (2019-2024) and deliver opinion to the Government for consideration;
  • Promote importance of innovation and Smart Specialization Strategy for social-economic development of Montenegro and the quality of life of its citizens.
  • Establish international cooperation with relevant organizations and institutions and exchange experiences and good practices in terms of improving innovation capacity of the country and promoting sustainable development.

3. Members

The Prime Minister chairs the ISS Council, and determines the membership of the Council. The members of the ISS council include state representatives (Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Minister of Finance, Minister of Science, Minister of Economy, Minister of Education, Minister of Health, Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Minister of Culture, Deputy Minister of Public Administration, representative of the European Integration Office and representatives from the relevant governmental institutions) and representatives of domestic institutions (Mayor of Podgorica, President of the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, Rector of the University of Montenegro, Rector of the University Donja Gorica (UDG), Director of the Institute ‘Dr Simo Milosevic’, representative of Montenegro Electricity Market Operator (COTEE), representative of the Union of Municipalities and international experts in the field of sustainable development, new technologies and diplomacy.

The members of the ISS Council are appointed by the Government. Changes in the nominal composition of the ISS Council shall be approved by the Government.

In addition to the permanent members, depending on the ISS Council’s meeting agenda and topics/sectors discussed, ministers, specialised state institutions, experts, other business associations or sector associations, or other representatives of the business community, etc. can be invited to participate in specific discussions of the ISS Council or its Working Groups. At the invitation of the Chair, the ISS Council shall convene Working Groups to discuss and make recommendations on specific thematic or sectoral issues to the meetings of the Council.

The Working Groups will be comprised of any interested parties, academic or private business representatives with an established reputation of expertise in the Working Group’s focus area. The activities of the Working Groups shall be coordinated by the ISS Council Secretariat, which shall ensure that the final findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Working Groups are included in the main Council agenda for discussion and decision. Working Group meetings shall be focused on preparing agenda items for discussion at the meetings of the ISS Council or on supporting the state institutions in the productive implementation of the Council’s decisions.

4. Secretariat

The daily activity of the ISS Council shall be coordinated by the Secretariat of the ISS Council. The Secretariat must have no political affiliation.

The Secretariat of the Innovation and Smart Specialization Council:

  • Coordinates the everyday activity of the ISS Council: preparation of the meetings, drafting proposals for discussion, consultation with the businesses, academia, technical training sessions;
  • Based on the members’ proposals, but also on the Government’s priorities, develops the agenda of the meetings of the ISS Council and submits the agenda for approval by the Chair;
  • Provides to the Chair and the Council’s members summary views and suggestions on the subjects from the ISS Council’s agenda, in order to ensure high quality of decisions made within the Council;
  • Steers the Council’s decisions implementation process, monitors/evaluates the results and assesses their impact and effectiveness on the innovation environment. Reports to the members of the ISS Council and to the Prime Minister about the progress made;
  • Maintains close communication with the members of the ISS Council, state institutions and the innovation community;
  • In collaboration with the press service of the Government, informs the public about the activity of the ISS Council.

Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives of the assignment: UNDP office to Montenegro, will support ISS Council to enhance the impact and effectiveness of the Council as a platform for innovation development through quadruple-helix cooperation model and the improvement of the innovation-oriented business sector in Montenegro.

Job content: The tasks of the IC/LC will include the following:

  • Identify emergent issues, strategic risks and enable organizational learning on what potential solutions could look like for Montenegro
  • Identify new opportunities, unusual actors and create spaces for engagement with a broader ecosystem working on this area – ensuring that recommendations take into consideration existing knowledge and experience;
  • Actively participate in ISS Council Secretariat Plan of the Smart Specialization Strategy implementation.
  • Support the process of the establishment of the new institutional framework for innovation activity in Montenegro (estimated Innovation Fund), its organisational setup and work programme.
  • In cooperation with responsible state institutions monitor the preparation / execution of the specific research and innovation strategic agendas / programmes as implementing documents for S3 strategy (policy paper / research agenda / work programme), among which the S3 strategy identified the following priority ones for 2020: Programme of research and innovation in genetics; Programmes of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources; Environmental protection and waste management programme; Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme and ensure translation to clear implementation actions, such as identification of new infrastructure projects, educational programmes, funding instruments, incentives etc. Liaise these to the main investment lines in Montenegro (state budget / EU-IPA / FDA).
  • Steer the process and manage the day-to-day operations of the Secretariat from inception to the end of the assignment period.
  • Identify which agencies (donors, etc.) that are present in the country can support analytical work on specific issues raised by the ISS Council and coordinate the work with those agencies and other stakeholders in working groups.
  • Participate in the Government Working group for legislative changes and fiscal incentives for the field of R&I (deadline for deliverables IIQ 2020) and inform the ISSC about its course and main action lines.
  • Following recommendations, conclusions and instructions from the ISS Council, ensure that reports and analysis are prepared, including recommendations to be submitted to full Council meetings.
  • Make a presentation of conclusions and recommendations of the Council and/or its Working Groups to relevant government bodies, private sector representatives and the UNDP.
  • Work towards capacity building of ISS Council Secretariat professional staff through day-to-day work and participation in regional workshops/conferences to be held by various organisations (e. g. the UNDP, bilateral agencies).
  • Ensure efficient coordination between the ISSC Secretariat and the UNDP Accelerator labs in Montenegro and communication through joint initiatives with various UNDP Accelerator labs across network.
  • Provide quarterly reporting to the UNDP and Ministry of Science.
  • Hold regular briefings with the UNDP Team Leader, Secretary of the ISSC and the director of directorate for xxx form the Ministry of Science.
  • Summarise the achievements of the assignment in Annual Report copied to the relevant government bodies involved in the process.
  • Perform any other tasks instructed by the UNDP or the Secretariat for the fulfilment of the tasks of the Secretariat.

The expected results/Deliverables: Under the guidance of the UNDP Team leader for democratic governance and Economy/Environment and in coordination with the Secretary of ISS Council Secretariat and Director of Directorate for XXX of the Ministry of Science IC/LC is expected to deliver the following results:

  • Make practical recommendations in terms of the Council’s regulations, institutional improvement, and/or structures to be created and/or reinforced.
  • Starting from the S3 SWOT analysis and other identified key impediments for the implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy priorities, catalyse the process of change, mainly the establishment of the potential new institution (Innovation Fund of Montenegro) and its work programme. Coordinate in that with the international financial institutions, donor organisations, EU S3 platforms, European Institute of Innovation & Technology, Horizon Europe etc.
  • Identify key players from both the public and private sector to be proposed as reliable stakeholders in implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy priorities.
  • Identify opportunities and catalyse the harmonisation of the main Government development programming documents (PER, Mid-term Government Programme, Government annual Programmes, IPA Operational Programmes, MAP REA etc.) and main sectoral programming documents (Health, Energy, Agriculture, Tourism, Industrial Policy, ICT) with the S3 strategy as a cross sectoral and overarching strategy.
  • Identify the missing knowledge and evidence in the ISSC mandate, and ensure those are provided through specific short-term expertise, studies and analyses.
  • Propose main action lines in the S3 Action plan.
  • Ensure that all the measures supported by the ISSC feed in the better results as measured by international innovation indicators (European Innovation Scoreboard and European Innovation Survey Indicators), thus ensuring the growth of innovation capability and performance.
  • Prepare reports and analysis, including recommendations to be submitted to ISS Council, Ministry of Science and UNDP.
  • Quarterly reporting to the UNDP and Ministry of Science.

Timing and reporting: The assignment will start in Q1 2020. The Expert shall report to the Secretor of the Secretariat and to UNDP regularly on an ad hoc basis, and formally every quarter on its activities and recommendations. The reports will include minutes of ISS Council meetings. The annual report to be submitted on January 2021 shall include the description of the achievements of the assignment.

Time duration and travel: The duration of the total assignment is expected to be approximately 150 days within one year. The UNDP will closely review the progress and adjustments, where possible, will be made to ensure the effective functioning of the Innovation and Smart Specialization Council. All travel costs and Daily Living Subsistence Allowance costs should be included in the lump sum figure.


  • Demonstrates integrity by following the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UN/UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as conflict resolution skills.

Required Skills and Experience


  • University degree in social or natural sciences, an advanced degree would be an asset;


  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience – in strategy development and/or in development of service lines/programs/products for new strategic areas;
  • Demonstrated experience in working in multi-stakeholder context, being able to develop and leverage partnerships for development goals – engaging with a broader ecosystem;
  • Practical experience in open innovation methodologies and social innovation;
  • Good understanding of the process of Smart specialization Strategy development in Montenegro;
  • Strong experience in policy analysis and formulation in areas relevant to innovation environment;
  • Knowledge of international good practice on innovation development (innovation strategy in EU, UNDP innovation accelerator labs);
  • Proven capacity to carry out high quality research and to design or produce knowledge products;
  • Experience in coordinating large projects within institutions, including working with multiple internal and external stakeholders;
  • Ability to interface effectively with government and private sector;


  • Proven written and oral communication skills;
  • Fluency in English and Montenegrin language.


  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to prioritize and work under the pressure of deadlines;

Criteria for selection:

Combined Scoring method will be used. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as: (i) responsive, compliant, acceptable, and (ii) having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

  • Technical criteria weight – 70% (Background and education 10%; Relevant previous experience 20%; Substantial knowledge/Required competencies 30%; Required language 10%);
  • Financial criteria weight – 30%.

Only offerors obtaining a minimum 490 points for technical criteria will be considered for the financial evaluation. For more information on procurement methodology for Individual Contractors, please refer to Procurement Notice.

Application procedure:

Interested applicants are requested to submit their applications by December 24, 2019 by using the Apply now button. The advertisement is open to both local and international candidates. The application should contain CV or P11 that can be downloaded at Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into a single file.

Only the short-listed applicants will be contacted and requested to submit a letter of interest including a price quotation indicating the lump sum (in EUR) requested for the work envisaged in the section ‘Description of Responsibilities’.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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