United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Consultant (Innovation Ecosystem Development in Montenegro / Advisor to The Secretariat of The Innovation and Smart Specialization Council of Montenegro)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

  Two years ago, Montenegro became the first candidate-EU country that adopted the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) and the accompanying Action Plan. With the S3 adoption, Montenegro opted to transform its economy towards increased competitiveness by concentrating knowledge resources and their linking with a limited number of priorities. The Council for Innovation and Smart Specialisation (ISS Council (Government Decision on formation of Innovation and Smart Specialization Council, number 80/08, 14/17 and 28/18 dated 1 August 2019.) was set up in 2019 as a high-level body for the S3 implementation. The establishment of this political body at the highest level ensures synergies among all actors in the innovation policy and is a sign of Montenegro’s clear commitment to knowledge and innovation-based society based on S3 concept as the driver of its development.

The ‘Technical Secretariat’ function for the ISS Council is currently performed by the Ministry of Economic Development. 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. It is worth stressing that the ISS Council has a role of selection of transformative projects for S3 as well as Coordination of funding sources for innovation activity.

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.

In July 2020, the Government also adopted new regulatory framework for boosting innovation in public and private sectors as well as improving governance structure for implementing innovation measures at national and local level. The Law on Incentives for Research and Innovation Development provides the framework for approving, renewing and revoking the status of the beneficiary of incentives, types of incentives, as well as other issues of relevance for exercising the right to incentives.  The main aim of the Law is to stimulate increased investment in R&D and innovation in the country as well as to increase intensity of innovation activities through various fiscal incentives (right to exemption from personal income tax, exemptions from contributions for compulsory social insurance, corporate profit tax etc.).

The Law on Innovation Activity regulates the institutional, governance and financing framework for innovation ecosystem in Montenegro. One of the most important measures introduced by the Law is the establishment of the Innovation Fund as well as Technology Transfer Office at the national level. The Law defines the Innovation Fund as Limited Liability Company that exercises public powers from its field of work, activities in its authority and sources of financing. Current “institutional deficit” where an umbrella institution has been lacking in the innovation system, could have led to a failure to establish an effective innovation value chain and the loss of synergies among various parts of the system. In addition, the Innovation Fund is a key link currently missing for effective implementation of the S3 in terms of programmes as well as effective monitoring and evaluation system.

In the second quarter of 2021, the Ministry of Economic Development will start establishment process for the Innovation Fund with the goal of creating an umbrella institution for boosting innovative enterprise development and effective implementation of S3. The process will consist in development of bylaws regulating functioning of the Innovation Fund, development of the documentation for the business processes of the Fund, Capacity Building and programme development.

In parallel with the establishment of the Fund, the Ministry has been working on other elements of the Smart Specialisation implementation framework, under the instructions of the European Commission (Joint Research Centre). Apart from the mentioned ISS Council which needs to be re-established in 2021 under the new Government, its management body – Secretariat will be strengthened in order to ensure effective coordination of different levels of governance and management in the S3 implementation structure.   Innovation and Smart Specialization Council The mandate of the ISS Council 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 ISSC 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. The daily activity of the ISS Council shall be coordinated by the Secretariat of the ISS Council. The Secretariat must have no political affiliation.

Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP office to Montenegro is recruiting a consultant to support efficient functioning of the ISS Council as well as the  Ministry of Economic Development in the process of institutional building of the Innovation Fund as a central government organization for developing and implementing innovation policy based on the smart specialization concept.

Job content: The tasks of the Consultant will include the following:
  • In collaboration with the International Consultant to provide expert support to the ISS Council and the Ministry of Economic Development in preparation of the bylaws and other regulations necessary for creating functional governance and management structure of the Innovation Fund;
  • In collaboration with the International Consultant to prepare innovation support programmes to be implemented by the Innovation Fund;
  • To support logistically the Secretariat of the ISS Council to steer the process and manage the day to day operations of the Secretariat and activities of the Council;
  • To support the work of the Secretariat in preparing and presenting the analytical background in innovation areas identified by the Council to support its deliberations, including recommendations to be submitted to the relevant governmental bodies;
  • To develop accompanying documentation to support evaluation and implementation of the projects to be financed within the programme framework of the Innovation Fund;
  • To prepare documentation, agendas and materials necessary to support the Innovation Fund’s Board of Directors meetings; taking meeting minutes, distributing and publishing them as appropriate, while safeguarding the confidential nature of the discussions and information shared in the meetings;
  • To report to the ISS Council on institutional building activities for the Innovation Fund’s and act as a liaison between the Innovation Fund’s Board of Directors and  the ISS Council;
  • To cooperate with the ISS Council Secretariat, Entrepreneurial Process focus groups and other relevant stakeholders related to the Design of the most effective policy measures for S3 implementation in the priority domains;
  • To cooperate with the Ministry staff in preparation of the financial and administrative regulation for the realization of the programmes of the Fund;
  • To support logistically the Ministry of Economic Development to manage day to day operations on the institutional building of the Innovation Fund;
  • To prepare and update information on the Innovation Fund activities, to be published on its website or other media;
  • To perform any other tasks instructed by the UNDP or the Ministry for Economic Development for the fulfilment of the tasks of the institutional building of the Innovation Fund.
The expected results/deliverables: Under the guidance of the Ministry of Economic Development, it is expected for the expert to deliver the following results:
  • To provide support and expert inputs to the ISS Council and to Ministry of Economic Development to improve innovative ecosystem in the country (Preparation of materials (recommendations, Analysis, presentations and other inputs for discussions) for all meetings of the ISS Council.
  • To provide expert support in relation to the Council’s regulations and institutional improvement.
  • To provide expert support in relation to the main action lines in the S3 Action plan
  • To prepare first draft of the bylaws regulating governance structure of the Innovation Fund;
  • To develop proposal of programme content based on S3 concept including criteria, goals, performance indicators for each programme;
  • To develop proposal of the detailed guidance for the Innovation Fund’s beneficiaries for evaluation and implementation of the approved projects;
  • To prepare materials for the meetings of the Innovation Fund’s Board of Directors and the ISS Council;
  • To prepare on regular basis the Innovation Fund’s newsletters and press-releases for the Ministry web site to communicate information about all aspects of institutional development and implemented activities.
  • In cooperation with ISS Secretariat representative and UNDP International Consultant, support the promotion of UNDP Accelerator lab establishment in Montenegro;
  • Quarterly reporting to UNDP.
Timing and reporting:
  • The assignment will start on 1 April 2021;
  • The consultant shall report to the State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Development and to UNDP regularly on an ad-hoc basis, and formally quarterly on the activities and recommendations.
  • The annual report to be submitted in January 2022 shall include the description of the achievements of the assignment.
Time duration and travel: The duration of the total assignment is expected to be for 220 days within the period of eleven months, starting from 1 April 2021 until 1 March 2022.

Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling 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;
  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Proven written and oral communication skills;
  • Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as Conflict Resolution skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:
  • University degree in social, natural or technical sciences;
  • An advanced degree would be an asset.
Experience:
  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience;
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in research and innovation policy development or work on research and innovation projects;
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in preparation of calls for proposals, evaluation of projects or monitoring and implementation of grants;
  • Good understanding of the process of Smart Specialization Strategy development;
  • Proven analytical skills and ability to conceptualise and write concisely and clearly;
  • Knowledge of international good practice on innovation development (innovation strategy in EU, UNDP innovation accelerator labs etc);
Language:
  • Fluency in local language;
  • Excellent knowledge of English language.
Other:
  • Ability to formulate consensus and clear conclusions from group discussions;
  • Ability to interface effectively with government and private sector.
  • Excellent computer skills.
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 March 22, 2021 by using the Apply now button. The application should contain CV or P11 that can be downloaded at https://www.me.undp.org/content/montenegro/en/home/jobs.html. 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".

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