Innovation is Invoked By Courage

September 26, 2013

What do the scientific development and investing in science mean for the state? It depends on the size of the state and of its ambitions. In general, investing in science has two objectives: the first is to have a sufficient number of highly educated scientists to ensure their impact on the educational system whose ultimate goal is a good scientific and technological literacy of the population. Well-educated population ensures high-quality and successful economy and therefore a rapid rise of living standards, better international position of the country etc. The second objective of investing in science is to develop own research capacities which will further have a direct impact on the economy, standard of living and the country's international position. Nowadays, when we witness very rapid developments in science and technology, it is important to recognize the significant technological breakthroughs and trends and make realistic assessments with respect to what such processes may be used for. Petnica activities are mostly envisaged for the youth, their education and development. To what extent investing in youth development may contribute to the country’s development and more stable and happier future? Well-educated young generation means that in a few years time they will be able to initiate and develop profitable and quality jobs, recognize the needs of international markets and find ways to achieve the best results. Also, well-educated young attract high-technology investments, since highly sophisticated technologies generating highest profits cannot be used without a highly skilled workforce. In addition to these “objective reasons”, the right answer is more than clear: in a decade or two from now, these young generations will take over all the levers of managing the development of the society and it is in the best interest of all of us that this generation becomes smarter, more capable, more skilled and creative than their parents' generation. What does in your opinion the state have to change in its attitude towards the science so that this area could be developed and generate benefits for the state? The state should interfere to the less possible extent. The state must create a stable national fund for investing in science which should be managed by the most successful experts in terms of international criteria on scientific expertise. No one else should manage the fund. At least 2% of gross domestic product should be invested in such fund. In what way should people be encouraged to be innovative and how much is it important to be innovative in one’s job? Healthy and stable, flexible and minimally regulated business environment is the best stimulus to innovative economy. It is also important to have quality cultural environment and thus raise the educational level of the population, but not formally, as usually promised by a certain percentage of diploma owners, but by improving functional knowledge and skills of all citizens. In your opinion, what does it mean to be innovative? It means to have courage to look at things differently, to materialize a good idea and to present the good product freely and courageously to people around you. The lack of courage, i.e. personal insecurity, poverty, material and existential crisis hamper every innovation. The salvation is not sought in new things, but in old ones. Instead of looking to the future, people turn to the past. Can you single out some projects and activities implemented in Petnica? Each year we carefully select a group of high school students and provide them with the maximum support to deepen and broaden their knowledge, gain a little bit of valuable experience that can help them in their education and professional careers. Just that. Our work is simple and unpretentious. Which problems do you usually face? Our biggest problem is the absence of stable funding. We have no contract entered for a period longer than one year. Every year we must negotiate, convince, plead... again and again... NIS has provided its support at the moments when we needed it most and it was fast and efficient. If we had stopped working then, I doubt that we would have managed to survive. That is why we have a great appreciation for NIS. NIS continues to provide its support, but even if it had stopped to help us, we would have been grateful for its initial, decisive and timely assistance. It was a poke in the eye of those who wanted to destroy Petnica at the time and few companies in this country were ready to make such a move. I am sure that there are many people in NIS who are happy, even proud that a large company has finally recognized the value of supporting quality education, which is contrary to the usual practice to support only to those as instructed by verbal orders from the highest governmental bodies, or to organizations whose management bodies are composed of politicians. You provide your support to something useful, good and far-reaching, and we thank you for that. What is your message to our readers? Who am I to send message to anyone? However, to be honest, my message to anyone would be to be brave, fair and loyal to the company in which he/she earns a salary and not to be afraid to make it even better.