EU, EBRD, and ICT Cortex: In a joint mission towards enhancing the capacities of the ICT sector in Montenegro.

Successfully completed the Adizes Leadership Program designed for top managers from renowned IT companies within the Montenegro ICT Cortex cluster, with the support of the European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development.

The program lasted for 7 months, during which participants had the opportunity to learn about company transformation and management skills with a focus on experiential learning and knowledge exchange. Topics covered in the program included decision-making, change management, business life cycles, finances for top managers, personal effectiveness, business negotiation, and people management, along with practical tools and recommendations for application.


The culmination of the event took place on January 24, 2024, at the Ramada Hotel, where certificates were awarded to the participants. The event was opened by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development, Mr. Goran Jovetić, who emphasized that the digitally transformed Montenegro is a common interest for all of us. He highlighted the need for an accelerated process, heavily relying on the domestic ICT sector, which should act as its main driver.

"The focus of the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Economic Development is to create economic support programs aimed at initiating and further strengthening economic activities while enhancing the competitiveness of domestic products and services. In this context, we have already initiated a broad round of public consultations with all stakeholders, from the business sector to the professional and academic community, to find optimal solutions for adequate support to the economy. The emphasis will undoubtedly be on strengthening manufacturing activities and transforming the economy towards digital and green business. The actions and activities of the ICT cluster Cortex are one of the best examples of collaborative efforts between the business sector and strong cooperation with institutions at the national and local levels. We believe that, through joint efforts in all fields, primarily through a strategic approach and government policies, and through interdepartmental cooperation, we will contribute to the process of digital transformation of the Montenegrin economy and the creation of a digital society."

The project was implemented within a program financed by the European Union with a budget of 1.4 million euros. The official guests and program participants were addressed by the EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Her Excellency Oana Kristina Popa. She emphasized that the European Union is unwavering in its support for the economic development of Montenegro, as reflected in the priorities outlined in the Growth Agenda for the Western Balkans.

This initiative opens the doors for Montenegro to access funds totaling over 400 million euros in direct support, contingent upon the adoption of key reforms, including those in the development of the private sector and the business environment.

The entire program is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Mr. Remon Zakaria, the Head of the EBRD Office for Montenegro, emphasized the following:

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a crucial sector for the development of the Montenegrin economy. We are pleased to support their development through advisory services, backed by financing from the EU and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development.

The capacity strengthening and skills development had the opportunity to enhance the capabilities of 36 participants in the program, who hold top management or leadership positions in renowned ICT companies within the Cortex cluster: Alicorn, AI, Bild Studio, Coinis, Codeus, Čikom, Data Design, Euro-Unit Montenegro, Fleka, Logate, Oykos Development, and Telemont.

On behalf of the hosts and representatives of the ICT cluster Cortex, the President of the Assembly of the ICT cluster Cortex, Branimir Bukilić, addressed the attendees and delivered the concluding remarks:

"As an ICT cluster, we have implemented numerous activities focused on the strategic goals set since our establishment, in line with the agenda of the Ministry of Science and Technological Development, which has provided us with significant support. We believe that the domestic IT industry, represented by Cortex, can and should be a government ally when it comes to the digital transformation of society and other crucial projects".

After the introductory address, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion summarizing the entire program and emphasizing the significance of conducting similar education initiatives to strengthen capacities at all levels of decision-making.

Certificates were awarded by Matija Dautović on behalf of the EBRD office in Montenegro, followed by a ceremonial cocktail.