Members of ICT Cortex and the Čini Dobro Foundation donated tablets for the most distinguished students

Milatović emphasized that from the position of the President, he will appeal to relevant institutions and all social actors to create incentives for diligent, exemplary, and dedicated individuals and recognize their potential, thereby building a society on solid foundations President Jakov Milatović hosted a reception at Villa Gorica for distinguished students and the top graduates of high schools for the academic year 2022/2023. As announced by the President’s Office, Milatović stated that the reception will become a tradition, as a clear sign that effort and dedication in the field of education should not go unnoticed and unrecognized by the state. “Do not wait until you grow up to realize the significance of the moment you are in because a spectrum of opportunities lies ahead of you to earn much greater recognition for your talents and creativity than what brought you here today. Always be aware of the value you bring to Montenegro and the world, with your ability to make a difference and influence our common future. Although young, proudly represent the positive values from the tradition of our country and do not forget that unity, solidarity, and trust yield the most noticeable results“, said Milatović. He emphasized that from the position of the President, he will appeal to relevant institutions and all social actors to create incentives for diligent, exemplary, and dedicated individuals and recognize their potential, thereby building a society on solid foundations. “At your age, when you are at the crossroads between the adult world and childhood, I wish for you to remain curious, unwavering in your ambitions, to strive for excellence, and not allow anything to deviate you from the path of realizing your dreams. I do not doubt that in the coming years, you will further improve and work on self-development, and we will have the opportunity to meet again and celebrate your successes. Remain the best and be devoted to Montenegro because it needs you“, said Milatović. As a gift for their achievements, he presented vouchers for tablet devices to the top 62 high school students. “The devices are donated by ICT Cortex – the cluster for information technology, innovation, education, design, and technological development of Montenegro, and its members Čikom, Sky Sat, and Sky Express, as well as the “Čini dobro” Foundation. In addition to tablet donations, all students will have access to approximately 30 premium courses on the Cortex Academy platform, as well as 50 best-selling books in the fields of marketing, design, programming, project management, and technology,” stated the President’s Office. The content has been taken from the website

An additional 200 thousand euros to support the development of the IT industry

The Ministry of Economic Development provided additional funds of 200,000 euros to support the ICT Cortex cluster for the segment of internationalization, implementation of educational programs, and mentoring services that will help the sustainability of the cluster. We remind you that at the end of last year, the Agreement on co-financing of the three-year ICT cluster program worth more than a million euros was signed, in which MER and IT companies, members of the Cortex ICT cluster, participate with equal amounts for implementation. This new cycle of support refers precisely to these segments, which represent complementary activities to the current contract. “And this support will contribute to strengthening the IT sector and creating conditions for the IT sector to become the backbone of the future development of Montenegro and a strong sector that will create leading export products,” said Milatović. “In addition, it will additionally strengthen the global connection of clusters, program activities to strengthen educational programs important for the improvement of digital skills, but also empower the cluster team to think long-term in the direction of self-sustainability,” the minister added. The executive director of ICT Cortex, Tarik Zaimović, expressed his gratitude for the support that the Ministry of Economic Development continuously provides to the ICT Cortex sector and the entire IT industry. “These additional funds will significantly help us to speed up work on all our capital projects, the goal of which is the professional training of young people, students, high school students, and professors,” he pointed out and added that “internationalization will help connect Montenegrin stakeholders and IT companies, which are key for an innovation ecosystem with international partners, organizations and IT companies through which we will upgrade our knowledge and bring new projects and partners to Montenegro”. ICT Cortex also sent an invitation to the Ministry to become a Friend of the Association, which was accepted with satisfaction, emphasizing that in this way stronger cooperation and partnership between the Ministry and the cluster will be achieved and that the Ministry will have the opportunity to get to know the implementation of the cluster’s activities directly. In the past period, the Ministry of Economic Development further strengthened the program direction of the implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) through the adoption of the Operational Program for the period 2021-2024, which achieved a synergistic effect with the cluster policy, focusing on a set of new activities that effectively connect this policy with S3. In this sense, the special focus is on strengthening the activities of ICT clusters, intending to increase the productivity and competitiveness of domestic companies and entrepreneurs by connecting them into clusters, as well as strengthening the cooperation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs with scientific research organizations.

Over a million euros for the development of the IT industry in Montenegro – MER and ICT Cortex signed a contract worth over a million euros

Minister of Economic Development Jakov Milatović, Ministry of Economic Development, signed today the contract on co-financing the ICT Cortex cluster with CEO Tarik Zaimović. ICT Cortex is the winner of the Contest to support the development of the strategic priority of the Smart Specialization Strategy of Montenegro – Information and Communication Technologies. The total amount foreseen for the implementation of the work program of the ICT cluster Cortex for three years amounts to over one million euros. The program will be supported by the Ministry of Economic Development of over 500,000 euros, while the same amount will be contributed by IT companies and members of the cluster.   “In the previous period, the government invested great efforts in creating both an institutional and an appropriate program framework, which together will enable a more adequate involvement of the innovation community in the process of planning and implementation of the innovation policy, but also create preconditions for the continuation of the implementation of smart specialization in Montenegro,” he said. Minister Milatović. “In such a reform-strengthened institutional and programmatic framework for innovation, innovation infrastructures play a special role, and cluster organizations are certainly among them. Aware of your role in the innovation ecosystem, we decided on targeted support that represents the initial impulse of your further growth and development,” the minister said. “I am particularly pleased to be here today and to have the opportunity to support the ICT Cortex program. I am happy that ICT Cortex is already operational, that it has received support through several projects, has a development strategy, and is slowly positioning itself as a niche of technology companies, which further encourages the Ministry that this story will be successful and that during the period of cooperation on this program to open up other numerous opportunities for cooperation”, said the minister. On that occasion, he said that the Government will continue to work on improving the framework and ecosystem that is necessary for providing digital innovations in industry and education, and that he sees ICT Cortex not only as a user of one of the programs but also as a credible partner in the creation of Government policies. The State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Development, Milena Lipovina-Božović, said that this sector is the easiest because there are no inherited problems, but also the most challenging. After all, it is at the very beginning and a lot of effort is needed from all actors in the community to feel significant progress. “These are processes that require a lot of time and the results cannot be seen in such a short time,” said Lipovina-Božović. When it comes to that innovation ecosystem, the Government wanted to strongly support the innovation community with the funds it allocated for the Innovation Fund of EUR 1 million. “We see this story with ICT Cortex as something that will give additional strength and incentive to make everything we envision happen much faster and with better quality in the coming period,” said Lipovina-Božović. According to her, the benefits of the program relate to the strengthening of the administrative capacities of the cluster organization, education programs that will include the strengthening of digital skills, participation in the strengthening of an innovation culture, and the creation of partnerships. The executive director of the ICT Cortex cluster welcomed those present and expressed his gratitude that MER made an important step towards the creation of an innovation ecosystem that will be based on the synergy of public-private partnerships. “I think that the innovation community should be the main engine of the development of our economy and that it is our most valuable resource. I believe that every euro invested in knowledge, technological development, innovation, and young and capable people will be returned many times over,” said Tarik Zaimović, executive director of the ICT Cortex cluster. The president of the ICT Cortex assembly presented the results of the cluster, which gathered around four main goals: education, internationalization of business through increased exports, digitization of CG society, and philanthropy through the establishment of the Cortex Foundation. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to open a new chapter through cooperation with the state by signing today’s contract. Concrete results have already been achieved by doubling the membership, establishing the Foundation, tangible help in digitization processes, as well as the launch of the large Cortex Academy.” – said Nenad Novović, president of the ICT Cortex assembly. ICT Cortex was founded by the innovative IT community in March 2021, to be a leader in the digital transformation of the economy and public administration, and to improve the framework and ecosystem necessary to provide digital innovations in industry and education. The association will contribute to the strengthening of the IT sector and the creation of conditions for the IT sector to become the backbone of the future development of Montenegro and a strong economic activity that will create the country’s leading export products.