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How much BiH invests in Science?

Less than 150 million marks, which is 0.3 percent of GDP, the state annually allocates for research and development of science. How little this is, is confirmed by the fact that the team of young robotics students from Herzegovina, who recently won first place at the Robotics Olympics, financed everything with their own funds.

Seven high school students from Mostar, Stolac, and Capljina, together with their mentors, were making four robots and two projects from July to October. The result is the first place in the competition of 177 countries within the International Robotics Olympics. They wrote letters to institutions at all levels of government, but they did not receive support.

“The only support we had was that I took a loan to build a room here, some 30 square meters, invested so that the children could compete. At the very end of the competition, the Federal Ministry contacted us, probably after what they saw through the media. They supported us to get some equipment that we had to bring from home, said Anes Hadziomerovic, Center for Education, Robotics, Innovation, and Technology Mostar.

When it comes to the countries of the European Union (EU), as expected, a situation is completely different. More than 3% of gross income is allocated by Belgium, Sweden, Austria, and Germany. Our country is far below 1%.

“What is a fact is that the 0.3% shown in the statistical reports is by no means enough, but it is not even the worst thing in the whole story. The worst thing is that the state is doing absolutely nothing to build that strategic framework to ensure and enable some kind of positive effect of these investments on the economy in general, ” noted Marija Cutura, Faculty of Economics, University of Mostar.

Our country has a Strategy for the Development of Science and Research for the period 2017-2022. Although the Strategy exists, the budget for its implementation has never been adopted. There is also a Decision on the establishment of a science-information system from 2018 at the level of our state, but nothing has been done there either.

The paradox is that even that little bit of scientific work in our country is mostly financed from European funds and projects. And how much our state thinks about science is best seen in the example of our young heroes from the beginning of this story who received a series of promises and a paper commendation.

“You wonder how come we made all this effort and work. This is pure love, but you can’t live from love. I hope that will change because this attitude towards science leads to nothing, explained Anes Hadziomerovic, from the Center for Education, Robotics, Innovation, and Technology Mostar.

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