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The motivation of the consortium to undertake this Project lies in the fact that even though Serbia and Albania have started modernization of their education systems through adoption of EU education standards, there is still huge gap between European and Balkan countries knowledge and experience in Natural Sciences, specially Chemistry and even more in Chemistry application in Environmental and Food Safety Control (EFSC).

Low economic status and specific political positions of those countries disabled noticeable budgetary allocation for science and education in Serbia and Albania. This is especially observable in the Chemistry which due to its requirements for expensive instrumental analytical techniques, has not been able to follow EU development trends. The problem is not only the quality of education in instrumental techniques, but even more the problem is quality of instrumental techniques application. Thus, overcoming this gap is one of the first priority within objectives of the Project.
The Project objectives corresponds to 2 of 7 priorities in the strategies of scientific development in Serbia and Albania: (i) Environmental protection and (ii) Food security that meets the needs of consumers in terms of quality and security; as well as 2 Regional priorities for WB: (i) Environmental protection and (ii) Learning and teaching tools, methodologies and pedagogical approaches including outcomes and ICT-based practices.

Through the Project “Public Sector Research and Development” started in 2011 and funded by the EIB and CEB, 803 pieces of equipment worth 24 million € are purchased to Serbian scientific-research organizations, till December 2015. This equipment is usually available within institution-owner frame being not used in full capacity and achieving only small impact on scientific and public society. Thus, this Project is aimed to methodologically approach to the idea of: (i) evaluation of the existing scientific infrastructure, (ii) registration of scientific equipment with technical specifications, conditions of usage, its availability to SME and others involved in the process of technological and innovation development, (iii) establishing network within HEIs regarding their equipment. These priorities meet one of the Strategy’ objective - the development of Scientific Infrastructure Roadmap, providing methodology of data collection in networking, registration and evaluation of scientific assets.

The Project specific objective is design, development, testing and adaptation of modernized courses with new learning materials/tools based on ICT that will be oriented toward instrumental analytical methods. Active study programs in PC HEIs offer some courses in instrumental analytical methods which are mostly theoretical without enough active participation of students and development of their practical skills, with no sufficient up to date equipment available for the students. That’s why the Project will introduce Remote access to analytical instruments, consultation “in real-time” with an expert presenting the lecture of specific topic, while simultaneously performs the analysis using concept “Real analysis in the virtual lab”. With this Project approach expensive instruments will be shared and opened for usage, furthermore access to disabled students will be provided.

Lack of networking of instrumental researchers makes their mobility, consultation and case-study education almost impossible. Development of OER platform will provide the possibility of constant availability for consultation and exchange of experience, knowledge and information.

Continuous education as a way to increase instrumental analytical techniques application in solving EFSC problems within laboratories is not well-organized by HEIs, thus the Project will develop Continuous education courses.

Next issue covered by the Project is ICT-based practices, methodologies and Technology enhanced learning. Based on Education Development Strategy, Law of Higher Education and Strategy of Information Society, which emphasize the development of digital education content, introduction of e-learning and Open Distance learning, the Project is designed to foster the application of ICT in education and research. Teachers from Serbian and Albanian HEIs will be trained in OER usage and web based approach to analytical instruments. Serbian and Albanian students, professionals from public enterprises, laboratories for quality control, health laboratories, are also scheduled for training in instrumental analysis in aim to learn or improve their knowledge and skills.

In addition, valuable scientific and social achievement will be permanent recording of analytical data of Environmental and Food samples, with open public access, giving over the time – to researchers and broader community – reliable, long-term monitoring facility and fully independent, "non-governmental" data resource suitable for inter-comparison and critical observation.