Moldova is a small land-locked country with a population of approximately 4 million inhabitants bordering the much bigger Romania and Ukraine. In spite of the difficult social and economic situation Moldova has retained a functioning education system and a downsized research system.
The EU-Moldova Association Agreement was signed in 2014 and fully entered into force in 2016, establishing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and the Visa-free travel to the EU granted to Moldovan citizens. In the field of research and innovation Moldova became the first Eastern Partnership Country Associated to the EU’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme in 2014.
Under its Enlargement and Integration Action (E&IA), the JRC provides scientific and technical support to Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Within this action S3 platform helps Moldova to identify economic competitive advantages and exploit the innovation potential, building on a process of entrepreneurial discovery for smart specialisation. Since 2016 Moldova is S3 Platform's member.