Enhancing Balkan research capacity An EU-funded initiative supported the development and upgrading of a computing facility in the Balkans. Efforts aimed at bridging the digital divide between regions with and without high-tech information and communications technologies. Climate Change and Environment © Shutterstock The 'Centre of excellence for computational modelling of complex systems' (CX-CMCS) project was tasked with elevating the Scientific Computing Laboratory (SCL) of the Institute of Physics Belgrade (IPB) in Serbia into a centre of excellence. More specifically, objectives were outlined with the aim of increasing the centre's quality of research and making it a preferred western Balkans research partner in the fields of simulation of complex systems and grid technology. Efforts aimed at reinforcing research capacity focused on building human capacity by continuing SCL's strong outreach to students in physics and computer sciences. Reinforcement of the centre's material resources centred on upgrading the existing high-tech computing infrastructure. To achieve mobility, offer training and realise the benefits of networking, the consortium prioritised personnel exchange, sharing research results, and setting up and carrying out joint experiments. Having determined that dissemination and visibility are needed to address the EU and Serbian research communities, the wider public in Serbia and relevant policymakers, the main information points were the project and SCL websites. For the purposes of benchmarking and policy development, an International Advisory Board (IAB) was formed that included leading researchers from EU partner institutions. Project partners anticipated that their insight, expertise and recommendations would help in drawing up a long-term development strategy for the Centre and would facilitate its integration into the European Research Area (ERA). Seminar presentations, scientific papers and publications, workshops, training events and the Internet were all used as channels for disseminating project results.