Albania

Smart Specialisation in Albania

Albania registered in the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) in November 2017. Albania's Smart Specialisation process is currently being prepared with assistance from The Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The S3 process will follow JRC's methodological framework for Smart Specialisation in the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood countries.

A roadmap exercise has been drafted and a mapping process is being prepared with the support of the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX). The country’s Smart Specialisation process will be organised at the national level by keeping a regional perspective when looking at the development state and potential of Albania's 12 counties (qark).

Currently, Albania has a  National Strategy on Scientific Research, Technology and Innovation 2017-2022 that was approved in 2017 and is implemented by two agencies, the National Agency for Scientific Research and Innovation (NASRI) and the Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA). The country is also associated with the EU’s science and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020, meaning that legal entities from Albania can participate under the same conditions as legal entities from EU Member States.

Institutional Capacity Building

In April 2018, a comprehensive training on S3 with the focus on the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) was organised in Ljubljana with the aim of exploring the major steps, challenges and expected outcomes of the process.

In July 2018, a well-attended awareness-raising event funded by UNDP and co-organised by the JRC took place in the country’s capital, Tirana. S3 pillars and Framework’s steps were discussed, with a special focus on the mapping approach. A TAIEX workshop held in Brussels followed in November in order to delve deeper into the implementation and organization of S3 mapping process and EDP as well as the very crucial phase of monitoring.

Albania is also part of the Technology Transfer Capacity Building in the Western Balkans (EU4Tech) project, funded by DG NEAR. This project aims at enhancing technology transfer, contract research, management of science parks and incubators, financial instruments for technology transfer, and investor readiness.

Analysis of Economic, Scientific and Innovative Potential

A quantitative mapping of the country's scientific, innovative and economic potential has been recently finalized, and a qualitative mapping with support from DG NEAR and JRC has been launched.

This study, based on survey and in-depth interviews to major stakeholders of the ecosystem, will compensate the outcomes from the quantitative analysis, especially considering country statistical data availability that not always allows accessing the relevant indicators needed.

Stakeholder Dialogue

EDP will follow the qualitative mapping in 2022. Nonetheless, awareness activities on the topic aimed at strengthening institutional capacity to foster the stakeholders ’dialogue are foreseen in 2021.

Institutional Capacity for the S3 Implementation

The S3 process in Albania is led by the S3 Working Group whose work is coordinated by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth. The same institution will play an important role in the implementation of the Strategy. To ensure the effectiveness of RIS3 implementation, an action plan complementary to the strategy is planned to be prepared by the Albanian S3 Working Group. The action plan will include various instruments and action lines for the support of targeted priority areas.

Status on Drafting and Consultation of the RIS3, and Implementation Process

The draft strategy is planned to be finalised by the end of 2022.

Remaining Challenges

As in many economies of the area, challenges concern mainly the following fields:
​​​​​​​
- Availability of data in order to perform high quality quantitative analysis especially in relation to the innovative and scientific potential;

- Ensuring the participation of stakeholders from the regional level during the EDP.
 

Latest news

Events

EVENT |
Workshop on Research and Innovation in the EUSAIR
The purpose of the Workshop held as a side event to the 3rd Annual Forum of the EUSAIR was to stimulate the debate on how to promote Research and Innovation cooperation in the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-Region (EUSAIR). Starting from an introduction on the European strategic framework, the event...
EVENT |
JRC Macro-Regional Innovation Week 2018
The JRC is organising from 24 to 26 January 2018 in Ispra (IT) the event "Macro-Regional Innovation Week" with a focus on Science and Technology (S&T) Knowledge for Policy Support and Collaboration within the EU Macro-Regions linked and the Western Balkans and with a special emphasis on the Smart...

Publications

PUBLICATION |
An assessment of IPA public investment in R&I in Albania

This policy brief illustrates the potential effects of public investment in Research and Innovation in Albania under the EU Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) using a general equilibrium model of the economy. The results point towards positive effects of the policy on the development...

Olga Diukanova, Andrea Conte, and Simone Salotti
PUBLICATION |
Supporting an Innovation Agenda for the Western Balkans - Tools and Methodologies

This report gives an overview of the Western Balkans region, looking at challenges and emerging potentials for innovation. It also presents tools and methodologies available at the JRC to support an innovation agenda for economic transformation and inspired by Smart Specialisation. Each challenge...

MATUSIAK Monika; KLEIBRINK Alexander; ANDONOVA Elena; BODEN John Mark; CETL Vlado; DIUKANOVA Olga; DOSSO Mafini; DUSART Jean; GKOTSIS Petros; GNAMUS Ales; KLEIBRINK Alexander; KOTSEV Alexander; LAVALLE Carlo; MANDRAS Giovanni; MATUSIAK Monika; RADOVANOVIC Nikola; RAINOLDI Alessandro; SLAVCHEVA Milena; VESKOVIC Miroslav; HOLLANDERS Hugo; NDUBUISI Gideon; OWUSU Solomon; RADOSEVIC Slavo