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Supporting an Innovation Agenda for the Western Balkans - Tools and Methodologies

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

Kosovo* Kosovo*

Facts & Figures                                                                            

  • Population (2017): 1.8 million (WB)
  • GDP per capita in PPS (2018): n/a (EU28=100)
  • 146th largest economy in the world in 2017 (WB)
  • Global Innovation Index 2019: n/a (WIPO)     
  • Global Competitiveness Index 2019: n/a (WEF)
  • Gross domestic expenditure on R&D by government in % of GDP (2017): 0.14 (RCC)
  • Government effectiveness score (-2.5 to 2.5; 2017): -0.41 (World Bank)
  • Scientific/technical journal articles per million inhabitants (2016): 106.18 (Kosovo Statistics Office)
  • Ease of Doing Business score 2019: 74.15 (World Bank)
     

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
 

Kosovo registered in the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) in September 2018.

The Smart Specialisation (S3) process in is currently in preparation. Once begun, Kosovo's S3 process will follow the Joint Research Centre (JRC)'s methodological framework for smart specialisation in the EU enlargement and neighbourhood countries. A task force to prepare the S3 process was launched.
Kosovo drafted its original Innovation Strategy in 2012. In 2018, a new innovation law was discussed in parliament and an updated national innovation strategy was drafted. In addition, Kosovo has an Information Technology Strategy which focuses, among other subjects, on innovation (OECD).

Further, a new Ministry for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established in 2017. However, the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Agency (KIESA) operates under the Ministry of Trade and Industry and offers a limited range of innovation-related support services to SMEs, mainly in the field of entrepreneurship support.

Setting up a National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council is currently planned (RCC).
Kosovo is among the non-EU economies that have initiated their S3 process development (Source: JRC)

The innovation strategy drafted in 2012 was assisted by the OECD's South East Europe Programme. The design of the Information Technology Strategy was supported by German and Norwegian technical cooperation.

In April 2018, a comprehensive training on S3 with the focus on the entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) was organised in Ljubljana. Participants were presented with good practice examples and trained on how to prepare the EDP and its major steps, what challenges to expect, and how to overcome them.
In November 2018, a TAIEX workshop on smart specialisation took place in Brussels. During the workshop, good practice examples from the EU and the Western Balkans on how to organise the mapping process and the EDP and how to monitor smart specialisation were introduced.

Kosovo is covered by 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.

The upcoming mapping phase will most likely be challenging because most statistical data is not available in Kosovo. During the quantitative mapping phase, therefore, new and innovative ways of measuring and assessing the economic, scientific and innovative potential of regions and sectors will have to be developed and applied. Wide-ranging technical assistance will be necessary to compensate for the absence of relevant statistical data.
The entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) will start after the mapping phase. However, since Kosovo is still preparing the smart specialisation process in its entirety, the EDP cannot yet be scheduled with certainty, especially since the mapping phase will probably have to include extensive work on producing data that does not yet exist in Kosovo.

According to the OECD, Kosovo's governance capacities in science, technology and innovation policy are marked by a lack of overall coordination and strategies and missing innovation agency. In particular, competences for implementing innovation policy are fragmented across line ministries and the SME agency KIESA (OECD).

The EDP offers a chance to align the work of government ministries, agencies and further stakeholders and to enhance cooperation among them.

The Smart Specialisation (S3) process in Kosovo is currently in preparation and will start once preparations are finalised.

Below, expert assessments of Kosovo's R&I system and policies undertaken in October 2019 are given.

Note: Scores for each of the 16 sub-dimensions are on a scale from 0-5; 0 = no information available

In Kosovo's S3 process, some challenges will have to be overcome. Recommended steps include the following ones:

  • Performing a thorough qualitative mapping exercise to compensate for a lack of data for the quantitative mapping;
  • Aligning policy priorities across policy areas and sectors.

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Kosovo has registered to the S3 Platform.

Innovation, technology transfer and digital transformation in South-East Europe, including Western Balkans

On 3-4 May 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria, JRC, under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, organises a high...

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