Innovation in Albania

Albania roadmap towards information society and innovation   Albania Government has made significant progress in transition reforms in recent years. The government has actively promoted pro business and investment policies on innovation technology and in society information. With the reform of the research system, since 2006 and the adoption of the National Strategy of Science, Technology and Innovation (NSSTI) 2009-2015 in July 2009 there were introduced major changes to improve the effectiveness of the country’s innovation system. Important steps were made in terms of establishing institutions and developing a strategy for a national innovation system. The Albanian Government has focused on ICT as a main driver of economic, political and social development in the country, evolving from a low-tech, inwardly looking state to a potential regional leader in e-Government, and connectivity, particularly as major infrastructural investments are being made. On the business front, the Strategic Programme for Innovation and Technology Development for SMEs 2011-2016 approved in February 2011 and its Action Plan, the Business Innovation and Technology Strategy (BITS), represent the main policy measures of the Ministry for Economy, Trade and Energy (METE) for promoting Innovation and technology dissemination in Albanian SMEs. The Business Relay and Innovation Centre (BRIC) will be the executive arm of METE for the implementation of the strategy and will provide both technical assistance and financial support for companies to engage in innovation. A list of the main agency with an active role in the growth of innovation in Albania follows.   PROTIK The Protik ICT Resource Center is established by the combined efforts and goals of the Government of Albania, USAID, Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF), Microsoft, Cisco, and Albtelecom. Established as a local non for profit organization on October the 10th, 2012, Protik’s mission is to catalyze the development of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Albania. The accomplishment of its mission was founded and will continue to be inspired on the values of Integrity, Excellence, Transparency, Collaboration and Cooperation. Protik aims to become the Albanian ICT hub: a connection point for those seeking the latest and most innovative ideas, products, and services. http://protik.org/   ARTI The Agency for Research, Technology and Innovation (ARTI) is a public, legal institution under the competences of the Council of Ministers. ARTI is established with the Decision of Council of Ministers and has started its activity in March 2010. ARTI aims to build a modern system of science, strengthen of research and technology, as well as their integration inside the higher education system. ARTI facilitates the exchanging of knowledge, mutual activities and partnership within and outside the country. ARTI as a coordinating and guiding structure which cooperates with institutions in the field of science and technology for sustainable development of the country, in line with national priorities, development of scientific and technological policies and management of Research and Development (R&D) institutes. http://www.akti.gov.al/index1.html   National agency ON the information society The National Agency on the Information Society was established by the Government Decision   N.248, on 27.04.2007, amended. The main goal of NAIS a) Application of the policies and strategies, for the development of the information society sector, and in particular the technology of information and communication; b) Cooperation of both programmes in the field of society information and technology; c) Promote the investments in the field of information society; ç) Draft the competences of Minister of Innovation, given by law, in the field of electronic communications; d) Promote new technologies in the field of information society; dh) Give contribution on education and use of the information technology by the public; http://www.akshi.gov.al/   ADRIATINN Under the partnership of UNYT (University of New York in Tirana) the project goal is to build innovation, cross-border clusters of SMEs and R&D Institutes, which interact with each other and with clients and suppliers and often share a pool of specialist labor, business and financial services, R&D and training facilities. ​Promote lifelong learning in research and innovation; the universities of the area will help the commercialization of research results by increasing the entrepreneurial mind-set of students and by collaborating with regional SMEs.  Capitalize the advantages of the area: bio-economy and energy sectors can help to: boost local economies; stimulate new activities; create new and sustainable jobs; have important spill-over effects on other industries; and enhance the attractiveness of regions and cities. The interregional cooperation project will ensure that both “old” and “wannabe” entrepreneurs will reach their full potential. http://www.adriatinn.eu/ ABANIAN MINISTRY OF INNOVATION www.inovacioni.gov.al/

Marche Regione Experience from Smart Specialization

Marche Region’s experience on international cooperation starting from Smart Specialization The workshop “Monitoring Smart Specialization – A new Architecture for Transnational Cooperation” took place on 11th December 2014 at Centre Cultural el Born in Barcelona, and was organized as the final event of the CITEK Capitalization project financed by the MED Programme in collaboration with the European Commission – JRC. This final event at the same time constituted the starting point for a more structured discussion on monitoring in smart specialisation and focused the discussion on how regional and national actors can work together to develop effective monitoring mechanisms. Marche Region representative presented the smart specialization strategies developed by Marche Region, one of the first Italian regions that registered on RIS3 Platform and that took part to IPTS Peer Review workshops.  Marche Region’s S3 strategy focuses on 4 main sectors: mechatronics, ambient assisted living, sustainable manufactory, welfare and wellbeing.  For the implementation of the strategy several  priorities have been defined such as fostering collaboration between SMEs and research and innovation institutions, supporting international networking, creating favorable conditions for new  innovative businesses and implementing ICT instruments such as technological platform. In order to transform these priorities into actions, Marche Region has foreseen in its Regional Operative Plan interventions aiming to the creation of  new partnership between universities and enterprises,  spin offs and start ups,   services and infrastructures, as well as SME placement of researchers and new and wider collaborations between European and international  research and innovation stakeholders. During the intervention, Mrs. Torelli presented some of the tools that Marche Region is going to launch for the implementation of its RIS3. One of these tools is the NEXT-IS Platform developed by the NEXT project “Collaborative platform to support research and technology transfer” financed in the second call for proposals of the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme. This platform has the purpose to support the cross border networking between Marche Region and Macro Adriatic Ionian Regions starting from Smart Specialization Strategy approach. Marche Region is going to use the NEXT platform to launch call for proposals for supporting the participation of SME to EU calls. Furthermore, NEXT IS platform can be further enlarged and adapted in order to be used as a tool for monitoring the implementation of the strategy. Anna Torelli, Marche Region, Dpt. for Research, Innovation and Competitiveness

CHECK OUT THE UPCOMING CALLS OPEN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2015

For all businesses, research centers and innovation actors, please check here the document produced by the Lead Partner and its technical assistance on the possibility of EU funding for innovation projects! It includes calls of the EU programmes Horizon 2020; SME Instrument; COSME; European Territorial Cooperation until open September 2015

Horizon 2020: 117 Mns in new grants for SME

Over 275 innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are on track to receive a total of €117 million in new grants from Horizon 2020. These are the latest results of calls under the new €3 billion SME Instrument, launched under Horizon 2020 to help innovative small firms get ideas from the lab to the market and help generate growth and jobs for Europe. This new funding brings the total amount from the SME Instrument so far destined for innovative companies to €125 million. Horizon 2020 Here the EC news

iDEALAb project

Fostering students’ entrepreneurship and open innovation in university-industry collaboration is a TEMPUS programme supported project with general objective to advance employment and self-employment potential of graduates from WBC and enhance innovativeness of companies by fostering students’ entrepreneurship, creation of business start-ups and open innovation approach in collaboration between universities and enterprises. The project will achieve this by developing a co-creative and supportive environment – iDEA Lab network, which will encourage and foster students’ entrepreneurial intent and at the same time support open innovation approach. The principal results will include: 6 iDEA labs and their network in WBC with trained staff; developed and realized trainings for students and companies, established regional Market for ideas, developed students’ start-ups and open innovations with companies, revised and adapted curricula. These results will provide infrastructural resources necessary to secure project sustainability beyond its lifetime. Results and best practice will be actively diffused and exploited at national, regional and European level. One of the iDEAlabs will be located within the University of Donja Gorica, NEXT project partner institution. Cooperation between the NEXT and iDEAlab will further enhance NEXT’s goals, and support the transfer of knowledge and technology. www.udgedu.me

Horizon 2020, How to best leverage on 2014-2020 structural Fund

Europe as a whole must advance significantly in research and innovation performances in order to make the EU the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy, as foreseen in the Europe 2020 strategy. H2020 is going to be a key programme for allowing countries to better leverage on knowledge and research. MIRRIS (Mobilising Institutional Reforms in Research and Innovation Systems) aims at encouraging a better exploitation of European research and innovation programmes and a larger participation to the European Research Area of the 13 new EU countries by setting up a process of analysis, dialogue and mutual learning among key concerned stakeholders. More on the attached brief  

CHECK OUT THE UPCOMING CALLS UNTIL JANUARY 2015

For all businesses, research centers and innovation actors, please check here the document produced by the Lead Partner and its technical assistance on the possibility of EU funding for innovation projects! It includes calls of the EU  programmes Horizon 2020; SME Instrument; COSME; European Territorial Cooperation  until January 2015