08.10.2009 -

Featuring the National Strategy for Science, Technology & Innovation in Albania 2009–2015

A World of Science Vol.7 N°4 (October–December 2009) edits an article on Albania approves science strategy.

On 29 June, the Council of Ministers approved the National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation in Albania covering the period 2009–2015. The document was coordinated by the Department of Strategy and Donor Coordination of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and with UNESCO assistance.

It fixes five strategic goals to 2015:
◗ to triple public spending on research and development (R&D) to 0.6% of GDP;
◗ to augment the share of gross domestic expenditure on R&D from foreign sources, including via the European Union’s Framework Programmes for Research, to the point where it covers 40% of research spending;
◗ to create four or five Albanian centres of excellence in science which will be equipped with dedicated laboratory equipment and workspaces that could be used for pre-incubation, testing, certification and so on of new technologybased firms;
◗ to double the number of researchers, both through ‘brain gain’ incentives like a returning researchers grant scheme and through the training of new researchers, including 500 PhDs: this will entail establishing up to three new doctoral programmes in Albanian universities;
◗ to stimulate innovation in 100 companies, either via investment in local R&D or via consortia with academic research institutes or foreign partners.

An Action Plan detailing the operational aspects complements the Strategy. The Strategy is to be implemented in synergy with other sectoral strategies and taking into account Albania’s Higher Education Strategy adopted in 2008 and the National Strategy for Development and Integration (2007–2013). The latter underlines the importance of modernizing economic sectors such as the agro-food industry and tourism. It also underscores the strategic importance of energy, environmental and water resource management. Stakeholders have proposed prioritizing fields of research such as agriculture and food, information and communication technologies (ICTs), public health, Albanology and humanities, natural resources, biotechnology, biodiversity, defence and security. A more detailed sectoral analysis is to be conducted using a bottom-up approach, in order to set research priorities.

One of eight pilot countries for the One UN Programme, Albania is a small country, both physically and in terms of population (3.6 million). Even after two decades of growth, annual GNP per capita remains modest, at about US$3,912 (2008). Economic competitiveness and exports are low, with the economy still heavily skewed towards low technology. Agriculture absorbs more than 50% of the labour force. read the full article in A World of Science Vol.7 N°4 (October–December 2009)

Read the Strategy : www.dsdc.gov.al
For details: i.nechifor(at)unesco.org
See also www.unesco.org/science/psd/thm_innov/albania_science.shtml

<hr>A World of Science Vol.7 N°4 (October–December 2009)
Launch of the National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation of Albania

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