Innovation Eco-System in Turism in the South-East Bordering Regions
Cross-border cooperation
Starting Date
Ending Date
Albania / Macedonia
Donor agency
EU Delegation Skopje
Lead Partner
EuroPartners Development
Detailed description of the project

Overall objective of this Project is contributing in order to increase competitiveness and trade in CBC areas between Albania and Macedonia, through facilitating transfer of know-how and technologies among Start-Ups and SMEs.

Albania and Macedonia are neighbouring countries, but the level of trade between them is the lowest. The Cross-Border Start-Ups and SMEs, apart from underdeveloped physical infrastructure, are characterized with high level of immigration and the existing businesses are on the lower scale of technological development and competitiveness. Whereas the educational institutions provide formal education, including curricula that support self-employment, genuine innovation-led programmes are absent, leaving many young people with no option but to look forward to working for someone else of outside the country. Also business often attribute the lack of quality of human resources to inappropriate or old-fashioned curricula at educational institutions. Besides the old mentioned infrastructure limiting communication in cross border area, there is a need to increase the link between education and business entities which will be enabled through this project. The business will benefit form utilizing the services of the innovation hub, either to cooperate with innovative Start-Ups funded through hub or directly access information that will bring about greater growth in target area. Whereas the higher education institutions will serve as a key driver for technological development of enterprises in every country, share weak knowledges at all sectors. “Entrepreneurial universities” may provide flexible educational curricula focusing mainly on technology utilization.

The main purpose consist in improving and helping to establish the existing educational and business context, a CBC innovation eco system for SMEs and Start-Ups by:

1. Strengthening capacities of key stakeholders in advancing competitiveness and know in the CBC areas. These will be achieved through physical and virtual infrastructure introduction by notable educational institutions, research centres, and business sectors.
2. Enhancing cross-sector cooperation between SMEs and Start-Ups by focusing on complementary and utilizing the present and future to business opportunities for joint ventures, as well as bottlenecks among Start-Ups and SMEs.
3. Mainstreaming the established innovation eco system from national CBC areas.

The project activities will be based on the following main pillars:

• Research on innovation potential and application of national innovation strategies
• Establishment of cross-border innovation platform
• Capacity building for CBC innovation stakeholders
• Sub-granting for CBC and joint ventures SMEs
• Promotion of new CBC innovation eco-system between AL-F.Y.R.O.M

Project Activities:

Activity package 1
Research on innovation potential & application of national innovation strategies
A1.1.1. Perform 1 meta-analysis on present innovation status and studies in MK and AL
A1.1.2 Conduct 1 research on innovation potential in the CBC area on Albanian side
A.1.1.3 Produce 1 feasibility study for establishing CBC innovation hubs in target areas

Activity package 2
Establishment of cross-border and cross-sector innovation platform
A2.1.1 Organize 2 cross-border inception meetings with universities, municipalities and research centres/NGOs in CBC areas
A2.1.2 Sign MoU with 2 educational institutions in the CBC areas in MK and AL for establishment of innovation hubs
A2.1.3 Establish 1 cross-border working group for innovation hosted by CBC educational institutions

Activity package 3
Launching of pilot CBC innovation hubs within universities:
A3.1.1 Develop 1 feasibility and business strategy for functioning of innovation hubs in the CBC area
A3.2.1 Equip 2 CBC innovation hubs with desk furniture and lap tops
A3.2.3 Select and train university staff for 2 CBC innovation hubs for provision of services

Activity package 4
Capacity building for CBC innovation stakeholders:
A4.1.1 Organize innovation eco-system workshops in the CBC area’s educational institutions, chambers of commerce and NGOs
A4.1.2 Provide targeted capacity building for educational institutions (and innovation hubs), chambers of commerce and NGOs on transfer of know, technologies and innovations;
A4.1.3 Disseminate information & services through pilot innovation hubs for CBC innovation stakeholders
A4.1.4 Support staff at educational institutions to update and develop new teaching materials in order to incorporate innovation

Activity package 5
Sub-granting for CBC and joint venture SMEs:
A5.1.1 Organize and implement sub-granting scheme for CBC and joint venture SMEs
A5.1.2 Provide mentoring services to sub-granted CBC / joint venture SMEs
A5.1.3 Organize Demo Days for grantees’ projects

Activity package 6
Promotion of new CBC innovation eco-system between Macedonia and Albania:
A6.1.1 Develop communication / PR package for innovation hubs
A6.1.2 Organize media campaign on innovations, know-how transfer and technologies in CBC area
A6.1.3 Organize final conference on the sustainable innovation eco-system in the CBC area.

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