Results of the POLICY ANSWERS capacity building activities on innovation management related to the blue economy in Albania

The “POLICY ANSWERS” project has recently completed a capacity-building activity to help the development of the ‘Blue Economy’ in Albania. This initiative aligns with ongoing work on the topic including the World Bank study to identify promising sub-sectors of the Blue Economy in the country and the BLUEAIR Interreg ADRION project.

As a result of the POLICY ANSWERS action, over 30 individuals from the quadruple helix attended one or both of the full-day ‘Innovation Management’ workshops held in Tirana. Over the course of the workshops, participants gained knowledge and skills related to innovating via new product development and developing innovative organizations. Case studies and exercises focused on examples drawn from the Blue Economy at global and local levels. This included digital innovations that are shaping the Global Marine Industry and EU-funded pilot actions for new products and services from Lithuania, that are now being commercialized by academic entrepreneurs.
Capacity building was delivered by Dr Lisa Cowey, an independent innovation expert from the UK.

Workshops were highly interactive allowing participants to apply concepts to problems in small teams before sharing their ideas with the wider group. This approach was clearly enjoyed and appreciated and also encouraged networking between organizations that had not previously worked together including government agencies, researchers, RDAs, and start-ups. Relationships forged in the workshops are now being explored with the objective of forming consortia to apply to the next IPA ADRION Interreg Call which includes actions targeting the Blue Economy. Networking is a critical first step toward realizing the potential of the Blue Economy in Albania. It will help to strengthen its nascent and fragmented stakeholder base and create early critical mass for what is still a very new concept.


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