News archive - The 2010 Progress Reports: Assessment of S&T in Albania

Please find below the chapters of the most recent Progress Reports concerning the S&T policies of Albania. 


The acquis in the field of science and research does not in principle require transposition of EU rules into the national legal order. Successful implementation of the acquis in this domain therefore involves mainly fulfilling the necessary conditions for participating effectively in the EU's Research Framework Programmes and contributing to the creation of the European Research Area. This requires good administrative capacity (adequate staffing and knowledge of research cooperation) and scientific excellence in order to be successful in carrying out research and innovation projects together with scientific partners from EU Member States and in creating growth and jobs in an economically sustainable way.

Albania, as a potential candidate country, has been associated with the Seventh EU Research Framework Programme (FP7) since January 2008. National research policy is under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Science, which oversees the strategic planning and legislative sides and national and international cooperation. Basic research priorities are set by the government and approved in parliament, following consultation of the Academy of Sciences, the Council of Higher Education and Science and the Conference of University Rectors. In 2010 Albania established an Agency for Research, Technology and Innovation, which is responsible for evaluation of research funding at both national and international levels. Albania has identified seven priority fields for research which should contribute to the economic development and competitiveness of the country.

Albania started reforming its scientific research system in 2006, with the integration of the former institutes of the Academy of Sciences into the major public universities. The role of the Academy now consists, as in most European countries, of representation and advice. The research institutes under the line ministries were also restructured and merged into 12 newly created technology transfer centres and agencies.

The current level of investment is very low (about 0.2% of GDP in 2009). Due to lack of statistics and systems to collect data from the private sector, there are no means to monitor the targets set. Albania is actively working on a reform of science and research statistics to comply with EU criteria.

In 2009, a Strategy on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) was adopted for the period 2009 to 2015, which maps out the reforms needed to create a knowledge-based economy. The STI aims, among other things, to increase public expenditure on research to 0.6% of GDP by 2015, create centres of excellence, increase the number of researchers and boost the innovation capacity of businesses with the aid of partnerships between academics and industry.

Effective participation in the EU research framework programmes requires good administrative capacity (sufficient staffing and expertise on research cooperation under the EU framework programmes) and scientific excellence in order to be able to submit successful proposals for projects jointly with EU and non-EU research institutes. Since Albania first became associated with FP7, it has become more familiar with cooperation under the EU research framework programme, but its rate of successful participation is still very low. Albania has started to take the necessary capacity-building measures by nominating observer delegates to the FP7 management committees and restructuring its network of national contact points. The country is not engaged in nuclear research and has not requested to become associated with the Euratom framework programme.

Regarding policy initiatives to help create the European Research Area, the STI strategy for 2010-2015 is fully in line with the ERA objectives, but serious efforts will be necessary to achieve the targets set. In addition, exact data on investment in research and the number of researchers in the country or the diaspora are lacking. Albania has started to take action to reverse the brain drain by attracting scientists back to the country. It has announced an action plan on mobility of researchers, including measures to attract young people to sciences and strengthen human capital-building. Albania is suffering from a lack of modern research infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment, but efforts are underway to improve infrastructure, starting with support for development of communication networks and IT systems.
Albania is participating in the work of the European Research Area Committee (ERAC, former CREST) and has nominated a delegate observer to the Standing Committee for Agricultural Research (SCAR). It has also been invited to nominate delegate observers to the different ERA governance bodies.

International cooperation, particularly with EU partners, is high on the national agenda. Albania is actively participating in several regional projects with the other Balkan countries and has recently concluded science and technology agreements with several neighbouring countries and other international partners.


Overall, if it continues its efforts, Albania should, in the medium term, have the capacity to comply with the requirements of the acquis. The National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan is fully in line with the targets set at EU level in the context of the European Research Area. Consistent implementation and close monitoring of targets adopted at national level are, however, of key importance. Albania will have to undertake additional efforts for its effective participation in the research framework programmes and further integration in the European research area. This also requires strengthening the administrative capacity and increasing the currently very low level of investment.

Source: Progress Report Albania 2010.

Geographical focus
  • Albania

Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on November 17, 2010
Modified on November 17, 2010