Skills Development and Capacity Building

Capacity building is an enabling and empowering process; it provides researchers, scientists, R&I managers, etc. with the necessary tools and networks resulting in better chances for producing substantial and excellent research results.

To drive innovation-led economic growth it is nowadays necessary to strengthen the S&T and Innovation Ecosystem. Countries generally have to define their need for science and technology services, while enhancing the capacity of universities to train graduates in high-demand skills. Initiatives are needed to encourage collaborative innovation between and among universities and industry—in order to harness the intellectual capital of countries’ higher-education systems to sustainably and efficiently support prosperity. Capacity-building initiatives for instance could relate to improving research qualifications of faculty and staff, boosting research capacity in key disciplines, strengthening university-industry links in high-growth economic sectors, and finally bolstering the policy capacity of higher-education institutions in science, technology and innovation.

Over the past years, it has moreover become clear, especially in the Western Balkans (WBs), that there is a need for training programmes, workshops and internships as part of capacity building and professional development of staff working in the R&I management environment and support services. Only thanks to a strengthened administrative, research and innovation capacity at the level of the WB economies can guarantee themselves successful participation in the Framework Programmes (Horizon 2020/Horizon Europe) and other national, regional and EU research funding programmes. This is why RTDI capacity and potential in the WB region are again under our spotlight. 

The POLICY ANSWERS project aims to select key resources and create some ourselves, curating the "Western Balkans Regional Innovation Academy". Furthermore, we launched the "Western Balkans Capacity Building Programme" with targeted activities identified for each economy.


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