Agriculture represents a priority field with innovative potential for the economy, identified within the framework of the Strategy for Smart Specialization (S3) based on a detailed analysis of capacities, resources, and competitive advantages that Albania possesses. The development of S3 is part of Albania's commitments in the context of the EU accession negotiation process, specifically in Chapter 20 "Enterprises and Industrial Policies" and Chapter 25 "Science and Research." It is also part of the Western Balkans 2021-2024 Action Plan within the Berlin Process and the EU agenda for innovation in the Western Balkans 2021-2027.
In this context, the National S3 Team, under the special care of Deputy Prime Minister Mrs. Belinda Balluku, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the Union of Albanian Producers, organized a roundtable following the methodology of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) for the agriculture sector with a focus on the development of the blue economy and food security. The meeting was held on May 9, 2023, at the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In attendance at the event were 24 representatives from all actors in the Quadruple Helix (government, academia, business, civil society). The meeting began with opening remarks from Mrs. Linda Pustina, Chair of the National S3 Team, Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, emphasizing the importance of this process. On the panel, Mr. Roland Kristo, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, started the discussion on the role of policymaking in developing the potential of this sector. Also part of the panel and discussion facilitators was Mrs. Valbona Paluka, Executive Director of Nukleus, whose discussion focused on the essential role of business in investing in innovation, enabling the achievement of higher standards and finding suitable technologies to remain competitive in the market. The panel also included representation from academia, Prof. Assoc. Dr. Edmond Hala, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, an expert in the blue economy, who addressed the leading role of adapting curricula for human capital development, in collaboration with businesses.
Among the topics discussed by the participants were:
The discussions held in this meeting will serve as a basis for the national workshop in the field of agriculture.