On June 13, 2023, a national workshop on Energy was held as part of the development of the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3). This was the 27th out of 33 consultative meetings within the framework of S3 involving actors from the four helixes: Central and Local Government, Business, Academia, and Civil Society. These sectors were identified as priority sectors during the mapping analysis carried out by national and international experts, including the energy sector. The purpose of these consultations was to collectively discuss the challenges and vision for the development of this priority sector before drafting the strategic document. These consultations will help identify real needs and innovative potential where investment can add value to the country's economy, as well as provide concrete suggestions to be included in the strategic document.
The S3 process is led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Ms. Belinda Balluku, who also chairs the Interministerial Committee established for the same purpose. Ms. Balluku welcomed the Energy workshop, emphasizing the importance of this priority sector and the contribution that actors from the four helixes would make in this consultative process for preparing the S3 (the full statement can be found at this link). The meeting was attended by over 60 representatives from state institutions, business associations, local and foreign businesses, universities, and more.
The energy sector will also be a focus of bilateral meetings with neighboring countries, which will be held subsequently, to assess the impact of innovation in the energy sector within the framework of regional cooperation.
The National S3 Team, supported by the Interministerial Committee, in collaboration with the Union of Albanian Producers, the JRC of the EC, and other donors, as well as with the active contribution of state institutions, the private sector, and academia, is working and continues to work to finalize this extensive consultation process.
This consultation process, which is being followed for the first time in Albania as part of the development of S3, is part of the methodology approved by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. It will set a standard for the formulation of public policies by the Albanian government in the future, enabling actionable policies that emerge from consultation and a harmonized vision among actors from the four helixes, thus facilitating a meaningful and effective implementation for all stakeholders.
S3 is a priority of the Albanian government, as it is part of two chapters within the European Integration process: 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 for the Western Balkans for 2021-2027. S3 is expected to be completed by June 2024.