Evis Kushi, Minister of Education and Sports of Albania signed, alongside Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, their Association Agreements to the Horizon Europe programme. This marks an important milestone for closer research and innovation cooperation with the Western Balkans.
With this, researchers, innovators and research entities established in the Western Balkan region can now fully participate in the EU’s €95.5 billion programme on equal terms with entities from the EU Members States. This will allow them to develop projects, technologies and conduct research and innovation activities that will contribute to tackling global challenges.
Commissioner Gabriel said:
I welcome Albania to Horizon Europe. Through mutual cooperation in research and innovation we can turn current challenges into opportunities. The implementation of the Western Balkans Agenda and participation in Horizon Europe will have a great impact in the region and in Europe overall.
The associations support the ’Global Approach to Research and Innovation’ and reconfirms Europe's commitment to a level of global openness needed to drive excellence, pool resources for faster scientific progress and develop vibrant innovation ecosystems.
Albania has been already fully associated to the previous EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Western Balkan partners received €170 million in direct EU contribution, with approximately 1000 organisations having participated.
Success stories from Albania in research and innovation include EUSCREEN aiming to compare vision and hearing screening programmes for children, BRIGAID aiming to be a one-stop shop for supporting climate adaptation innovation and disaster resilience, PANBioRA, developing new ways of findings suitable biomaterials for potential implants and more.
The ‘Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport’ is a comprehensive, long-term cooperation strategy of the European Union and the Western Balkans. It promotes scientific excellence as well as reform of the region’s education systems, create further opportunities for the youth, and help prevent brain drain.
- Publication date
- 10 February 2022
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation