Albania climbs 10 spots to rank 83rd globally in innovation

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 11, 2018 11:31

Albania climbs 10 spots to rank 83rd globally in innovation

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  • The report shows Albania's ranking is hampered by poor knowledge and technology outputs, a low level of business sophistication, low spending on human capital and research as well as insufficient creative outputs which rank the country 86th to 110th

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TIRANA, July 11 – Albania climbed 10 places to rank 83rd among 126 economies in the 2018 Global Innovation Index, but yet lagging behind some of its key regional competitors.

The report shows Albania’s ranking is hampered by poor knowledge and technology outputs, a low level of business sophistication, low spending on human capital and research as well as insufficient creative outputs which rank the country 86th to 110th.

The Balkan country scores significantly better on market sophistication, institutions and infrastructure, ranking the country 38th to 62nd among 126 global economies.

This year’s innovation report ranked Albania only better compared to neighboring Macedonia among regional EU aspirant Western Balkan countries with Montenegro and Serbia rated as the front-runners.

The annual report published by U.S-based Cornell University, the INSEAD business school, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, shows Albania has made little progress in innovation over the past decade.

In 2007, when the first report measuring innovation performance was released, Albania ranked 100th out of 107 countries before reaching its best ever ranking of 87th out of 140 economies in 2015.

This year’s 11th edition of the Global Innovation Index highlighted the need for continued investments in breakthrough energy innovations as essential for global growth and to avert a possible environmental crisis.

“Projections indicate that by 2040 the world will require up to 30 percent more energy than it needs today at a time when conventional approaches to energy supply are unsustainable in the face of climate change and new energy innovation systems need to emerge with efforts along all stages, including energy distribution and storage,” shows the report.

Albania’s electricity system is currently wholly hydro-dependent which makes it vulnerable to adverse weather conditions such as last year’s prolonged drought costing the country about €200 million in costly electricity imports.

In a bid to diversify domestic electricity generation, Albanian authorities have offered tax incentives on untapped solar and wind energy as well as natural gas-powered plants at a time when the country is expected to become a major gas hub in the Western Balkan region following the completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and first flows of Caspian gas by 2020.

In its latest country report on Albania, the European Commission says the capacity for technological absorption, research, development and innovation in Albania remains low.

“Substantial efforts to strengthen the link between business and academic and research institutions are needed. Upgrading the economy from low-technology, labour-intensive and low-cost production areas requires more research and innovation. This is particularly the case in sectors like agriculture and food, energy, and sustainable tourism which are crucial for Albania’s economic development,” said the Commission whose positive recommendation on Albania’s opening of EU negotiations was delayed for mid-2019 by EU leaders at the European Council in late June.

Earlier this year, a report Switzerland-based World Economic Forum think tank showed Albania is one of Europe’s least prepared countries in its readiness for the future production through the adoption of emerging technology.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 11, 2018 11:31