January 27, 2015 | Tuesday

Research and Innovation as prerequisites for “knowledge-based economy”

​In line with the idea of a “knowledge-based economy”, research, innovation and skills are no longer ends in themselves but have to meet individual and societal needs and synchronise with various socio-economic activities. Innovation has been an integral part of the EU’s strategy as a generator of economic growth and jobs.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment. The programme is based upon taking great ideas from the lab to the market promoting novelty breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

By combining research and innovation, Horizon 2020 shall focus largely on excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges. The goal is to create a bridge between the public and private sectors in delivering innovation in science area.

EU countries are encouraged to invest 3 % of their GDPs in research and innovation by 2020 (1% public funding, 2 % private sector investment) which is expected to create 3.7 million jobs and increase to EU’s annual GDP by nearly 800 million. Supporting inclusive, innovative, and reflective societies is a prerequisite for a sustainable European Integration.

Key future research and innovation actions for 2015 will focus on new ideas, strategies and governance structures for overcoming the Europe crisis, the young generation in an innovative, inclusive and sustainable Europe, transmission of European cultural heritage, focusing research and innovation cooperation with third countries, new forms of innovation in the public sector etc.

The Progress Report 2014 has emphasized the limited capacities in Kosovo to enhance research and innovation capacity. As specified in the progress report: “The budget for research remains too limited to create competitiveness and implementation suffers from budgetary constraints…” Kosovo has designed a strategy for innovation, however yet to be adopted.

Linkages between research and businesses are very weak. Research and innovation entities from Kosovo are eligible for participation and funding as a third country.

In addition, the report stresses the immediate need for strengthening Kosovo’s research and innovation capacity through boosting sector investment and by efficient measures to facilitate the integration of Kosovo into the European Research Area and its contribution to the Innovation Union.