Virtual Round Tables

The Directorate of Innovation, part of the General Directorate of Information Technology, Innovation and Data in the Municipality of Tirana, is organizing “virtual round tables” with actors of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and key actors under the new innovation strategy of the city of Tirana.

The first three meetings were held on December 7, December 15 and January 25 through online platforms. This initiative aims to create a friendly environment to foster in-depth discussions on the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in Albania and to stimulate cooperation between actors, as well as to identify best practices that address the innovation challenges, faced by organizations for due to changes in today’s ever evolving technology and industry.

A key point in these webinars are start-ups and how these actors can be a helping hand for them. In the first two meetings, we had invited representatives of incubation and acceleration programs, who identified immediate ecosystem concerns, long-term opportunities, challenges and vision for the future.

Some concerns of our invited representatives were:

• Citizens lack of knowledge in ecosystem terminology.
• It is difficult to manage and monitor projects.
• The ideas presented are consistent, so they do not differ from the ideas presented earlier.
• We do not have contributions from all cities, everything is concentrated in Tirana.
• Lack of preparation of knowledge from the first steps.

Example : Students do not know how to use different platforms like Zoom or other platforms that you need in everyday life. So they suggest that there should be an intervention in the curricula.

Also some of the suggestions of our representatives were:
• Raising awareness of supply and demand in the field of ICT.
• Promotion of digital consumers.
• Provide more information for investors and companies from startups (due diligence, mentoring)
• Categorization of startups.

In our third meeting for the future of innovative Tirana, January 25, we discussed how our municipality can cooperate more with ambitious young students.

In this meeting it was emphasized that the innovation directorate is ready for any discussion, issue or suggestion that helps us move forward together.

Some of the concerns were:
• How can we improve the services of public institutions and business through technology by supporting talented young people with innovative ideas?
• Problems and obstacles faced by young people and students to present their ideas.
• What are the real needs of young people who have brilliant ideas and how can the municipality help them?
• Identifying problems within the three main actors youth-municipality-investor.

Also some of the suggestions and proposals were.

• Should we do an analysis of the recent years in the three main actors and see where the problem lies?
• A common platform to be administered by the municipality where we can publish and read the demands and needs of public institutions and businesses. The platform should also contain the works, ideas and projects that students (youth) have.
• Municipality can be a very good facilitator for sharing of information.
• The municipality can be a bridge between young people with brilliant ideas and projects or potential investors.
• The best thing is to have a common incubator

It is really important that Tirana and the youth give their contribution to Albania wherever they are, as our country must be developed and maintained.

These meetings were a success in terms of the feedback we received. We look forward to the next meetings!