Innovation Hub Grand Opening Ceremony Korçë, Albania


Mr. Ali Jashari, Rector of the “Fan S. Noli” University of Korçë

Mrs. Erinda Papa, Vice Rector for Science and Research, UNIKO

Mrs. Enslemvera Zake, Head of Administration and Finance Unit, UNIKO

Mr. Artur Prifti, Director of Curricula, Quality Assurance and Research, UNIKO

Mrs. Elena Tona, Head of University Library, UNIKO

Mrs. Eftiola Bylykbashi, Head of Archive and Protocol Issues, UNIKO

Mrs. Monika Shano, Finance Specialist, UNIKO 

Mrs. Erjona Asabella, Scienific Liaison Officer, UNIKO

Mrs. Vera Karadjova, Head of Finance and Insurance Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Services, “St. Kliment Ohridski” University of Bitola 

Mr. Marjan Kuzmanovski, System and Network Administrator, Faculty of Toursim and Hospitality Services, “St. Kliment Ohridski” University of Bitola m

Mrs. Benila Themeli, Deputy Mayor, Municipality of Korçë

Mrs. Etleva Mullaj, Project Director, EPD

Mr. Stilian Doraci, Administrative and Support Staff, EPD

Mrs. Shpresa Zylfo, Senior Innovation Hub Officer, EPD 

Mr. Robert Dumi, General Director, NASRI.

Mr. Julian Zaimi, Specialist at Multilateral Unit, NASRI.

Mrs. Ivana Stankovska, Project Manager, NCDIEL

Mrs. Anja Ujdur, Liaison Officer, FITD 


Main purpose: Opening Ceremony of the Innovation Hub Korçë

The importance of meeting stood at: 

  • Discussions on the Innovation Hub full operation
  • Sub-Granting and “Calls for Proposals 
  • Setting up the date for MoU signing 


Mr. Ali Jashari, the Rector of the “Fan S. Noli” University of Korçë opened the ceremony, greeting and welcoming all attendees. He also welcomed the representatives of “St. Kliment Ohridski” University of Bitola. Mrs. Erinda Papa congratulated this event, and wished a future successful collaboration. This was highly supported by Mr. Jashari, emphasizing that this Innovation Hub will serve not only for students, but also for everyone who share and support innovative ideas. 

Mrs. Benila Themeli, the Deputy Mayor of Korça, considered the hub as part of a visionary project funded by the EU. She properly enhanced the municipality role in brainstorming, innovative ideas support, as well as, possible synergies. Mrs. Themeli also reminded that there is a small innovation hub in Municipality of Korçë premises, but it serves only for informatics/IT developers. Morevover, she demanded in youth approach and claimed for wider participation, making hub as the most important in Korça region. 

In his word, Mr. Robert Dumi, NASRI’s General Director, introduced something about innovation potential in Korça. He stated that, everything without innovation support is worthless. Although, he stated that the hub may be part of local community. 

Pursuant to this, Mrs. Vera Karadjova from “St. Kliment Ohridski” University of Bitola, congratulated the ceremony. She requested for a closer cooperation among parts. Furthermore, she shortly summarized the “St. Kliment Ohridski” University. It was considered as the oldest modern university in the Republic of North Macedonia, had 10 faculties, and potential cooperation with international exchange programs such: Balkan University Association, CEEPUS, Erasmus + and Erasmus Mundus. Mrs Karadjova also mentioned some collaborations in information technology, socio-economic development, and innovation with Prague International University, “St. Kliment Ohridski” University of Sofia, University of Belgrade, and “Eötvös Loránd University” University of Budapest. Being into academic exchange cooperation, Mr. Dumi cited that the “Fan S. Noli” University of Korçë is part of CEEPUS since 2009, and invited all students, as well as, all innovation youth taking into advantage. 


Discussion of the Innovation Hub full operation 

Working group meeting was one of the main point of the ceremony. It was discussed and concluded in these ideas: 

  • Start up and SMEs support and fund 
  • Closer cooperation among Korça and Ohrid Universities in innovation 
  • Closer cooperation to innovation in Agriculture, Fishery, IT, and Computing. 
  • Young generation and third entities 
  • Cultural heritage and innovation 
  • Tourism innovation SME support 
  • Youth smart involvement 


Discussion on the sub-granting “Calls for Proposals” 

This part was obviously the most important. Mr. Dumi stated that from previous experience with other EU funded Projects, it’s not easy selecting the best beneficiary, in case of sub-grants. He suggested that working group would evaluate potential SMEs/Start ups starting from: 

  1. Eligibility criterias
  2. Same rule application 
  3. Transparency 
  4. Merit-based selection criterias 

Mrs. Papa supported the idea, citing that merit-based criterias should be a best way for sub-grantee winners. Mrs. Karadjova, on the other hand, stated for innovation development in different ways. She was on one word for connectivity development among two universities. Regarding to these issues, Mr. Dumi enhanced the average amount of the sub-grant. He emphasized that with significant donor, everyone will do the best. 


Brainstorming ideas on the promotional campaign 

As discussed in previous meetings, a promotional campaign will be held by next month. On this way, Mrs. Papa supported project promotion, and reinvited all human potential in regional development using the Innovation Hub. She also emphasized that this project should serve as a synergy with other innovation SMEs, and/or scientific research method improvement. 


Discussion on MoU signment 

The last part of the ceremony dealed to MoU signment. This agreement will pave the official way of a closer smart cooperation between two Universities. Mr. Dumi was pleased to say that both academic institutions will develop in advance the Hubs after INNOV8 full implementation, next year. The latter was worthwhile to Macedonian Partners. Mr. Dumi claimed also for better cooperation, and building new communication bridges in the way of research and innovation. Mrs. Papa shared views that this Project is moved in right direction, reaching the best results. 

According to discussions, the Memorandum of Understanding and the Ceremony of Innovation Hub Ohrid will take place, possibly within first week of April.