Kosovo is shaping the brightest economic future. While challenges continue, the potential for Kosovo to thrive through smart specialization is undeniable.

 Elsa Llalloshi

 Kosovo is trying to pave its way towards economic growth and development. In September 2018, Kosovo embarked on a transformative journey by turning to the concept of smart specialization (S3) to leverage its unique strengths and drive innovation-driven growth. This move marked an important step towards fostering innovation-driven economic growth. The S3 approach is not just a strategy; it is a catalyst for cooperation between different actors at the local, regional, national and international levels.

In Kosovo, this strategy has the potential to reshape the country’s economic landscape. Kosovo faces economic challenges typical of developing countries. It seeks to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on traditional sectors. Smart specialization is the key that unlocks this potential. By focusing on a specific sector, Kosovo aims to stimulate growth, create jobs and promote sustainable development.

Kosovo has made significant strides in fostering innovation-driven growth, including the establishment of the Ministry of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2017, plans for a National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, and the drafting of a new innovation law and strategy in 2018. .

The government, in partnership with international organizations, has drawn up a strategy that identifies the sectors with the greatest growth potential. This strategy revolves around carefully selected sectors such as information technology, renewable energy, agribusiness and tourism.

S3 also serves as a catalyst for driving innovation and research. In Kosovo, this commitment is materialized through initiatives aimed at facilitating cooperation between research institutions, businesses and government entities. These collaborative efforts drive advances in manufacturing technology, the creation of innovative products and services, ultimately increasing market competition.

It must be understood that no transformational strategy comes without its challenges. Technical assistance is essential to address data gaps. However, the long-term outlook is positive. Smart specialization lays the foundations for a diversified and resilient economy, while the Enterprise Discovery Process (EDP) offers a chance to foster collaboration between government units and stakeholders.

Kosovo’s global innovation efforts began in 2012 with the support of the OECD Program for South-Eastern Europe. In 2018, Kosovo expanded its capacities through training programs in Ljubljana, participation in a TAIEX seminar in Brussels and involvement in the project “Increasing Technology Transfer Capacities in the Western Balkans” (EU4Tech). These efforts strengthen Kosovo’s position in the global innovation scene.

Kosovo’s path towards economic growth and development is being guided by the principles of smart specialization. Kosovo’s adoption of smart specialization underlines its commitment to innovation and economic transformation. Kosovo is shaping the brightest economic future. While challenges continue, the potential for Kosovo to thrive through smart specialization is undeniable. As the nation continues its journey and this strategy continues to unfold, Kosovo’s transformation is a story worth watching.


Elsa Llalloshi, student of Political Science