- Last Updated on: October 24, 2011
Public-Private Partnership Establishes Albania’s First ICT Training and Resource Center
TIRANA, OCTOBER 24, 2011 Today, an alliance among the Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF), the Government of Albania, USAID, Microsoft Albania, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Albtelecom, was formally announced in a ceremony held at the Ministry of Innovation and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Minister Genc Pollo, USAID/Albania Mission Director, Joseph Williams, and the Chairman of AADF, Michael Granoff, and representatives from Microsoft and Albtelecom, delivered remarks at the event. This public-private partnership will establish Albania's first ICT training and resource center, PROTIK, to support the development and use of ICT innovations for small businesses and promote ICT sector growth in Albania.
The center will be an independent, not for profit organization modeled after successful ICT Innovation Centers in Croatia, Armenia, and other European countries. Its mission is to catalyze the development of Albania's ICT industry by fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, stimulating demand for ICT, and promoting partnerships.
PROTIK's goal is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Albanian ICT community. Its design aims to fill market gaps with education activities, support services, and a state of the art technological environment, and research. Education activities will include training, consulting, and mentoring services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs, public-sector, and academic ICT professionals. To support information dissemination, PROTIK will emphasize the promotion of new products, ICT-sector networking, and the dissemination of valuable resources. The center will sponsor such events as new product demonstrations, workshops to introduce Albanian products and companies, and innovation and ICT educational contests. To facilitate partnerships and spread awareness of PROTIK's activities, the center will continuously organize networking events including business-to-business meetings, ICT sector meetings (in conjunction with partner associations), and informal networking events.
Albania's ICT sector has experienced impressive growth over the past several years, yet its potential is far from realized. Businesses often lack the technical understanding, internal capacity, and support network needed to adopt, manage, and create ICT solutions and innovation necessary to increase sales and compete in regional and global markets. Recent European Union and an International Labor Organization studies both concluded that SMEs in all sectors of the economy demand both ICT technical skills and soft business skills, with the highest priority for assistance in the areas of marketing and sales and innovation and technology.
PROTIK Center is expected to open in Spring 2012.