Being competitive nowadays does not necessarily mean to be the cheapest – but to be the “best” value option for clients, customers and consumers, as well as taking the best competitive positioning versus competitors.
Selling more, delivering better products and services and producing more efficiently are the goals to achieve; and Innovation is the means for progressing on this path. As Albania is on its way towards the European Union, the EU is supporting the Albanian Government in its efforts to create and strengthen modern and more innovative entrepreneurship through the Project “Supporting SMEs to become more competitive in the EU market”.
The overall objective is to increase competitiveness of the private sector, and provide a healthy business environment for investment and employment. The project is implemented by a consortium led by IDI – International Development Ireland, in cooperation with SINTEF Group of Norway. IDN is subcontracted by SINTEF. A budget of approximately 2.2 million Euros has been allocated to implement the project. The project is to be delivered over the period from October 2009 to October 2011. Project homepage: www.eu-sme.al
The main objectives of Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA) consist of attracting foreign investment, increasing the competitiveness of the Albanian economy through supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and innovation.
AIDA was established and operates under the Law No. 10303, dated on 15 July, 2010 “On the Establishment and organization of the Albanian Investment Development Agency”.
AIDA-s direct contribution to the economic development of the country is emphasized through:
AIDA offers for the foreign and domestic investors, comprehensive support for their investment projects. AIDAs qualified staff, not only assists with market analysis and potential sectors for investment, but also with advice on finding suitable properties and locations, as well as assistance on finding identifying new and existing projects.
AIDA also offers additional aftercare services aiming to successfully fulfill the demands of foreign investors even after the successful completion of projects.
Mr. Stølan holds a M.Sc. degree at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH), within technical-economic planning in regional and urban areas. Master thesis focused on Regional and Local Economic Impacts of Petrochemical Industrialization.
Presently he is the President/CEO of International Development Norway. He was a Research Director at SINTEF, one of the largest Scandinavian research institutes , in the period 1997-2003, and 2004-2008, as well as scientist in SINTEF Industrial Management, Economics and Logistics. As a researcher on “commercialization of technology” he was engaged at Surrey Technology Centre, Surrey University, Guildford UK, 2003-2004. He also has experience as assistant professor, Department of Managerial Economic and Operations Research, at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Mr. Stølan has extensive international experience in project development management and consulting, local economic development, innovation and trans-national technology transfer. More than 20 years of practice experience in delivering and managing SME innovation and competitiveness actions. In total more than 12 years of experiences in building up and manage research activities in SINTEF and proven competences in terms of R&D and innovation within Norway, Europe and developing countries. Direct access to numerous institutions and networks regarding technology innovation, innovative SMEs, regional development and science and technology policy. Experience in managing projects funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA), EU funded: Framework Programmes, Competitiveness Innovation Programmes (CIP), EEA grants, but also private clients (industry).
Of significant importance is his engagement at the projects with technology transfer and commercialization of technology, innovative solutions in solar energy and their contribution to decentralized robust solutions and job creation (project Technology & Business Cooperation Norway-Uzbekistan), Waste Treatment Solutions (2011-2013 Serbia), Process and Supplier Industry Development based on Natural Gas in Uzbekistan (2010-2011), Local Innovation and Business Development in Bioenergy and Plastic Recycling, Romania (2009-2011¬). In the period 2008-2012 he also provided support in Technological Innovations in Micro Combined Cooling Heating Power Romania (mCCHP Innovation), WEEE Technology Transfer and Promotion between Norway-Poland, as well as Environmental Technology Transfer Mid-Norway Poland and Joint Applied Research and Economic Cooperation between Norway and Kharhov Region.