Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - AL-ES.NET (ALBANIAN EURAXESS Service Network)

Executive Summary:
The role of ARTI, in disseminating information and promoting the networking among national and international scientific actors is undeniably important for the diverse profile of the applicants in Horizon 2020 calls. The info and training days as well as the database of research institutions (particularly of Universities) have been an enabler factor for the joint applications and the joint interest in applying for Horizon 2020.
Mobility have a short history in Albania so the assessment of cumulative impact need to have a different baseline.
Albanian scientific research insitutions and Universities have mostly benefited form being part of the winning consortiums of FPs – consortium led by foreing institutions. The growth and maturity of Albanian agencies in participating and winning FPs is evident when analysing participants and themes of FP6, FP7 and H2020. In overall can be stated that the potential to participate in FPs is growing, whereas the implementation of such research programmes in the industry it’s a matter of the future.

Main Mobility problematicts:
• Albania has not a particular strategy for increasing or improving Mobility.
• There have been different attempts to exploit research outcomes by setting up various forms of technology transfer structures and incubators (project initiatives on donor’s funds), but no impact on economic development at national or regional level. There are sporadic examples of some actions related to innovation and innovative entrepreneurship by private universities, SMEs or projects like a small project of Triple Helix to UET with no sustainability.
• Albania is particularly affected by the brain drain phenomenon. During the last 20 years, about half of all university professors, researchers, and intellectuals who graduated abroad remain outside the country. The driving forces behind the brain drain were poor professional and career prospects (due to poor research infrastructure and limited funding) and deteriorating living conditions.

The number of professionals, researchers and key experts in knowledge intensive sectors informed about Mobility was very limited.
Apart from university professors and some researchers, the information for Mobility still is shallow.
For this reason AKTI has organised euraxess workshops covering all the potential institutions in the country. Covering all the territory and 38 Universities and 43 research institutions. We are focusing on regions of Albania and their potential of application in EU programs.
There is an evident need for the Albanian R&I system to engage and support more knowledge intensive activities and to focus on the development of high-tech & innovative products, which will increase the growth potential and sustainability of the national economy, eventually driving the country out of the economic crisis and stagnation of low competitiveness and low performance in doing business. Focusing in such priorities will incite interest of various agencies, universities, private businesses on publishing their vacancies on euraxess portal.

Project Context and Objectives:
AL-ES.Net will be a key initiative in supporting the commitment of the European Union to removing the barriers to free movement of knowledge within Europe, to strengthening cross-border mobility of researchers, students, scientists and academic staff and to provide researchers with better career structures.
There will be four main elements of AL-ES.Net: Jobs; Services; Rights and Euraxess

The primary objectives of this proposal are:
• to set-up the ALBANIAN EURAXESS Service Network, where a comprehensive upto-date information and personalized assistance to mobility researchers coming to and going from Albania will be provided;
• to provide access to a complete range of information and support services for European and non-European researchers wishing to develop their career, this will help integration of Albanian Research Area into European Research Area.
Taking under consideration the general objectives and the basic principles set by the EC, the project will implement the following activities in order to reach the objectives:

• Set up a well-structured Albanian Euraxess Service network with a geographical and sectorial balance involving universities, research institutions, companies and governmental agencies to connect and incorporate them into one system facilitating researchers „mobility and career development.
• Develop quality assistance for researchers and their families, whether incoming or out going, comprehensive and up-to-date information and personalized assistance in all matters relating to their professional and daily lives in matters such as entry conditions (visa requirements, etc.), work permits, job opportunities, salaries and taxation, pension rights, health care, social security, accommodation, day care and schooling, language courses, general culture of the host country , intellectual property rights
• Provide training facilities to officials and administrators dealing with mobility and career development, particularly within the strongest research institutions in order to ensure quality of service.

Project Results:
The Euraxess Service network will consists of Bridgehead Organisation, Steering Group, EURAXESS Service Centre Albania and contact points at research institutions.
The Bridgehead organisation will be established at the Agency for Research, Technology and Innovation ALBANIA. It will be headed by the AL-ES.Net project coordinator. The objective of the BHO is to develop and manage the Euraxess Service network and national portal, connect the national network with European Euraxess network, represent the Albanian network in European forums, advocate researchers’ mobility interests in national policy making bodies and the EC.
The EURAXESS Service Centre Albania will be also established at the Agency for Research, Technology and
Innovation (ARTI). It will be headed by the project manager and the staff of ARTI will work for the EURAXESS Service Centre. The objectives of EURXESS Service Centre is to assist researchers and their families during their period of mobility, in all matters relating to professional and daily lives, helping them to reach the adequate services to their needs, as well as to assist contact points in research institutions and inform wider group of contact points about matters of interest to mobility and career development.
A database of contact points at all relevant higher education institutions, research institutes, and relevant companies with R&D capabilities will be created by using the existing contact database, by updated this one by sending a questionnaire to all stakeholders for confirming their contact information’s and to define the most willing contact persons which will sign the Declaration of Commitment.
In this way two contact points mailing lists will be established, one extensive for invitations to workshops, as well for sending newsletters, and other core mobility network, for consultation purposes. They will be in charge to provide information on job vacancies, news, and data to the EURAXESS Service Centre.
The mobility handbook will be prepared with information packages on administrative procedures and important contacts, to be used by contact points at all relevant higher education institutions, research institutes, and relevant companies with R&D capabilities, FP7 National Contact Points (especially People NCP), and other officials. It will be made available, in a format of Frequently Asked Questions, on portals intranet area. Handbook will be available in Albanian language. The document will be constantly updated, and at the end of AL-ES.Net project, the final versions will be delivered to all contact points.
Well-structured Euraxess Service network in Albania will provide strong support to the research community in the country, regarding mobility and career development issues. The Euraxess Service network will be of outmost importance in reaching out to the researchers and transferring knowledge gathered by the Euraxess Service Centre as close to the decision makers in individual mobility and career development cases.
Service centre will identify and establish communication channels to officials in all relevant Ministries that could be helpful especially in mobility issues and career development, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of European Integration, Academy of Science Albania, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, higher educational institutions.
The help desk will be one of the services of the Euraxess Service Centre. It will provide researchers with assistance and information related to researchers’ mobility and career development. The requests to the help desk will be possible through emails and web forms, as well as through phone or through visits to the help desk. The Service Centre will act as a contact point for all incoming researchers, including expatriate ones returning to Albania, as well as outgoing researchers and researchers participating in intersectional mobility. The Service centre will for this purpose collect information material from various sources and build up knowledge and experience among its staff. The help desk will be helping with health and social security, family issues, pension rights etc. The help desk will log each action, which will later serve for reporting and monitoring purposes. The log will include the list of all questions delivered to the help desk, the time of first/final response, the response itself.
The Mobility guide will be conceived as help to incoming researchers, including expatriate, and also as an introduction to welcoming researchers. The main and updated version will be edited on the web portal, and a digested version will be printed once a year. Mobility guide will be available in English language. Each yearly edition will be printed in 500 copies.
The help-desk will provide quality proximity assistance to researchers coming to Albania as well as outgoing Albanian researchers regarding their career plans.
Training sessions will be usually organised together with workshops, but they will be on-invitation, prepared for contact points or vice-deans. Training sessions will be organised on thematic principle. There will be 3 of them. The training sessions will be held in Tirana, Albania. Trainings will be given in procedures to obtain visas, temporary stay permits, work permits, residence permits, health and social security, taxation, use of e-applications for networking with European Portal, external communication and media relations, intercultural communication, customer relation, etc.
First Training Session- will be organized by the BHO. The purpose of the first training session is to establish initial communication with contact points, present EURAXESS Service Network structure.
Second Training Session-will include presentation of general overview of major mobility issues, opportunities and career development. The training would present main legislation and practical issues for incoming and outgoing researchers, mobility in Albania, employment of foreigners, recognition of academic degrees, social insurance, health and medical care, taxation, social issues. Best available national experts in these fields should be engaged as trainers.
Third Training Session- it will include presentation of Euraxess principles and guidelines, FP7 People programme, Charter and Code for Researchers. In order to provide quality, it is planned to invite experts from the region, as well as from EU countries.
These activities will help the members of the Euraxess Service network in focusing on the needs of mobile researchers coming to Albania and possibilities to provide the best assistance possible to this group and also help them with career development.
Measurable results:The number of participants in training sessions (e.g. 10 participants / session). Increase in their activity after the training.
The Agency for Research, Technology and Innovation will provide server, web space and broadband connection that will be used by the portal. It will also, provide support in obtaining domain name
The national portal, whose layout will mirror the European one, will primarily be designed with the needs of researchers coming to Albania and feature practical information, research job opportunities, information about fellowships and grants, the Albanian research landscape etc. The web portal will have a section with links to all legislation and legal documents, database of all contact points in research institutions, subscribe/unsubscribe to newsletter and news. It will also have intranet layer, open only to registered users, which will handle FAQ in forum based format (question, answers, comments). The portal will be in English.
Material prepared in other work packages will be edited for the web use. The content will be provided by Euraxess Service Centre and contact points. The quality of the content published, including positions available, will be controlled on daily basis superficially and on monthly basis thoroughly. Links feeding the Albanian Researchers Mobility Portal will be put on the European one as well to guarantee full compliance of information available on the two portals.
The national mobility portal will be fully developed and functional. It will be supplement the pan-European mobility portal and provide more specific information for researchers about research in Albania, as well as vacancies, job offers, fellowships and grants etc. The availability and accessibility of such information will make it easier for researchers coming to Albania and going abroad, and therefore increase researchers’ mobility and career development.
Measurable results:
Number of web hits will be analyzed, and trends taken as a measure of success. Number of positions and CVs posted, and the trends will be taken as a measure of success.
The promotion of the network and portal will be done by a formal launch and by two awareness campaigns, through direct mail, web portals information and workshops. Researchers will be informed about the possibilities offered by the national and European networks and portals.
Two awareness-raising campaigns will be launched when web portal, draft mobility guide and help desk will be functional in order to introduce the services offered by the national and European Euraxess Service networks. These campaigns will be aimed at potential users of these services and carried out by direct mail campaign, as well as through web portals of research institutions. A leaflet and a poster will be prepared for the purpose of promotional campaigns.
Three workshops will be organized to discuss the mobility career development issues. The workshops will be targeted to contact points and interested researchers. They will have practical and learning character, disseminative character, and informative character. Collected questions and inquires will be used to analyze and improve information packages offered by the Euraxess Service Centre.
Mobility, career development and other research related news will be published on daily basis on the web portal. A short, awareness raising newsletter will be prepared, on the main issues in mobility and career development, and distributed by email to most of Albanian researchers. Also, newsletter will be made available online through research institution web sites. Special precautions will be taken so that researchers are free to decide on receiving the newsletter.
In order to promote the use of the services provided, members of the Albanian research community, the media and government officials will be invited to a attend a high profile launching event (in Tirana) for the presentation of the national mobility portal. The event will be accompanied by press releases.
The expected results are that most of Albanian researchers have basic information on the existence of the Euraxess Service Centre, as well that most of interested ones know how to access information. The workshops will help the members of the national Euraxess Service network in focusing on the needs of mobile researchers coming to Albania and outgoing and possibilities in order to improve the quality of mobility assistance. It will also provide an input to the co-ordination of activities of the network activities and help to create important personal and professional contacts between network members. It will provide opportunities for the members of the national network and the researchers to discuss the project’s progress and actions needed.
Measurable results
At least 75% of Albanian researchers will receive newsletter by email.

Potential Impact:
This project will bring a fully functional EURAXESS Service Network in Albania. Furthermore, the Albanian Euraxess Service Network will become fully fledged part of the pan European Euraxess service network. AL-ES.Net will provide quality service to any query in relation to mobility issues of researches coming to the Albania. Likewise the national network will be able to provide guidance to outgoing researches wishing to take up a position in a European country. This will be accomplished by setting up a formal and easily accessible service network where relevant persons in Albania research community, ministries and other relevant personnel will collectively work together to provide the necessary information. The Albanian EURAXESS portal will make information and service contacts easily accessible. The job-portal will also be a place where vacancies in Albania research will be posted and thereby working towards making Albania an integrated part of the European Research Area.

List of Websites:
service desk

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