Welcome to the Innovation Challenge Fund!
The applications for the second call are closed. The third call is estimated to be launched on March 2020.
Start-up creation and improve the innovation ecosystem in Albania. This is done by offering an opportunity for access to finance through an open, transparent and competitive application process, which provides applicants with a one-off, limited-duration grant to overcome the uncertainties that inhibit innovation, research, and development. The assumption is that without challenge-fund support, such activities are either unlikely to happen, or will occur at a later stage, with reduced developmental effects. The fund is managed by a team linked to the Embassy of Sweden in Tirana and applications are only accepted in English to allow a transparent selection process.
The fund has two separate application windows. Window 1 is open for innovative start-ups in an early stage of development. Window 2 is open for organizations engaged in services to innovative start-ups, i.e. innovation service providers to upgrade their capacity further and/or develop new services to the innovation and start-up community in Albania. These actors are hereon after referred to as Innovation Support Organizations (ISOs).
Window 1 of the ‘’Innovation Challenge fund 1st call’’, provides an opportunity for funding for Albanian start-ups created around innovative business concepts. It includes both businesses in early stage of development and small innovative enterprises in a scaling-up phase.
Window 2 of the ‘’Innovation challenge fund 1st call’’ is open to all innovation service and promotion providers such as Albanian incubators, accelerators, science parks, innovation hubs, co-working facilities, technology transfer offices, innovation clubs, specialised media on innovation, financial intermediaries, innovation education providers and others agents engaged in providing services to innovative start-ups as well as involved in developing the Albanian innovation ecosystem including promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.