Innovation is a “new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method”. Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.

The Embassy of Sweden Tirana will provide funding to innovative start-ups and innovation service providers through the establishment of an Innovation Challenge Fund.

The challenge Fund is a competitive financing facility which will be used as a means of addressing the issue of access to finance for innovative companies at an early stage of development, as well as for organisations engaged in services to innovative start-ups and promotion of the Albanian innovation system. The fund builds on the idea that both start-ups and innovation service providers receive capacity building through various forms of technical assistance from GIZ. The Challenge Fund would provide funding to the most promising companies to carry them through the ‘valley of death’ and scale up their innovative businesses. The fund would also provide funding to the best innovation service providers to upgrade their capacity further and/or develop new services to the innovation and start-up community in Albania.

The grantees will be selected on a competitive basis. The selection would be carried out in a transparent manner based on specific criteria, involving an evaluation committee with international expertise. All aspects of the fund would take place digitally including the application process. Successful grantees will match up the grant with their own financing.