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Identifying technological changes and skills needs in the Western Balkan agri-food sector

While undergoing the Smart Specialisation process, Western Balkan economies, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, are preparing for the entry into the EU and the single market. In this process, the European Commission has identified the need to increase the level of SME innovation and competitiveness through higher level of connectedness between skills and innovation actors, and relevant partnerships. The agri-food sector is one of the priority areas in the region, recognised both by the JRC and nationally.

The overall objective of the study was to identify current and emerging technological changes, and related skills needs in three specific niches of the agri-food sector in six Western Balkan economies: development and production of digitalisation solutions for agri-food, development and production of microbial and biochemical inputs for agri-food, and the production and processing of organic foods. The study included national, regional and EU level analysis. Data was collected through desk research, analysis of statistical databases, and interviews with stakeholders.