The Government of Kosovo has received credit from the International Development Association (IDA) (hereinafter ‘the Bank’) for a Kosovo Digital Economy (KODE) Project. The KODE project aims to improve access to better quality and high‐speed broadband services in project areas and online knowledge sources, services and labour markets among citizens, and public and academic institutions. The Project started in the year 2019 and will end in July 2023.

It is foreseen that the Project will achieve its development objective through two main sets of activities: (1) expanding access of Kosovars to high‐speed and better-quality digital infrastructure; and (2) support Kosovars to take advantage of regional and global Digital Economy (DE) opportunities, especially for income generation, usage of services, and learning, thus triggering the growth of a DE in Kosovo. It is foreseen that KODE will finance the setup of a National Research and Education Network (NREN) in Kosovo to improve access of students, researchers and educators at Higher Educational Institutions (HEls) in Kosovo to knowledge, research networks and also to connect that NREN to the pan-European academic network GEANT.

It is envisaged that KODE-funded NREN for Kosovo will have its organisational structure, national status, physical network nationally, connecting the country’s HEIs among themselves and with the GÉANT network. It shall provide a range of services designed for its users (HEIs and, over time, potentially primary and secondary schools, and other entities) in full support of the national research and education process, among them the most important one is the provision of high-speed broadband connectivity. Although Kosovo’s NREN requires a considerable initial investment, it will be a cost-efficient alternative to conventional ways to boost connectivity and communication within the academic community. Once established and operational for universities, Kosovo’s NREN will offer membership possibilities with a view of increasing its beneficiaries’ base and connecting them to a high-speed broadband network at a lesser cost.

Given that the KREN, as a new project, institution, player and stakeholder aims to position itself as a strategic stakeholder in Kosovo’s national and its international research and education environment, it needs to establish strategic partnerships with key domestic and international institutions, organizations, agencies and companies in order to become relevant, accepted and reliable partner.

KREN’s operations will therefore be both domestic and international, as well as its partnerships.

To better understand this environment, a SWOT analysis is conducted to identify KREN’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis will help also to identify KREN’s potential partners.

The results of the SWOT analysis are the main guiding principles of the business plan in terms of capacity planning. Certainly, the real environment and capacities built since the beginning of the KODE project were taken into account.

Human resources and the range of KREN services for its community are intertwined and interdependent in both directions and both are key factors that will determine the future and success of KREN.

  • Clean start
  • Clean vision and mission
  • Brings added value
  • Financial security – Initial financing provided
  • Recognised as national partner to international organizations
  • Wide scope of action
  • Knowledge and technology availability
  • Innovation / resourcefulness
  • Working for the common good
  • Environment stability (monopoly)
  • Insufficient budgetary flexibility – limited budget
  • Insufficient flexibility in staffing
  • The complexity of the process that would accompany the changes
  • Wide range of action / lack of focus
  • Focus on optimization and priorities
  • Loss of employee motivation and focus and potential burnout
  • Non-competitive public sector wages
  • International status of Kosovo
  • Experience in applying for and participating EU projects
  • Kosovo does not have top country domain
  • Environment stability (monopoly)
  • Recognisability of the KREN as a brand in the public and other institutions
  • Digital transformation of society and business
  • Ability to influence strategic processes
  • International visibility
  • EU funds / different funding lines
  • Motivated employees
  • Employee benefits opportunities
  • Adapt to user needs
  • A large amount of simultaneous changes in the environment
  • Lack of support from relevant bodies for the implementation of projects and initiatives
  • Budget / Country Dependency (co-financing)
  • International environment / politics
  • Lack of employable professionals in the market
  • Public procurement
  • Job security
  • Market situation
  • No in-house R&D