UNECE is helping Kazakhstan to prepare a methodology for the development of innovation systems in its regions. The seminar organized by the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan and the National Agency for Technology Development with the expert contribution of UNECE, in Astana on 19 April 2013, marked the first step in this process.
The contribution of UNECE to this ongoing policy initiative reflects the agreed collaboration with the National Agency for Technological Development to support the implementation of the recommendations of the Innovation Performance Review of Kazakhstan published by UNECE in 2012. The Review contained a recommendation that encouraged the authorities to continue their efforts to reach the regions with their innovation support initiatives.
The seminar was opened by Mr. Asset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Mr. Kanysh Tuleushin, Vice-Minister of Industry and New Technologies, presented the current draft of the methodology. The international experts mobilised by UNECE introduced different international experiences and contributed to the lively debate that ensued on how to promote regional innovation and address the different institutional, legal and financial issues involved in policy design.
The importance of regional (sub-national) factors in determining overall innovation performance is increasingly recognised worldwide. It is recognized that an important dimension of effective regional innovation policies is the active participation of the main innovation stakeholders, both in the formulation and in the implementation of strategies, so that potential opportunities and the necessary actions to exploit them are identified. The event was attended by many regional deputy governors and senior officers of the presidential administration, in addition to representatives from other public and private organizations.
Close relations between research organisations and business have an important influence on innovation performance. Mr. Asset Ishekeshev described current efforts to develop an innovation infrastructure in the regions to facilitate this interaction. New possibilities are opened by the introduction of a 1% income tax on natural resources to finance innovation related expenditures. Mr. Josep Miquel Pique, President of the European Division of the International Association of Science Parks, emphasized that the connectivity of innovation agents and the quality of educational institutions are key elements in any regional innovation strategy.
Note to editors:
Innovation Performance Reviews, conducted by UNECE in close cooperation with national authorities, provide a set of policy options and recommendations to encourage innovation activity in countries that request such Reviews, following a comprehensive assessment of the factors that determine innovation performance in these countries.
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