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UNECE supports Belarus on Technology and Innovation Foresight

In a rapidly changing global and regional economy, a systematic approach to national technology and innovation foresight system is a central element to inform, monitor, and evaluate national science, technology and innovation strategies – ensuring that they contribute towards sustainable development.

A solid foresight exercise leading to robust results should combine expert and stakeholder consultations, data mining and analysis, and creativity and horizon scanning.

Economies in transition face numerous challenges in this regard, including rallying the necessary resources, finding and validating data, engaging appropriate expertise, securing buy-in on multiple fronts, and setting up indicators, systems, and processes for continuous monitoring and evaluation.

At the request of the State Committee on Science and Technology of Belarus (SCST), UNECE organized a workshop on “National Technology Foresight Methodology” in Minsk on 8 November 2018. It supported the SCST mandate to develop a "Complex forecast of science and technology development for 2021-2025 and further till 2040" which will be part of the overall “State Programme of Social and Economic Development 2021-2025”. The workshop examined in depth different foresight approaches and tools.

Experts from the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Romania and Belarus, shared their national experiences and best practices on foresight methodology. The workshop was addressed to about 40 Belarus participants from government, private sector and academia. The international experts also advised Belarus on the draft foresight methodology that SCST presented.

The workshop is the first activity of the UNECE capacity building programme for Belarus 2019-2020 that, following an MoU between SCST and UNECE signed in February 2018, will support reforms based on the recommendations of the UNECE “Innovation for Sustainable Development Review of Belarus”, launched in 2017.