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UNECE initiates second Innovation Performance Review of Belarus

The Government of Belarus has invited UNECE to review its national innovation policies and innovation performance. Initial consultations on the project were held in Minsk from 18 to 24 November. The 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda recognizes that innovation has great potential to accelerate human progress. However, many countries struggle to fully realize this potential because of shortcomings in their innovation support institutions and policies. Belarus has a highly educated labor force and pockets of excellence of innovative enterprises that compete successfully in global markets. However, the economy as a whole is insufficiently diversified, suffers from slow productivity growth, is at risk from increasing internal and external imbalances, and has failed to sustain the high rates of economic growth seen in the previous decade.

The review will identify options to strengthen the role of innovation in achieving the national sustainable development agenda of Belarus. It will also assess progress made in Belarus since 2010, when UNECE first assessed the country’s innovation policies. This earlier review resulted in a number of recommendations for policy reform, including in areas such as innovation governance, technology transfer, commercialization, risk financing, and innovative entrepreneurship. Since 2011, UNECE has supported the Government of Belarus in implementing selected policy reforms through a series of capacity building and policy advisory seminars.

Alexander Shumilin, Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus, said: "The results and recommendations of the first review made a significant contribution to improving the innovation policy of Belarus and have been used in management decisions in matters of innovative development."

The launch of the second Innovation Performance Review of Belarus follows close behind the recent two-day visit of UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach to Minsk, where the further development of cooperation between Belarus and UNECE was discussed, along with specific proposals related to the acceleration of economic integration in the region.

The first Innovation Performance Review of Belarus is available at: http://www.unece.org/ceci/2011/ipr.html 

For more information, please contact: ralph.heinrich@unece.org