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Money for innovation should be spent transparently

27 December 2017
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Only 0.17% of GDP is allocated in the sphere of science and introduction of innovation in Kazakhstan, this is one of the lowest indicators in the world.

On 26th of December, a regular meeting of the Committee of Information and Communication Technologies, Education and Innovations of NCE RK "Atameken" took place at the "Atameken" site.

The event was attended by the Chairman of the Committee Murat Abenov, the Vice Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan Elvira Azimova, the Director of Human Capital Development Department of Atameken Alatazh Ordabaev, members of the committee, the leaders of the Science Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, JSC Zerde, JSC NATR of the Science Foundation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, rectors of universities, representatives of state bodies and the business community.

Murat Abenov, opening the meeting, noted that the first issue concerns measures of state support for innovative projects.

"The second issue is the training of personnel for the digital economy in the framework of the state program Digital Kazakhstan. The third one is the recommendations of the members of the Committee on the introduction of the Latin alphabet in IT technologies", - the Chairman of the Committee presented the agenda.

He added that only 0.17% of GDP is allocated to support the sphere of science and the introduction of innovations in Kazakhstan. While the minimum critical level is considered to be not less than 1%, and in the developed countries it reaches up to 3%.

"The introduction of innovation at the initial stage is very expensive and without government support is indispensable. And the sphere of copyright and intellectual property is a special market where technologies, patents, trademarks and brands should be traded. We need to create the necessary infrastructure and develop clear and understandable rules", - Murat Abenov explained.

In turn, Elvira Azimova noted that in 2015 the law "On commercialization of the results of scientific and (or) scientific and technical activities" was adopted.

"This is a consolidated law that brought together all the norms. But we see that there are certain gaps that need to be resolved. In particular, on innovative projects - on the basis of the IFAC, an IT park of innovative technologies is being created. We started working on venture financing, there are general recommendations, namely, the need for 100% legislative coverage of the issue. The main point of the current law on commercialization is the receipt of patents. The patent law gave an accelerated examination, the list of projects is determined by agreement. In terms of projects, we are ready to expand and supplement this list. We invite NCE RK "Atameken", the Science Foundation to work with us. A number of issues were raised in the agrarian and industrial complex, these issues will be discussed in the framework of the project. As for the technical aspects, the patenting procedure itself implements the project of modernization of the examination system. This should be a guarantee that the owner will be free from the claims of other entities", - said the Vice Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Murat Abenov added that Kazakhstan does not yet have its own intellectual property market. Many litigation disputes most often concern foreign rightholders. Our controlling bodies are still busy protecting foreign brands. And who will teach our companies to properly manage their own intellectual property? How to develop brands, how to register, how to protect and sell? State agencies should teach domestic companies and help in creating a modern market. In the meantime, we in the international ranking in the protection of intellectual property fell from 69th place to the 76th. This is an alarming signal, the business community is ready, together with the ministry, to engage in the process of creating optimal conditions.

In Kazakhstan, 393 scientific organizations are engaged in scientific activity.

"Under the law on science, according to the instruction of the Head of State, extrabudgetary funds are attracted to research activities. Today there are 7 priority scientific councils, which concern the healthcare industry, agriculture and others. There are technical and applied sciences, there is a development towards commercialization. About 17% of humanitarian projects are funded", - said Yerkin Sadykov, deputy chairman of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

 

Compared with the past years, there is no distortion towards fundamental science, Anuarbek Sultangazin, Chairman of the Board of the JSC “Fund of Science” added.

The Deputy Chairman of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan noted that under the World Bank project all criteria for participation in financing can be found on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Science Committee.

 

Anuarbek Sultangazin stressed that expert opinions are issued at the request of the author.

The Vice Minister of Justice stressed that publishing them in the public domain for all the general review is wrong, from the point of view that some personal project data can be proclaimed in the document.

"If these budget funds are spent on these projects, then citizens have the right to know whom and for what they gave money. When people hide from the public what projects have won and why the choice fell on them, which is the return, then suspicions arise in the corruption component", - Murat Abenov said.

The Chairman of the Board of JSC "NATR" Marat Omarov emphasized that the driver of innovation is business.

"With this approach, we looked at our new tools. This year, the requirements for the applicant himself were toughened. The company that is claimed must work for at least 3 years in its industry. Since August, we began to accept applications. With the change in demand, the quality of projects has increased. All the same, we are talking about the fact that when a business comes with its money, it is more interested. We are the operator of the business road map with the MNE RK", - said Marat Omarov.

Murat Abenov recalled that the committee he heads criticizes the unreasonable allocation of budget resources, which are allocated to support innovation: "On behalf of the Committee, NCE "Atameken" sent to the Agency for Civil Service and Anti-Corruption, the facts which became known to us on allocation of funds for obscure projects. The NATD financed allegedly innovative technologies at 53 million KZT. As it turned out - this is the production of ordinary donuts, reminiscent of our baursaks. Since when did the Bauersaks become innovations? The financial police initiated the case and the materials were transferred to the court. Or another fact: in Pavlodar they allocated 400 million tenge for the cultivation of mushrooms. This is also called innovation! At the same time, many truly innovative developments of domestic business can not be implemented due to lack of money. We need to strictly control the allocation of funds".

The participants of the meeting raised the issue of the control mechanism through the participation of business in the National Scientific Councils. Olzhas Ordabayev noted about the nominations for participation in the National Scientific Councils.

"From NCE RK "Atameken" 76 candidates for all 7 priority councils of the Science Committee were accepted. But the new composition of the NSC has not yet been approved, most likely it will be formed in 2018. The current composition of the NSC implies 30% of the market representatives, but we did not provide these candidates, because it was agreed 3 years ago. Now the situation is being monitored", - the director explained.

Chairman of the Board of JSC NIH "Zerde" Ruslan Yensebayev raised the topic of lack of knowledge and skills of personnel for the implementation of "Digital Kazakhstan".

"Now the curriculum needs to be updated, modern students should know how to introduce new technologies", - says Chairman of the Board of NIH Zerde.

Rector of the International University of Information Technologies - MUIT Damir Shynybekov voiced a number of proposals for creating real competitive conditions among universities in training IT professionals.

On the introduction of the Latin alphabet, the committee members expressed their full support for this process and gave a number of suggestions on graphics options for more convenient use in computer technologies. They also proposed to include in the composition of commissions more experts in the field of IT and business associations.

In general, the Committee of ICT, Education and Innovation of NCE RK "Atameken" supports open discussion with the responsible state bodies of the event within the framework of "Digital Kazakhstan" and the effective implementation of innovations.

"We are ready to consolidate all proposals from business structures regarding the state program Digital Kazakhstan and measures to support the introduction of innovations. Thus, openly discussing, we can exclude possible risks during the implementation of the program", - Murat Abenov summed up.

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