• Creative Valley

Partners’Talk with Azamat Batyrkozha, Vice-Minister of Digital Development of Kazakhstan

Welcome to our new series Partners’ Talk, where we will be sharing news from our partners from across the world.

For this first edition, Batyrkozha Azamat Baykuanyshevich, Vice-Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, will be sharing his views on the role that innovation policies play in improving the quality of life of Kazakhstanis.

Vice-Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan Batyrkozha Azamat Baykuanyshevich in an interview with the correspondent of Business Kazakhstan spoke about plans to improve the quality of life of Kazakhstanis. After all, the quality of life and comprehensive human development constitute a meaningful characteristic of modern approaches to the problems of economic growth and social development. Kazakhstan has declared a policy of building a social state with high standards of living. This position is reflected in the statements of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Azamat Baykuanyshevich, last time you spoke about the need to increase the financing of R & D in Kazakhstan from the current 0.12% of GDP to at least 1%. Tell me, can we expect that the level of scientific and technological development of Kazakhstan will increase by the same number of times?

Of course not. Moreover, an increase in funding alone will not produce results if there are no mechanisms to ensure the efficient and rational use of these funds. It is no accident that the authors of the latest report "Global Innovation Index" point out that in Kazakhstan, the growth of innovation efficiency lags behind economic growth (GDP per capita growth). Moreover, according to the index related to the effectiveness of innovations, our country has a rating below the average for its group, that is, a group of countries with a per capita income above the average. Thus, the entire infrastructure of scientific, technological and innovative development created in recent years (technoparks, incubators, commercialisation offices, venture funds) is largely idle.

Do you have a vision of what needs to be done to change the situation?

In order for the state scientific and technological policy to become a factor of economic growth, technological development and social modernisation, a number of practical steps are required.

First, it is necessary to raise the status of science, technology and innovation policy in the public administration system. It is important that this state policy is uniform, synchronised with other state policies - social, youth, educational. Today it is torn between different ministries. The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for science, ICRIAP is responsible for innovation, MIIR is responsible for technology. It is not surprising that scientists, entrepreneurs and development institutions cannot agree with each other.

Secondly, at the sectoral level, the strategy of scientific and technological development should be determined not by officials, but by experts, professionals, scientists and practitioners. Technological Competence Centres should become the conductor of the state scientific and technical policy. These centres can be created on the basis of industrial research institutes or specialised universities, or committees of "Atameken". The form can be any, one thing is fundamentally - there should be collected the best national experts uniting.

Their tasks will be:

  • Identification of the most pressing technological problems of the industries.

  • Monitoring, evaluation and recommendations on global technological trends.

  • Assistance in technological expertise and project appraisal.

  • Determination of the optimal international partners from among the companies-world technology leaders.

  • Determination of scenarios for the technological development of industries.

  • Assistance in the development of regulatory and technical documents, training programs and professional standards.

Monitoring the implementatio