To Join the Ranks of 50 Ad­vanced Na­tions

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - INNOVATION - Oleg Murashkin

The 2019-2021 Strat­egy of In­no­va­tive De­vel­op­ment of the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan has been ap­proved. What can we ex­pect in the com­ing years on this front? Uzbek­istan To­day cor­re­spon­dent ad­dressed the Min­is­ter of In­no­va­tive De­vel­op­ment Ibro­him Ab­du­rah­monov with this and other ques­tions.

- What do you ex­pect from the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this strat­egy?

- Its main goal is the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man cap­i­tal as the prin­ci­pal fac­tor de­ter­min­ing the de­gree of the coun­try’s com­pet­i­tive­ness in the world arena and its in­no­va­tive progress. By 2030, we in­tend to join the list of 50 lead­ing states of the world un­der the Global In­no­va­tion In­dex rat­ing.

I would like to draw at­ten­tion to the in­no­va­tive ap­proach to eval­u­at­ing the re­sults of the pro­gram. Pre­vi­ously, we used to praise our­selves, but no one abroad se­ri­ously took our self­serv­ing boasts. In order not to ad­mit our own mis­takes, we avoided par­tic­i­pa­tion in var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional stud­ies and rat­ings. One ex­am­ple is the rank­ing of the Global In­no­va­tion In­dex: we were in it, but when our re­sults be­gan to de­te­ri­o­rate, we stopped co­op­er­at­ing with its au­thors and left it. If we call every­thing by its own name, that ap­proach did not pro­mote pro­gres­sive de­vel­op­ment, but pulled us back.

Now every­thing will be dif­fer­ent, as ob­jec­tive as pos­si­ble. Progress will be as­sessed based on 81 in­di­ca­tors, de­ter­mined within the frame­work of rat­ings and stud­ies of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions. Dur­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the strat­egy along 34 in­di­ca­tors, the coun­try plans to sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove its po­si­tion, and the as­sess­ment of achieve­ments in 47 in­di­ca­tors will be car­ried out for the first time. It will be pro­duced in the spheres of pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion, hu­man cap­i­tal and re­search ac­tiv­i­ties, in­fra­struc­ture, mar­kets, busi­ness, science and tech­nol­ogy, creative re­sults.

- What is to be done on this path?

- In a word, we need to im­ple­ment sev­eral sets of mea­sures aimed at solv­ing cur­rent prob­lems.

First and fore­most, we must en­sure the im­prove­ment of the qual­ity and cov­er­age of ed­u­ca­tion at all lev­els, the de­vel­op­ment of a sys­tem of con­tin­u­ous ed­u­ca­tion, the flex­i­bil­ity of the train­ing sys­tem based on the needs of the econ­omy.

Sec­ond, there is an ur­gent need to bol­ster the sci­en­tific po­ten­tial and ef­fec­tive­ness of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, cre­ate ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms for in­te­grat­ing ed­u­ca­tion, science and en­trepreneur­ship to widely im­ple­ment the re­sults of re­search, de­vel­op­ment and tech­no­log­i­cal work.

Thirdly, we must se­cure growth in the in­vest­ment of pub­lic and pri­vate funds in in­no­va­tion, re­search, de­vel­op­ment and tech­nol­ogy, the in­tro­duc­tion of mod­ern and ef­fec­tive forms of fi­nanc­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in these ar­eas.

Fourth, the ef­fi­ciency of pub­lic au­thor­i­ties ought to be in­creased through the in­tro­duc­tion of mod­ern man­age­ment meth­ods and tech­niques.

Fifth, we need to im­prove the sys­tem for en­sur­ing the pro­tec­tion of prop­erty rights, cre­ate com­pet­i­tive mar­kets and equal con­di­tions for busi­nesses, de­vel­op­ment of pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship.

And, fi­nally, it is nec­es­sary to work on de­liv­er­ing a sus­tain­able so­cio-eco­nomic in­fra­struc­ture.

- How will the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem change?

- Fur­ther im­prove­ment of the qual­ity of learn­ing in ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions is to be achieved through the in­tro­duc­tion of new ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams, mod­ern ped­a­gog­i­cal and smart tech­nolo­gies into the teach­ing and up­bring­ing process. We fi­nally need to use the po­ten­tial of elec­tronic mod­ules and dis­tance learn­ing, not in words but in prac­tice, to im­prove the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion.

At the same time, we need an ob­jec­tive as­sess­ment of the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion. There­fore, it is nec­es­sary to de­velop and im­ple­ment a na­tional sys­tem for as­sess­ing the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion and its im­pact on the level of in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try on the ba­sis of sys­tem­atic mon­i­tor­ing of the re­sults of the ed­u­ca­tional process at the re­gional and na­tional lev­els.

Vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion should be more ac­ces­si­ble. A per­son wish­ing to ob­tain a pro­fes­sion should not be con­strained by some age and other frame­work that re­stricts his/her ac­cess to pro­fes­sional knowl­edge. The col­leges will en­gage in pro­fes­sional re­train­ing of young peo­ple, tak­ing into ac­count the rapidly chang­ing la­bor mar­ket trends in short-term train­ing pro­grams. In higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions, we will grad­u­ally abol­ish quo­tas for ad­mis­sion, they will them­selves de­ter­mine the num­ber of stu­dents ac­cepted, based on their ca­pac­i­ties. Ap­pli­cants will have the op­por­tu­nity to si­mul­ta­ne­ously ap­ply for sev­eral uni­ver­si­ties, which will in­crease their chances of grad­u­at­ing. There will be more uni­ver­si­ties; in the cre­ation of new ones we will ac­tively use the po­ten­tial of co­op­er­a­tion with for­eign lead­ing higher ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions.

We will pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to the qual­ity of higher ed­u­ca­tion. It is planned to raise it thanks to the con­sol­i­da­tion of the re­search com­po­nent of higher ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions on the ba­sis of state sup­port for the most ac­tive uni­ver­si­ties in this field, se­lected ac­cord­ing to the num­ber of pub­lished sci­en­tific ar­ti­cles, the ci­ta­tion in­dex, par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences and sem­i­nars, and the num­ber of patents re­ceived. Lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties will have fore­sight cen­ters. They will be en­gaged in fore­cast­ing the de­vel­op­ment of in­no­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties in order to de­velop pro­pos­als for sce­nar­ios of the sec­tor-based and re­gional econ­omy. Their tasks will also in­clude the pro­vi­sion of sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal fore­cast­ing of the in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment, the de­vel­op­ment of the tech­no­log­i­cal and in­no­va­tive en­vi­ron­ment and pri­or­ity in­no­va­tive direc­tions of the higher ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion.

Mean­while, at­ten­tion will be paid to the de­vel­op­ment of in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion. Ev­ery­one should have equal ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, re­gard­less of health sta­tus.

- To se­cure in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment it is im­por­tant that young peo­ple go to science. What will be done to in­crease the at­trac­tive­ness of the pro­fes­sion of the sci­en­tist?

- First of all, a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in fund­ing for science is planned; it will be brought up to 0.8% of GDP.

The sys­tem of fund­ing sci­en­tific re­search will re­ceive a push for­ward. We will have in­no­va­tive funds, in­no­va­tive banks, ven­ture funds. We will sim­plify the pro­ce­dures and re­quire­ments for ob­tain­ing a bank loan to stim­u­late the in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try. It is nec­es­sary to im­prove the mi­cro­fi­nance sys­tem of in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment.

We are go­ing to stim­u­late the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the pri­vate sec­tor in iden­ti­fy­ing and fi­nanc­ing the pri­or­i­ties of sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. We will cre­ate a con­stantly up­dated sin­gle data­base of in­no­va­tive projects and po­ten­tial in­vestors.

We’ll in­tro­duce the mech­a­nism for or­ga­niz­ing re­search through the pub­lic order for car­ry­ing out re­search and de­vel­op­ment work on the pro­gram-tar­get prin­ci­ple us­ing the mech­a­nisms of project man­age­ment. This will in­crease the ef­fec­tive­ness of sci­en­tists’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in ad­dress­ing press­ing is­sues.

Much at­ten­tion is to be paid to the de­vel­op­ment of in­no­va­tion in­fra­struc­ture, the cre­ation of con­di­tions so that sci­en­tists can re­al­ize their po­ten­tial. We will buy mod­ern sci­en­tific equip­ment. To cre­ate con­di­tions for its ef­fec­tive use, we are go­ing to cre­ate cen­ters for col­lec­tive use of unique sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal equip­ment. But the equip­ment in them will be the most ad­vanced.

It was de­cided to de­liver a pub­lic sys­tem of sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing the na­tional, branch, re­gional sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion re­sources and or­ga­ni­za­tions spe­cial­iz­ing in the col­lec­tion, stor­age and pro­cess­ing of do­mes­tic and for­eign sources of sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion, the for­ma­tion, main­te­nance and use of in­for­ma­tion funds, data­bases and data banks. This will fa­cil­i­tate ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about sci­en­tific in­ven­tions to all who are in­ter­ested in them.

Schol­ars should be en­cour­aged to im­ple­ment their de­vel­op­ments. To this end, we will cre­ate na­tional and re­gional tech­nol­ogy trans­fer of­fices. It is planned to cre­ate a hub for tech­nol­ogy parks, free eco­nomic zones, free in­dus­trial zones, small in­dus­trial zones and sci­en­tific and in­dus­trial clus­ters for the de­vel­op­ment and in­tro­duc­tion of ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies.

Pub­lic sup­port will be boosted for the for­ma­tion of joint or­ga­ni­za­tions with for­eign part­ners to pro­duce do­mes­tic science-in­ten­sive goods and to sell them on the for­eign mar­ket.

Knowl­edge-in­ten­sive in­dus­tries, in par­tic­u­lar the sphere of IT tech­nol­ogy and soft­ware prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, are to re­ceive ad­vance­ment. By 2021, the share of ex­ports of ser­vices in the field of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies will be brought to 4% of the to­tal ex­ports.

All this will con­tribute to the fact that sci­en­tists will be en­gaged in solv­ing spe­cific prob­lems of the real sec­tor of the econ­omy.

- To make all this doable, we need to boost com­pe­ti­tion, don’t we?

- Ab­so­lutely cor­rect. There­fore, its de­vel­op­ment in the con­cept is given pri­or­ity at­ten­tion, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of cor­po­rate law and the in­tro­duc­tion of mod­ern prin­ci­ples of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, tak­ing into ac­count in­ter­na­tional prac­tice. The for­ma­tion of a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket that stim­u­lates the tran­si­tion of the econ­omy to an in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment path and ef­fi­cient use of re­sources is to be formed.

We will give pri­or­ity at­ten­tion to im­prov­ing the an­ti­monopoly pol­icy, in­clud­ing through the in­tro­duc­tion of pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships, en­sur­ing nondis­crim­i­na­tory ac­cess to goods, works and ser­vices of nat­u­ral mo­nop­oly en­ti­ties for all bod­ies cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­u­als, and the in­tro­duc­tion of ef­fec­tive pric­ing mech­a­nisms for the pro­duc­tion of mo­nop­oly en­ter­prises. Equal con­di­tions for car­ry­ing out en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­i­ties and pre­vent­ing the mo­nop­o­liza­tion of the do­mes­tic mar­ket will be formed.

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