Focus on Innovation Yields Results
Jan 04. MFA
Chairman of National Agency for Technological Development outlines progress
Kazakhstan’s State Program for Accelerated Industrial Development provides a clear strategy to develop and support industrial innovation as a key driver of continued economic growth. The program is yielding tangible results, with the level of national innovative production up by 65% in 2012 compared to the previous year. This growth in innovation has, in turn,contributed to Kazakhstan’s rise to 51st ranking in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index for 2012-2013, up 21 places from its prior-year ranking.
In a recent interview published on the Prime Minister’s website, the Chairman of the National Agency for Technological Development (NATD), Aidyn Kulseitov, outlined the rate of growth in innovation since the new State Program was put in place and discussed plans for the future.
Over 2010-2011 a total of 440 innovative projects received state support – this compares to 180 projects over the six-year period from 2003-2009. The NATD provides support in two forms: direct financing and service support for development projects, technical and economic assessments and acquiring patent technologies. Mr Kulseitov said that in 2012, the NATD financed three innovative projects: the first related to a new method to access GSM standards Euro-3 and Euro-4; the second involved the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for cinematic special effects; and the third was in the agriculture sector, in high-tech deep grain processing.
Since 2010, 96 projects from a total of 450 proposals have been selected by the NATD for service support, Mr Kulseitov said. The majority are in the agriculture, energy, ICT and machine-building sectors. Another NATD service highlighted by Mr Kulseitov are the four design bureaus operating across the country, which have developed over 200 packages of design documentation, of which 12 are now being supplied to the market.
Through a network of commercial offices across the country, the NATD supports the commercialization of projects and development of potential markets. Mr Kulseitov said that several projects have now reached the state of preparation for commercialization.
Looking to the future, Mr Kulseitov spoke of the potential for the Alatau Innovative Technology Park to develop into a cluster of high-tech Kazakh companies acting as a focus for innovation development. In 2011 KZT 3 billion (USD 20 million) was allocated to develop the necessary infrastructure and the NATD is working to attract leading development companies from a wide range of sectors to the Innovative Technology Park. In 2012 the number of enterprises located at the Innovative Technology Park more than doubled to reach 138.
The NATD is also working in conjunction with private sector investors, who in 2012 provided KZT 14 billion (USD 93 million)to finance innovative projects. A total of 930 new positionsresulted from such projects in 2012, indicating the potential for innovative industries to create new jobs.
Mr Kulseitov highlighted the rise in innovative business to 7.1% of Kazakhstan’s economic activity in 2012, from just 4% the previous year and emphasized the potential for continued growth in the sector, supported by the State Program for Accelerated Industrial Development.