29.10.2012 [News]

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev discusses STI cooperation with Europe in Vienna

Last week the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaryev visited Europe. During his official visit to Vienna, the president met with experts from the European Union to discuss the results of the S&T Policy Mix Peer Review for Kazakhstan, which the country had commissioned earlier this year and which was conducted in the frame of the recently completed IncoNet EECA project. Both sides expressed their interest in intensifying EU-Kazakh cooperation in science, technology and innovation.The meeting in Vienna was morderated by Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies, Asset Issekeshev.

First, Juergen Sanders from the European Commission's Directorate International Cooperation, made a short introduction into the Framework programme and the involvement of Kazakhstan in European research and technology activities since 1992. Afterwards Manfred Horvat from the Vienna University of Technology and team leader of the EU experts group, presented the main outcomes of the Policy Mix Peer Review for Kazakhstan (see below) conducted earlier this year. Josef Hochgerner, Director of the Austrian Center for Social Innovation (ZSI), presented the role of the ZSI in the IncoNet EECA project in the areas of S&T Policy Mix, Benchmarking, S&T programme development. Finally, Kamila Magzieva, Director of the Independent Expert Consulting Board to Promote Scientific Research Activity in Kazakhstan (INEXCB-Kz), presented the FP7 EU-Pearls project.

President Nazarbayev responded very positively to the presentations. He emphasized the importance of innovation for the further development of Kazakhstan and  underlined how much he values the advice from independent external experts. He fully supported the implementation of the results of Policy Mix Peer Review exercise and charged Deputy Prime-Minister Issekeshev with the follow-up. Furthermore, the president confirmed his strong interest and commitment in strengthening the links of Kazakhstan to EU research and innovation activities and also agreed to stregthening the NCP network.

Finally, President Nazarbayev invited the group and expert team to meet him in Astana in order to discuss the outcomes of the Peer Review and the necessary measures for improving Kazakhstan's participation in the Framework Programmes in more detail.

All top level participants from the side of Kazakhstan confirmed that the result of the meeting was excellent and could not be better. Deputy Prime-Minister Issekeshev invited the experts to Astana for the final presentation of their report in late November.

Background: The Policy Mix Peer Review Exercise

Following the request of Mr. Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies, a high-level group of EU experts from Austria, Germany, Poland, France and Armenia conducted an STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) Policy Mix Peer Review for Kazakhstan during the first half of this year. It was conducted in the frame of the IncoNet EECA project, which supported the S&T policy dialogue between the EU and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The experts traveled to Kazakhstan three times; and Manfred Horvat, who headed the expert team, was personally involved in the Astana Economic Forum and presented the results to Minister Issekeshev.

Further Inforation:  

Source: based on a report by Prof. Manfred Horvat, Vienna University of Technology