On 06 April 2017 a seminar Research, Development and Innovation Policy in Georgia: Proposals and Recommendations was held in TECHINFORMI; Reporter – Oleg Shatberashvili – Association European Studies for Innovative Development of Georgia; the seminar was attended by TECHINFORMI employees and invited guests.
Georgia’s Association Agreement with the European Union and the relevant Action Plans, alongside with a special chapter Cooperation in the field of Research, Technology Development and Innovation contain the RTI issues included in the chapters: Transport; Environment; Industrial Policy and Mining; Agriculture and Rural Development; Fishing and Maritime Governance, etc. The chapters Trade and Economic Co-operation require development of research services. All this implies not only the expediency but the obligation to develop the national innovation system. The relevant recommendations prepared by the EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum National Platform two years go as well as an analysis of their fulfillment are given.
It is shown that although many recommendations are implemented the ones concerning the national research system strengthening, as well as the establishment of a research and innovation output accounting system have failed to be fulfilled. Georgia especially lags in the sphere of applied research. For instance, research intensity in food industry is 35 times behind the average European level, in construction – 23 times, etc. The institutional set up of the Georgian research system is also quite different from the European one. Irrational schemes, that are not based either the European or world practice, are suggested for settling the matter.
It is considered that Georgia lacks the sufficient number of highly qualified scientists to ensure the rehabilitation of the national research system. The presentation shows we have at least 1,000 such scientists, about half of whom work in Georgia, and half – abroad. The distribution of these scholars according to the disciplines is also given. The problem is in identifying and promoting these researchers, which is totally ignored.
The macro data of the national research system of Georgia are well covered by international donor reports (WB, EBRD, EU FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects, etc.). They realistically reflect the current state of the system but do not include strict recommendations for the Government of Georgia on improving the situation.
Finally, new and more detailed recommendations on the research system improvement are presented, primarily those that do not require large or any expenditure, but can give us a great deal of effect. Such as:
- Restoration for research institutes of the status of legal entity, which will enable them to work more efficiently both locally and in international programs;
- Restoration of the national system of scientific activities/output accounting/registration, giving us a real pattern of research resources distribution;
- Putting in front of the research system goals connected with the country development (elaborated in cooperation with scientists);
- Revision of the organizational structure of the national research system, including concentration of research and innovation activities management at top level in one ministry/agency, which will give possibility to strengthen cooperation of research institutes, universities and enterprises;
- Approval/adoption of the country’s innovative development strategy;
- Adoption of a new law on research and innovation, in which all stakeholders’ activities are balanced and the mistakes of the last two decades are taken into consideration.
The complete report can be found at the following internet adress.