FOSI Core and Institutional Support / 1st year

Grant Number 40022129

Final Narrative Report

May1, 2012-30, April 2013

Abbreviations

AR4D – Agricultural Research for Development 

ASTI – Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators Initiative

BSEC – Black Sea Economic Cooperation

CACAARI – Central Asia and Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions

CAC – Central Asia and Caucasus

CSF – Civil Society Forum

CGIAR – Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

EACEA – EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

EaP – EU Eastern Partnership Programme

ESIDG – European Studies for Innovative Development of Georgia

Eu‐SPRI – Forum for European Studies in Policy for Research and Innovation

ERENET – Entrepreneurship Research and Education Network

FARA – Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa 

GSSF – Georgian Strategic Studies Foundation

GFAR – Global Forum on Agricultural Research

GCARD – Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development

IFPRI – International Food Policy Research Institute

NGO – Non-governmental organization

SME – Small and medium sized enterprises

ICT/ICM – Information and Communication Technology/ Information and Communication Management

KAS – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

WB –World Bank

WMO – World Meteorology Organization

UNDP – United Nations Development Program

USAID – United States Agency for International Development

MP – Member of Parliament

A. Specific projects and programs planned for the grant period

As a result of TTF grant the overall research activity and output in the period of report compared to pre-project annual period have been grown evidently.

  1. 1.    General research of innovation policies

1.1      A review of those international statistical researches which include data on Georgia has been conducted with the aim to assess the degree of “innovativeness” of Georgian economy. The corresponding report is prepared and paper by Nana Aslamazishvili (ESIDG and National Bank of Georgia)How Innovative the Georgian Economy Is? is published (see Part B.1).

1.2.    The contacts with leading innovation policy research centres in Europe have been established through participation in the Eu‐SPRI Annual Conference 2012, 11-13 June 2012, Karlsruhe, Germany.

According to the project proposal approved by TTF, besides of the general interest to innovation systems and policies, ESIDG concentrate in-house research on the following interconnected issues:

  • agricultural innovation policy
  • innovation policy concerning SMEs
  • regional (sub-state) innovation policy
  1. 2.    Agricultural innovation policy

The following research activities in the period of report (May 2012 – April 2013) have to be mentioned:

2.1      Study of Georgian political/strategic documents related to agriculture using the content analysis method and comparison of results with the analysis by the same method of corresponding EU documents. Namely, Governmental strategy “United Georgia without Poverty” (having strong agricultural dimension) and “European Platform against Poverty” were compared, as well as  EU “Strategic Guidelines for Rural Development” and “Georgian Agriculture Development Strategy for 2012 -2022”. The method of innovation-related component strength assessment of the document based on the content analysis was developed and all documents were tested using it.

Part of abovementioned study results, as well as methodology of research are described in the book “Eastern Partnership and Socio-economic Policy in Georgia: Policy Study Output”, Chapter II by Oleg Shatberashvili “Innovation Policy”(see Part B.1).

2.2      Study of the status of the agriculture for development foresight in the region of Central Asia and the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). The outputs of the study were presented at CACAARI Annual meeting, 21-25 Oct. 2012. Tashkent, Uzbekistan and at GCARD 2012, 27 Oct-3 Nov 2012, Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

2.3      Study of ICT/ICM status in AR4D in CAC region, completed in the pre-project period was published in the brochure form by CACAARI, Tashkent, 2012 and was presented and discussed at the Consultation Meeting on Open Access to Agriculture Knowledge, FARA – GFID, Accra, Ghana, 18-23 June 2012.

2.4.    The cooperation with IFPRI ASTI project, providing internationally comparable data on agricultural R&D was established and data exchange has started.

2.5.    A study of research support systems to food safety in Georgia and worldwide has been started.

2.6.    In regard of the establishment of agricultural cooperatives in Georgia a study of laws on agricultural cooperatives worldwide has been conducted. It was found out that the laws in the post-soviet countries (except those entered the EU) have serious deviations from the World practice. The recommendations for the Georgian draft Law on Agricultural Cooperatives have been passed to Parliament of Georgia. The documents are currently discussed by the group of CSOs together with the Ministry of Agriculture and appropriate Committees of Georgian Parliament. The findings have been also presented to the attention of the 1st meeting of EaP Panel on Agriculture and Rural Development (Brussels, May 2013)

  1. 3.       Innovation policy concerning SMEs

3.1.    Representative of ESIDG took part in the workshop “Innovative Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development for SMEs”, BSEC – KAS, 12 -14 September 2012, Tbilisi, Georgia. It resulted into ERENET Membership for ESIDG and publishing of the paper by Oleg Shatberashvili. EU Eastern Partnership Programme and Innovative Small and Medium Enterprises in ERENET Journal (see Part B.1).

3.2.    A chapter of the review by Nana Aslamazishvili of the international statistical researches concerning Georgia (see 1.1 above) also is devoted to innovative SMEs.

  1. 4.       Regional (sub-state) innovation policy

ESIDG has finished a study of views, attitudes and needs in the innovation sphere of the heads of Georgian organizations. A poll based on the in-depth interviews with the heads of Georgian organizations representing academia, business, agriculture, Government and NGO sector has been conducted. Among interviewed organizations there are a number of local authorities and companies located in regions. The main conclusion is that for regions a very important mechanism is the diffusion of innovations (especially in agriculture). The further study of regional innovation policy issues was delayed because of the failure of the ESIDG project proposal “Promotion of innovation issues to policy agenda of regions of Georgia” in the grant competition. The improved version of the proposal was submitted to EU Delegation 2013 call for proposals but failed again (see the table in the Part C). Another (different) proposal on the same subject is submitted to Jean Monnet Programme. The results will be known in June 2013.

B.  Communication and advocacy strategies

Publications and presentations

These activities have grown significantly in the TTF grant period.

  1. Research papers and presentations at international events

Nana Aslamazishvili. How Innovative is Georgian Ecomony. University Library of Munich, Germany, MPRA Paper No. 44622, 02/2013. (http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/44622/)

Oleg Shatberashvili. EU Innovation Policy and Eastern Partnership Programme: Georgia.  In the book Eastern Partnership and Convergence with EU Policies in Georgia, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and GFSIS,  Tbilisi, 2012, pp. 42-61.

Oleg Shatberashvili. EU Eastern Partnership Programme and Innovative Small and Medium Enterprises, ERENET PROFILE Journal, ISSUE N4, vol.VII, December 2012.

Oleg Shatberashvili. Status of the Agriculture Research for Development Foresight in the Region of Central Asia and the South Caucasus. CACAARI Annual meeting, 21-25 Oct. 2012, Tashkent, Uzbekistan and GCARD 2012, 27 Oct-3 Nov 2012, Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

Oleg Shatberashvili. Regional Report:  Information and Communication Management in Agricultural Research for Development in Central Asia and South Caucasus. CACAARI, Tashkent, 2012.

Levon ChobanyanStatus of ICT/ICM in Agricultural Research for Development in Central Asia and South Caucasus. Consultation Meeting on Open Access to Agriculture Knowledge, FARA – GFID, Accra, Ghana, 18-23 June 2012

Joseph GogodzeComposite indicator ECAICI and positioning of Georgia’s innovative capacities in Europe-Central Asia RegionMPRA Paper No. 43921,2013, (http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/43921/)

Joseph Gogodze. Composite indicator for regional innovative systems of the countries with developing and transitional economyMPRA Paper No. 43911, 2013 (http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/43911/).

David Gabunia. Contemporary World and Patent Challenges. Moambe, Georgian Academy of Sciences (in print).

  1. Mass-media communication

Oleg Shatberashvili. European Agricultural Innovation Policy. In the magazine agraruli saqartvelo (Agrarian Georgia), #6(14), June 2012, pp. 8-9.

Oleg Shatberashvili. Innovation Processes and Georgian Agriculture. In the magazine agraruli saqartvelo (Agrarian Georgia), #7(15), July 2012, pp. 4-5.

Oleg Shatberashvili. Agrarian Sector Needs a Strong Research and Innovation Base. In the magazine agraruli saqartvelo (Agrarian Georgia), #11(19), November 2012.

Interview by Maia Chickvaidze with Oleg Shatberashvili on agricultural innovation in Georgia. Internet Forum/Newsletter FOR.ge, 03 Nov 2012.

David Gabunia. Toward Knowledge and Innovations. Newspaper “Versia”, #729, March 2013;

Oleg Shatberashvili. On Reforming the Georgian Research System. Electronic magazine “Liberali.ge”, 30.01.2013 ( www.liberali.ge )

Interview with Oleg Shatberashvili about innovation policy and role of the research system at TV Rustavi 2.

Interview with Oleg Shatberashvili about the priority of agriculture, new visions and assessments. 9 April 2013, TV9, www.myvideo.ge.

The ESIDG website www.inovdev.ge has now 6.5 visitors daily compared to less than 2 daily in 2012.

The ESIDG page at Facebook is created.

  1. Policy briefs
  • Outline of Innovation Policy for Georgia. Bulletin of GSSF. 6 pages, 2013 (sent to Ministries and governmental agencies,  placed at www.inovdev.ge)
    • Declaration of NGO coalition “Innovation Georgia”. 3 pages, ESIDG, 2013 (sent to Ministries and governmental agencies,  placed at www.inovdev.ge)
  1. Events organized by ESIDG

The Regular seminar on the innovation policy and innovative development continued its activity. The following issues/presentations have been discussed:

Oleg Shatberashvili (ESIDG). EU Innovation Policy and Its Applicability in Georgia. Venue: GSSF, July 2012. 60 participants. Slide-show at www.inovdev.ge, Reflection at www.gssf.org and www.fes.ge .

Anzor Dundua (Association for Efficient energy Consumption and ESIDG).  Energy supply to rural settlements. Venue: Business Incubator of Association Woman and Business, 15 September 2012. 40 participants. (Text in Georgian at www.inovdev.ge).

Three ESIDG in-house seminars discussed research papers by O. Shatberashvili, J.Gogodze, N. Aslamazishvili and D. Gabunia.

At three meetings with ESIDG members and partners on the NGO coalition “Innovation Georgia” initiative  the Charter and Policy Statement of Coalition (October 2012), and the project proposal for the Coalition support (March 2013) were discussed.

One meeting of ESIDG researchers and Coalition “Innovation Georgia” members was arranged in cooperation with Parliamentary Committee on Sector Economy and Economic Policy in Kutaisi city, at the Georgian Parliament.

Two ESIDG meetings were devoted to discussion of interim and final TTF grant period work results.

 

  1. Participation in international events and important events arranged by other organizations

ESIDG representatives took part in the following events:

An Expert Meeting to develop the GFAR virtual Academy for Global Food, Agriculture and Environment Foresight, Dublin. Ireland, 29-31 May 2012

Eu‐SPRI Annual Conference “Towards Transformative Governance? Responses to mission-oriented innovation policy paradigms. 11-13 June 2012, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Consultation on Open Access to Agriculture Knowledge, Accra, Ghana, 18-23 Jun 2012.

EU EaP Civil Society Forum 2nd Working Group Meeting. Brussels, 9 July 2012

International workshop “Innovative Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development for SMEs”, BSEC – KAS, 12 -14 September 2012, Tbilisi, Georgia.

CAC regional workshop on climate change adaptation strategies for agriculture and food security. WMO – CACAARI, 21-24 Oct 2012, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

CACAARI Annual meeting. 25 Oct 2012, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development – GCARD 2012, Punta Del Este, Uruguay. 27 Oct-3 Nov 2012.

Conference “Initial Activities and Prospects for Transition to Innovation Economy”, Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Tbilisi, March 2013. (ESIDG members were key speakers).

 

  1. Advocacy, cooperation and new membership in professional associations and coalitions

In the period of report:

  • European Commission and CSF Council had selected ESIDG as a representative of Georgian CS (together with 20 other Georgian NGOs) at the Forth Annual CSF in Sweden, 29 Nov – 01 Dec 2012.
  • ESIDG has been invited to be a member of ERENET.
  • The Chairman of ESIDG was elected to the Coordinator’s position of Working Group II (economic integration with EU) of EaP CS Georgian National Platform and the member of Platform’s Steering Council.
    • ESIDG has initiated foundation on 06 October 2012 of the Coalition of NGOs “Innovation Georgia” and is currently heading the coalition. The following organizations are co-founders and members of the Coalition:
  1. Association “European Studies for Innovative Development of Georgia” (ESIDG)
  2. Centre of Innovation and Development of Enterprises
  3. International Center for Advancement of Research, Terchnologies and Innovation (ICARTI)
  4. Georgian Federation for Information and Documentation (GFID)
  5. World Experience for Georgia (WEG) Foundation
  6. International Foundation for Sustainable Development (IFSD)
  7. Georgian Farmers’ House
  8. Georgian Energy Resources Efficiency Association
  9. Association “Woman and Business“
  10. National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG)
  11. Association “Intellectual Property and Innovation”
    1. Association for Farmers Rights Defense

The aim of the Coalition is to enhance the advocacy of innovation policy development in Georgia.

  • ESIDG has started cooperation with the Agricultural Donor Coordination Group established by agriculture donors (EU Delegation, FAO, WB, UNDP, USAID and others) operating in Georgia in which the most important local organizations dealing with agriculture policy and development are incorporated as well. ESIDG has become the Member of the Group.
    • ESIDG has become the member of the working group on food safety established by 10 NGOs. In this group ESIDG is lobbying an innovation dimension of the problem. Currently it takes part in consultative meetings of the group with competent governmental agencies and Parliamentary Committees aimed at discussion of the draft Law on Food Safety (up to now with Agency for Food Safety, Parliamentary Committee for the Sector Economy and Economic Policy and Committee for European Integration). Two representatives of ESIDG participated in a study tour to Poland aimed at organization of the National food safety system.
    • Representatives of two political parties (the Social-Democratic Party and The National Forum) which used ESIDG consultancy in the innovation policy sphere in the recent years became MPs after 01 October 2012 Parliamentary elections. They are deputy heads of two Parliamentary Committees.
    • ESIDG takes part in consultations of NGO’s with Parliamentary committees and Ministries advocating the innovation policy issues. The group meeting with the Chairman of Parliament and Chairmen of all Committees, as well as the separate meetings with the Committees on European Integration and Sector Economy and Economic Policy have take place so far. The consultations are aimed at the future cooperation modes.  The meetings with ministries were arranged in Parallel. Meetings with the Ministers of Education and Science, Agriculture, Regional Development and Infrastructure, and the State Minister on European Integration took place so far.
    • ESIDG joined the newly established Advisory Council at the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.
    • The Committee for Sector Economy and Economic Policy of Georgian Parliament addressed ESIDG with a request for assistance in forming at the Committee of an Innovation Council, also in identifying its line of activity. The Council has been formed. The core of the Council is made up of the ESIDG researchers and the Coalition “Innovation Georgia” representatives, alongside with representatives of other relevant organizations. The first enlarged meeting of the Council with the participation of MPs has taken place at the Parliament on 18 April 2013.
    • ESIDG takes part in discussion of the draft Law on Agricultural Cooperatives with the Committee on Agriculture lobbing convergence of Georgian law with laws of countries having successful coop activities. The main issues are the eligibility of cooperative membership and rules of cooperative registering (acquiring the status of an agricultural cooperative).  ESIDG has lobbied the same issue in regard of the coop laws of the all EaP countries at the 1st EU EaP Agricultural Panel (Brussels, May 2013).
  1. Web site and Facebook (electronic communication)

The new ESIDG web site is under development. The existing web-site was updated more regularly (in contrast to the pre-project period). Its visibility grew. The ESIDG website www.inovdev.ge has now 6.5 visitors daily compared to less than 2 daily before the TTF grant.

The ESIDG page at Facebook has been created.

An Internet-based communication strategy is developed. Measures and instruments for web-visibility growth and conversion of the ESIDG web site into an active communication instrument are defined.

Though it should be mentioned that ESIDG expectations in electronic communication direction are considerably higher and still have to be fulfilled.

C.     Fundraising and organizational sustainability

Several project proposals (3) submitted by ESIDG in 2012 individually and in partnership with other organizations unfortunately failed in respective competitions. It happened partly due to the higher than usual attention (and corresponding concentration of resources) by donors to the fair elections and human rights in the pre-election period in Georgia. Under these circumstances proposals on innovation policy may seem of less importance to donors.

All these proposals will be resubmitted, as well as submitted to other donors. Also, a number of new proposals are developed. In 2013 new applications for grant competitions were submitted to appropriate donors, namely:

Title Donor Funds requested, USD Duration Status
EU Regional Innovation Policy as a Model for Eastern Partnership Country Regions EU EACEA  Jean Monnet Programme 53,000 1 year Results will be announced in June, 2013
Improvement of Appropriate Agricultural Practices’ Use in Georgia EU Delegation to Georgia 170,000 2 years Passed the concept note competition. Full application is under evaluation.
Enhancement of Innovation Issues in the Development Agenda of Georgian Regions EU Delegation to Georgia 116,000 2 years Rejected at the concept note stage
Broadening Civil Servants’ Knowledge of Innovation Policy Issues Open Society – Georgia Foundation 25,000 1 year Rejected

The last proposal was considered as a first step towards establishment of regular courses on innovative development issues under the Coalition “Innovation Georgia”. The courses may ensure earning of part of funds from the market reducing dependence on donors.

Also in this regard at meetings in Parliament and with governmental agencies discussed was the issue of regular allocation of state budgetary funds to the Parliament and ministries for outsourcing research work in NGOs, with the view to enhance the scope of activities and reduce dependence on international donors.

The in-kind contribution by ESIDG partners considerably exceeded the expected level, especially in regard to international travel support (about USD 18,000 instead of expected USD 9,000).

There is an evident misbalance between the perception of quality of ESIDG work by partners and potential donors (see chapters A and B of this Report) and the level of ESIDG current funding. The situation was discussed at the special meeting of ESIDG.

D.  Governance, management and operational structure

According to the Project proposal approved by TTF, ESIDG has established two full-time positions:

  1. Principal Researcher/Chairman
  2. Communication and fundraising officer

Also, ESIDG has hired under a contract one web-developer/communication technology specialist.

The permanent staff enabled ESIDG to grow considerably in-house research and respect in the professional community (compared to pre-granting period). It also helped to further promote innovation policy issues to the attention of Georgian political forces. The activities of one researcher (O. Shatberashvili) were covered by TTF grant completely, while other researchers mentioned in the present report got support in the form of discussions at inner seminars, cover of translation expenses and cover of travel expenses provided to ESIDG by partner organizations. Communication activities grew considerably, as well as number of project proposals submitted to donors (7 totally during the grant period).

The facilities of ESIDG were updated and strengthened. The equipment was purchased according to the Project proposal (with some deviations reflected in the Financial report, which don’t exceed the allowed limits).

The overall management of organization is improved.