Innovation as a growing trend is not only experienced in leading nation-states of the G7 but also comes from developing countries across the globe. An illustrative case study involves Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s most populous country, with a population of over 33 million people. The country launched a process of market-oriented reforms in late 2016. In 2017, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev created the Ministry of Innovative Development that embarked upon an economic modernization program to re–invigorate equitable growth, strengthen and modernize public institutions and increase the role of the private sector in the economy. The Government of Uzbekistan (GoU), through a broad market-oriented National Development Strategy for 2017-2021 (NDS), included promoting the growth of the private sector through the privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and public-private partnerships (PPPs), improving the investment climate, encouraging entrepreneurship, as well as investment in modern technology and innovation.
Analysis from The World Bank noted that Uzbekistan’s structural reforms “will unleash a dynamic market-based economy where firms can profit from their investments in knowledge and innovation.” They elaborated that the main stakeholders of the National Innovation System (NIS) of Uzbekistan are: universities (70 of them), the National Academy of Sciences (consists of 28 entities, including 27 SRIs [Socially Responsible Investments]), the Ministry of Innovative Development (MID, established in December 2017), as well as SRIs under the Ministry of Agriculture and Water – 11, under the State Committee on Land Resources – 1, under State Veterinary Committee – 1, under State Forestry Committee – 1, under Ministry of Health – 6. Combined, they employ 16,700 R&D personnel.
The 2017 GOU strategy of innovation has been successful. According to an article published on a Netherland information portal, “As a logical continuation of this decision, the year 2018 in Uzbekistan was declared the Year of support for active entrepreneurship, innovative ideas, and technologies. Seventy-six (76) thousand projects worth 21 trillion soums and 1 billion US dollars were implemented in the country. In addition, in September 2018, Uzbekistan adopted the National Strategy for Innovative Development for 2019-2021, which, among other things, is aimed at developing human capital, as it is a key factor in ensuring the country’s competitiveness and innovative progress on the world stage.” (http://www.uzdaily.com/en/post/57457). In addition, the Economist magazine declared Uzbekistan its “country of the year” stating that “no other country travelled as far” as the Central Asian nation in 2019, in terms of economic and other reforms.
A second part of the innovation strategy project was created for rapid technology and innovation development that aspires to even greater goals. The GOU strategy is to ensure that Uzbekistan enters the top 50 countries of the Global Innovation Index by 2030.
Acting First Deputy Minister of Innovative Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Sh. Rajabbayev detailed the importance of the development of science, technology, and innovation for building a modern society and economy at a global meeting. He stated;
Our project is aimed at integrating scientific achievements and innovations into the daily life of the country’s population, which should contribute to strengthening the level of social development of Uzbekistan. It will serve to create an effective mechanism for commercialization and transfer of technologies, which is an important link in innovative development.
Commercialization and transfer of technologies are important for all countries participating in the global trade ecosystem. Uzbekistan has clearly sought to incorporate best practices and lessons learned into a product-oriented strategic plan. They have also made very smart moves of integrating the stakeholders of science and industry into the plan that will likely allow Uzbekistan to reach the goal of true technological innovation by 2030, achieving the goal of being one of the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index. We suggest you keep your eye on the country’s continued path of success.
Dr. Tom Cellucci has been a senior executive in both the private and public sectors for over 39 years. He served as the US Government’s first-ever Chief Commercialization Officer, working for both President Bush and President Obama. He assists President Trump’s team when asked… Tom has authored or co-authored 25 scholarly books and over 314high-tech business articles. Cellucci earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (1984), an MBA from Rutgers University (1991), and a BS in Chemistry from Fordham University (1980). He is on 21 Boards and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Eurasian Technological University in Kazakhstan. He currently possesses the rank of Honorary Professor at two prestigious universities in Kazakhstan, as well as taught at the Harvard Business School, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is considered a pioneer in the commercialization of technology in government and a “turn-around” expert on Wall Street. He’s also the Chairman of the Board of a highly successful Private Equity firm, GVP Global Corp, with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Tom and his wife Julie are blessed with seven children and six grandchildren.