An International Conference titled 'Better Policies for More Innovation: Assessment – Implementation – Monitoring' was held in Minsk on 17-18 November 2015 by the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic Belarus and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The event was organised in the framework of so-called Innovation Performance Reviews (IPRs), a series of analytic country studies on the state of innovation performance of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine undertaken by the UNECE in 2010-2015. The IPR reports are available online at the UNECE website.
The idea of the Conference was to sum up the outcomes of the reviews and develope recommendations for the second round of the IPRs to be launched in the interested EECA countries starting from 2016. UNECE is not the only organisation working in this area: the European Commission supports similar activities within FP7-funded projects aimed at promoting bi-regional dialogue in science, technology and innovation between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries/Central Asia. Thus, discussing different methodological approaches and sharing practices is of significant interests for all involved parties.
The number of participants exceeded 110 people including experts from Germany, UK, Hungary, Belgium, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus and UNECE. The pull of Belarusian experts included representatives of national academic community, government bodies, research institutions, business sector and etc. The results of the Conference have allowed to identify the main bottlenecks and opportunities arising when performing the 1st Review in 2010–2015, to propose some addenda to current Review’s methodology, and to prepare the field for the second round of the Review. In particular, the separate part of the review will analyse how innovation helps in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined in the recently adopted UN strategy 'Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'.
Belarus has pioneered to be the first country in second round of the IPR, Armenia applied for undertaking it in 2017. On 19-24 November 2015 the preparatory fact-finding mission of the UNECE experts for the IPR II took place in Minsk. The next stage of the national study is planned for the spring of 2016, when a big team of international experts invited by the UNECE will visit Belarus to explore to how extent the country has used the recommendations provided 5 years ago in the 1st IPR.
Information on the topic in Russian, including materials and photos of the Conference are available at the National Science Portal of the Republic of Belarus.