As highlighted in the Innovation for Sustainable Development Review (I4SDR) of Uzbekistan published by UNECE in 2022, innovation is a main facilitator of the transition to a circular economy. Innovation in this context is understood to reach beyond the narrow definition of high technology and start-ups: It involves introducing new products, services, and production, business and marketing processes that can foster sustainable growth and solve the challenges posed by the circular transition. Recent policy frameworks in Uzbekistan recognize this important link: Circular economy indicators play a crucial role in the Strategy for the Transition of the Republic of Uzbekistan to a Green Economy (2019-2030). Meanwhile, the Strategy for Innovative Development of Uzbekistan (2022-2026) aims to create an innovation ecosystem that will connect industry, regions, and scientific/higher educational organizations for sustainable growth.
Since the publication of the I4SDR, Uzbekistan has taken several steps to implement the recommendations contained in the Review and recorded strong progress, becoming one of the top three innovation economies in Central and Southern Asia according to the 2022 WIPO Global Innovation Index. In 2023, the Government requested follow-up capacity building to spur further implementation. Innovation for the green and circular transition was highlighted as a topic of particular interest. In response to this request, UNECE staff and experts will travel to Tashkent on 1 to 3 May 2023 to launch a dedicated programme of activities.
Given the dominance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Uzbek private sector, the position of Chief Innovation Officer has been established in each SOE by Presidential decree, in order to foster a culture of innovation in these companies. This workshop on 2 May, co-organized by UNECE and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of Uzbekistan, will target these Chief Innovation Officers. It will introduce circular economy concepts, highlight the link between circular economy and innovation and provide case studies and business models. Discussions will also address green finance and green certification programmes. The goal of the workshop is to foster a culture of innovation in SOEs and raise awareness of circular business models.
The workshop and other upcoming capacity buildings for Uzbekistan on the topic of innovation for the circular economy take place in the framework of the UN Development Account project “Strengthening innovation policies for SPECA countries in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The workshop will be conducted in Russian.