In a rapidly changing world economy, countries with economies in transition such as Moldova can harness innovation – or experimentation with ideas that are new to the country – to strengthen the foundations needed to attain the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. With its strategic location, underexploited trade opportunities, moderate wage levels, educated work force, and long-standing tradition in both fundamental and applied research, Moldova already has several foundational elements of a vibrant national innovation system – but several obstacles remain.
Recognising this and reflecting the strong intent of the Government, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova hosted a roundtable to launch the research process for the Sub-regional Innovation Policy Outlook in Chisinau, Moldova, on 10 September 2019, engaging around 40 participants from government, academia, business, international organisations and civil society.
The UNECE Sub-regional Innovation Policy Outlook is a pilot initiative made possible with funding from Sweden. The Outlook employs a structured methodology, based on the findings and approach of national UNECE Innovation for Sustainable Development Reviews in several of these countries, to assess, compare, and recommend reforms on the scope and quality of innovation policies, institutions, and processes in six countries in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). For Moldova, UNECE partners with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research and the National Institute for Economic Research.
The timing is propitious, as the results will feed into efforts to put the recently approved 2020-2023 National Program for Research and Innovation, and the 2030 National Development Strategy into practice. In a meeting with UNECE, H.E. Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei, Minister of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova (pictured), stressed the government’s commitment to “improving governance and increasing the efficiency of the research and innovation system. With the 2020-2023 National Program for Research and Innovation and the new methodology for funding research and innovation projects, both approved this year, as well as with the help of international partners such as UNECE, the government is working towards advancing our productivity and competitiveness”.
Following similar events in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Ukraine, data collection and analysis is now underway in all six partner countries. After several rounds of consultations, UNECE will present the results at a high-level event in the summer of 2020.
The benchmarking-based analysis and recommendations will help countries learn from one another to improve innovation policies, institutions and processes to enable and promote innovation as a central element in progressing towards the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. UNECE intends to repeat this exercise in this and other sub-regions on a regular basis, enabling countries to measure their progress and reach their full potential for competitiveness and sustainable development.
For more information, please visit: https://www.unece.org/innovationpolicyoutlook.html