The Republic of Moldova increasingly recognizes the role of innovation as a key driver of competitiveness and economic growth. This is reflected in a range of initiatives to strengthen innovation infrastructure, including support for science and technology parks, incubators and clusters.
Yet, challenges remain for building a national innovation system that effectively supports sustainable development. To bolster the reform efforts, UNECE has published the Innovation for Sustainable Development Review of Moldova (I4SDR), which provides an in-depth review of all the factors that influence innovation-led sustainable development in the country, and which provides tailored recommendations for policy improvements.
Translating UNECE policy analysis into recommendations for concrete action
Upon request of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova to translate select recommendations into a more detailed roadmap with concrete actions, UNECE finalized the Roadmap on Innovation and Technology Transfer in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The roadmap covers the following areas:
- Enhancing the national innovation system and its governance;
- Developing innovation and technology transfer infrastructure;
- Leveraging the diaspora for innovation-driven sustainable development.
The roadmap foresees to translates relevant recommendations from the I4SDR into concrete strategic goals within three to five years and sets clear indicators to measure achievement. It identifies obstacles that might prevent the goal from being reached, as well as tools and alliances that can facilitate progress. In addition, for each strategic goal, it sets a near-term objective, with a timeframe of one to two years, and lays out an action plan for initial efforts.
Capacity building for implementation of the roadmap
To support implementation of selected measures under the roadmap, UNECE organized three trainings (on 13 December 2022, 26 January 2023 and 27 January 2023) for the staff of the Ministry of Education and Research and other relevant ministries, the National Agency for Research and Development, the State Agency on Intellectual Property, the staff of public research organizations, and other relevant national stakeholders. The first workshop provided policymakers with a better understanding of intellectual property ownership and the role of National Innovation Councils, which are critical components of an effective national innovation system.
The second workshop provided best practice examples to foster strong regional innovation systems and show how they can feed into the national system. This is key for creating a vibrant innovation structure: Innovation should not be restricted to a few select institutions centered in the capital or at large universities; it should involve all relevant stakeholders across the country.
Finally, the third workshop provided policymakers and staff of public research organizations with a stronger understanding of technology transfer – a complex, technical and multi-step process necessary to commercialize research and ensure that good ideas can turn into viable businesses that support sustainable development. Participants learned how to build the necessary skills and buy-in among researchers and how to design Proof-of-Concept schemes, among others.
Continuous support from UNECE
The Roadmap on Innovation and Technology Transfer for the Republic of Moldova and the subsequent workshops will inform the National Programme for Research and Innovation (2024-2027). Through regional policy dialogues carried out under the Innovation Policy Outlook process, UNECE will continue to work with the authorities of the Republic of Moldova, as well as other partners, to support the country in developing a robust and effective national innovation system.