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Supporting innovation and competitiveness

Supporting innovation and competitiveness

Fostering innovation occupies a central position in strategies to enhance national competitiveness, serving to increase productivity and providing the foundation for sustained economic growth. Collaboration between the public and private sectors, including in the development of key infrastructure, is essential to create a prosperous economy.
Two major initiatives in these areas will be the focus of the substantive segment of the  sixth session of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Integration.  Responding to a request by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the UNECE secretariat undertook in 2011 an “Innovation Performance Review of Kazakhstan”. This participatory policy advisory service was carried out by a group of international experts in close cooperation with the national authorities and local experts. The main outcomes of this project, including its preliminary conclusions and recommendations, will be discussed on  the first day of the session, 30 November 2011.
The second part of the substantive segment, which will take place on 1 December 2011,  will provide an overview of the UNECE PPP Initiative, composed of the PPP Toolkit for capacity building and the proposed International PPP Centre of Excellence. Once operational, the Centre of Excellence with its specialist and regional training centres, will become a one-stop-shop for the delivery of capacity building, training and policy advisory services to member states. The national PPP Readiness Assessments, a policy advisory service provided by UNECE will also be presented at this session.  The aim of this new initiative is to identify the challenges that a country may face in attracting private capital for its infrastructure development, consider areas where potential infrastructure pilot projects could be procured through the PPP model, and agree on a strategic plan of action for PPP development in the country.
The discussion on PPP will also include two roundtables. In the first roundtable, representatives of member states will discuss their vision, support, plans and current status in the development of specialist and regional training centres. The second roundtable will consider the potential use of the PPP model in the reconstruction of the tsunami-hit region of Japan, and give an account of the recent visit to this disaster-affected area by a UNECE-led delegation of international PPP experts and practitioners. Finally, participants will also be briefed on the premier global PPP conference "PPP Days 2012" co-hosted at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 21-24 February 2012 by the UNECE together with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, with the support of the Swiss Government and the International Finance Corporation.
At its sixth session, CECI will also review the work carried out after the 2005 ECE reform and debate the programme of work for 2012-2013.  The Committee will also discuss the biennial evaluation of the subprogramme for 2010-2011 and the plan for 2012-2013.
The sessions will take place in Salle VII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, from 30 November to  2 December 2011.
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Note to editors
The implementation of Innovation Performance Reviews in countries with economies in transition was initiated in 2010 with a project in Belarus. The Reviews provide a thorough assessment of the national innovation system, the institutional framework of innovation policy and the various mechanisms and instruments used to support  innovation. On the basis of this assessment, a number of policy options and recommendations are offered to improve the innovation performance of the country and enhance its innovation capacity. The Reviews provide the basis for focused capacity-building actions to support the implementation of its recommendations.

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