02.10.2015 | Astana, Kazakhstan

Workshop on 'EU-Kazakhstan Innovation Cooperation'

A high-level policy workshop on EU-Kazakhstan Innovation Cooperation took place in Astana just after this year's EU-Central Asia Policy Stakeholders Conference. Among the speakers were Asset Issekeshev, Minister for Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. The Astana Workshop on 2 October 2015 was the fourth in a series of special conferences dedicated to 'European Union-Kazakhstan cooperation through innovation'.
The first event was held in the framework of Astana Economic Forum in 2013. It was organised together with an exhibition of European technologies selected at the European Technology Market by IncoNet CA/SC project. The second workshop was organised as a part of the Innovation Congress in May 2014 in Astana. It was attended by representatives of the European Enterprise Network (EEN), the EU Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC), and the European Technology Platforms (ETP). The third conference was held in London in February 2014 with participation of the Minister for Investment and Innovation, and senior official of the DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission. Each conference fulfilled its specific tasks, gradually expanding the range of interests of cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan in the field of research, innovation and technology.

The date of the current workshop, 2 October 2015, was adjusted to the organisation of the Policy Stakeholders Conference on Energy, which was held in Astana on 30 September – 1 October 2015 by IncoNet CA. The PSC was attended by about 100 representatives of ministries, agencies and large institutions from different countries in the EU and Central Asia.

The date was also associated with the visit of Maria Cristina Russo – Director of the Directorate for International Cooperation of the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission – to Astana to discuss cooperation in the field of innovation in the framework of the extended 'Partnership and Cooperation Agreement' between the EU and Kazakhstan.

Both Asset Issekeshev, Minister of Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, participated in the event.

Asset Issekeshev and Maria Cristina Russo| © Àdàm Dàvid, RCISD Asset Issekeshev, Minister of Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Maria Cristina Russo,
Director for International Cooperation at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission| © Àdàm Dàvid, RCISD

'The EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), initialled on 20 January 2015, will greatly facilitate stronger bilateral political, economic and strategic relations. We look forward in using this new agreement to enhance our cooperation, including in the areas of research and innovation.  In this regard, we encourage Kazakhstan's active participation in the "Horizon 2020" programme, the EU main tool in promoting closer cooperation in the field of research, innovation and energy', said Cristina Russo.

Minister Asset Issekeshev underlined that 'since 1992 almost 300 groups of our scientists and innovators took part in more than 250 projects and received more than 22 mln Euro as grants from various EU Framework Programmes. We highly appreciate that 20 years ago EU via INTAS helped us to preserve our scientific and innovative potential. We hope Horizon 2020 and our State Programme on Industrial Innovative Development 2014-2019 (SPIID) will let us move faster towards innovative and energy efficient future. Since 2014, within the aim to integrate into international innovation system we started supporting the national coordination centre for Horizon 2020 in Kazakhstan. Just yesterday, we took part in the Second International Policy Stakeholders Conference on Energy with participation of more than 100 delegates from ministries, state agencies and influential research institutions of 18 countries. There were representatives of Austrian Energy Agency, German Knowledge Innovation Centre – Inno Energy, the Icelandic National Energy Authority, Italian H2Power srl EdenEnergy and many others. Now when Kazakhstan is hosting an Astana EXPO 2017 our close and long-term cooperation with the European Union in research and innovation in light of recently successfully finished negotiations on EPCA will help us to make the exhibition a great success.'

Topics and participants

The main theme of the workshop was be the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU within the current Framework Programme on Research and Innovation 'Horizon-2020', and possibilities of jointly co-funded call. Other important topics centered around the discussion on how Kazakhstan can participate in existing or newly created ERANET projects.

As these activities require co-funding by Kazakhstan, there is need to discuss the topic with representatives of the Kazakh Ministry for Investment and Development, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance, and other relevant ministries, national holdings, institutions of development, agencies, and local H2020-NCPs. The discussion served to identify co-funding instruments and how they accord to the needs of the EU and Kazakhstan.

There was also a discussion about the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the relevant ERANETs, as well as Kazakhstan and the European Enterprise Network.

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Contact

For further information on this workshop, please contact Sulushash Magziyeva, First Deputy Director, InExCB-KZ, H2020-NCP-KZ +77017331230, sulu@inexcbkz.com or the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan press and information officer Karlygash Jamankulova at karlygash.jamankulova@eeas.europa.eu.