The Alliance has incorporated all the experience of the "Technology Commercialization" project. "Technology Commercialization" project was implemented within the framework of the Loan Contract between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the World Bank.
The aim of the project was to create the necessary conditions for scientists in our country to enable them commercialize their developments on a systematic basis. In other words, the project had a broad task that goes beyond a simple implementation of the results of scientific and technical activities of certain projects in the economy of the country.
Key components of the Project are:
1. Strengthening the scientific base of Kazakhstan;
2. Provision of links between science and markets;
3. Software Management.
I. Strengthening the scientific base of the Project was provided by identifying and promoting the development of Kazakhstan's leading scientists and talented researchers to conduct research and development according to international standards.
As part of this component, the following was done as of today:
1) Created the International Science and Commercialization Board (ISCB);
All the projects of senior and junior researchers went through a transparent selection process on a competitive basis and were selected by competent experts of their field – the members of International Council of Science and Commercialization, briefly referred to as ISCB. This Council consists of five prominent scientists from such countries as the USA, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and two technologies commercialization experts from developed in terms of innovation regions of the USA - Silicon Valley and Michigan..
2) Conducted a grant issue program among groups of senior researchers (GSR) and groups of junior researchers (GJR);
Under the first component of the project, the management group of the project has fully supported the work of ICSC members, who selected 33 technology commercialization subprojects out of 785 applications in 3 rounds of grant program and visited Kazakhstan every six months during the last 5 years.
3) Created an International material science centre (IMSC) at Karaganda State Technical University.
In 2013, ICSC selected Karaganda State Technical University out of 9 candidates to create IMSC. From 2014-2015, a modern model of the laboratory centre specialized in mining industry as well as materials publishing in its web-portal, website, popular science magazine and online community for collegial exchanging of scientific research articles, news, job offers, and events were created with the direct methodological support of the SUE within a very short period.
The main functions of IMSC is:
- to provide access to all the research equipment of national laboratories and shared use laboratories for research purposes by means of a web-site and information portal in the field of materials science by domestic and foreign scientists;
- to coordinate national laboratories, shared use laboratories, research centres in a single space virtualization with foreign laboratories and centres.
II. The second component of the Project which is to ensure the link between science and markets was achieved by establishing of "Technology Commercialization Centre" LLP (TCC). The main objective of TCC is to commercialize the results of scientific and technological activities by their introduction into real economy.
The main activities of TCC are:
1) The program of innovative grants. TCC held two rounds of the grant program for two types of grants: a) concept justification - development of technical documentation and its certification, etc. b) development of industrial design of products - entering into pilot or small-scale production;
2) Technological audit. Company conducts comprehensive analytical study of tools and mechanisms of implementation and commercialization of scientific and technical activities of the innovative system in the Republic of Kazakhstan to provide recommendations and suggestions for its further improvement;
3) Development of the TCC knowledge distribution system with the support of CRDF Global experts on a regular basis; seminars, trainings, conferences, round tables and other awareness-raising activities were conducted.
As a result of two rounds of grant programs in 2014, the members of the grant commission reviewed 726 applications and selected 33 project concept justifications and industrial prototypes for the amount of 1.4 bln. tenge. 12 specialists passed training in the University of Texas, the USA. Distribution of knowledge across Kazakhstan - 881 certificates were issued on 27 seminars.
III. The third component of the Project refers to its coordination, implementation, and project management. It was implemented by the Management Group of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, which carries out all the operating functions related to the implementation of the Project. Project Management Group operates under the rules and procedures approved by the World Bank which are set forth in the Operational Manual for the Project. "Technology Commercialization" project achieved good results. 65 projects were selected in the framework of the project.
- 40 projects have reached the first sale;
- 99 contracts were signed;
- The amount of project revenue amounted to 908.6 million tenge;
- 27.7 million tenge of investments were attracted;
- 10 license agreements were signed.
All this became possible due to:
•transparent selection on a competitive basis with the participation of leading international experts in science and technology commercialization;
•a sufficient amount of funding, covering all stages starting from the research in a laboratory to launch in the market;
•flexible system administration grants to vary the implementation of the plans, including procurement and financing plans;
•project support by managers who received advanced training in the United States;
•attracting international consultants with a condition of staying in Kazakhstan to transfer their experience to the managers.
Fostering the profession of technology commercialization managers.
The CRDF Global Group’s key task was to develop capacity of the local TCO staff, and the international consultants were actively involved in the process of training and supervising the TCO commercialization managers to ensure regular knowledge transfer. As a result, the TCP helped to build a strong cadre of technology commercialization specialists in Kazakhstan, majority of them trained in the United States as part of the project. The Association of Technology Commercialization Professionals (ATCP) in Kazakhstan was created to ensure that the knowledge built through TCP is not lost. The ATCP aims to further raise the awareness of technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, and support the NIS.