Commercialization in Kazakhstan: Findings and Recommendations

I. Brief Overview of the IPC Project & Outline of the Pilot Projects

After rapid economic growth over the last decade, the economy of Kazakhstan remains highly dependent on natural resources and therefore vulnerable to external economic shocks. To improve competitiveness and sustain growth, Kazakhstan needs to balance commodity-driven to knowledge-intensive activities.

Overall objective

The Innovation Policy for Competitiveness in Kazakhstan Project (the IPC Project) is supporting Kazakhstan’s reform agenda by strengthening the links between science, industry and government, leveraging good practices from OECD member countries. The Project focuses on the development of policies at the nexus of venture capital financing, intellectual property rights, and commercialisation of research. It consists of four building blocks to assess innovation capabilities and designing innovation policy reforms:

• access to finance (and in particular venture capital (“VC”);

• commercialisation;

• intellectual property;

• education and skills – this topic is embedded in the other three work streams, while a specific OECD Review of Higher Education is being conducted as part of the Kazakhstan Country Programme.

In the final phase of the Project (between October 2016 and March 2017), the Project will support the implementation of one pilot project fostering innovation through strengthening the links between science, industry and government. The implementation of the Project will draw on OECD experience with similar projects in other OECD Partner economies. It will build on lessons learned from the successful co-operation of the OECD and Kazakhstan in the framework of competitiveness.

The specific objectives of the OECD Kazakhstan Innovation Policy for Competitiveness Project are the following:

• Improve government capabilities in fostering innovative activities by sharing OECD good practices;

• Stimulate dialogue between government, industry and research while assisting the identification, development and monitoring of policies to foster innovation;

• Contribute to the improvement of Kazakhstan’s ability to commercialise innovation, protect intellectual property, and leverage financing in the form of venture capital and investment in innovation, higher education and research; and

• Help Kazakhstan develop sustainable national structures to review and adapt policy reforms related to competitiveness and innovation.

II. Kazakhstan – Innovation Potential

Kazakhstan’s multiannual overarching development strategies, such as the “2050 strategy”, set ambitious objectives for R&D and innovation. However, with investment in R&D at 0.17% of GDP in 2014 and only 28 researchers per 10.000 labour force (in 2014), Kazakhstan ranks low by international standards. Weak implementation, but also structural weaknesses are hampering the achievement of these ambitious targets.

Business innovation largely concentrated with State Owned Enterprises

Regulations and the large role of the state in the economy result in low domestic competition and are considered to be the main weakness for the national innovation system. Importing and exporting is costly, limiting international competition and competitiveness. Another important weakness is the comparatively low level of skills, which limits innovation capabilities in Kazakhstani firms.

Only a small number of firms in Kazakhstan are active in R&D and innovation. The largest share of business R&D activities is conducted by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) rather than by private firms. SOEs have mostly based their technological strategies on importing ready-to-use equipment and technologies instead of in-house R&D activities and contracts with local research centres. Moreover, foreign multinationals are concentrated in the extractive industries, and tend to bring over all their technologies from abroad rather than conducting R&D locally. Meanwhile, most small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) are concentrated in retail services or agriculture, and hardly invest in R&D and innovation activities. It should therefore be a priority to shift the national innovation system’s “centre of gravity” away from the publicly owned R&D system towards production firms.

A prerequisite for innovation is access to finance. International comparisons show that Kazakh firms have limited access to financing for innovative investments. While this is partly the result of the inefficiency of the banking sector, non-bank sources, including the stock market, are also underdeveloped. Another key issue for SMEs financing by banks or venture capital funds is the limited transparency of the operations and ownership structure of these firms.

New policies have been implemented to support SMEs and entrepreneurship through the development of incubators, science parks, and different kinds of incentives and support programmes. For example, in 2011 a new law established that the Samruk-Kazyna sovereign wealth fund, which controls most SOEs, should invest 10% of its net profit in R&D and innovation activities. The government has also established that firms active in the subsoil sector must invest 1% of their total revenue in R&D infrastructures and activities. Since the oil, gas and mineral sector is dominated by foreign firms, this measure is expected to compel foreign companies to invest in R&D locally, possibly in collaboration with local universities and research institutes.

Low Collaboration in innovation

The weak innovative performance of Kazakhstan’s business sector and its low demand for new knowledge are a major bottleneck for university-industry collaboration in innovation. Meanwhile, universities and public research institutes are also failing to produce the kind of research results that may be of interest to local industries. The interactions among the different actors in the system are often very rigid and hierarchical, challenging knowledge exchange and collaboration for innovation. Collaboration in innovation among subsidiaries of multinational companies and local firms is also practically non-existent, because FDI is mostly concentrated in the extractive industries and Kazakhstan lacks sufficiently strong local supporting industries. In other industries, such as car manufacturing, linkages established with local firms have focused on low value-added inputs, leading to limited knowledge exchange.

Innovation Policy Frameworks and Actors

Policy frameworks. Several large-scale, multi-year strategies with relevance for innovation policy have been introduced to develop a diversified innovation economy. They include:

• Strategy of Industrial-Innovative Development (2003);

• State Program of Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development for 2010-2014;

• Program for the Development of Innovation and Promotion of Technological Modernization for 2010-2014;

• State Program on Industrial-Innovative Development of Kazakhstan for 2015-2019;

• Inter-sectoral Plan for Scientific-Technological Development until 2020;

• State Program of Education Development for 2011-2020;

• The Productivity Program 2020;

• The Business Roadmap 2020; and

• the Nurly Zhol Program (for infrastructure development) 2015-2019.

These strategic plans have:

1) resulted in laws defining the functions of the different ministries and state agencies involved in the promotion of science and innovation;

2) established the different grants and support measures to be provided by the state; and

3) clarified the key performance measures and specific targets to be reached with respect to science and technology indicators. The government of Kazakhstan has identified ten priority sectors for support: energy, chemicals, machinery, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, agribusiness, ICT, biotechnology, nuclear power and engineering industries.

The Law on Science of 2011 has established the Higher Science and Technology Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, as a co-ordination body bringing together representatives from all ministries. The law created three research funds (for basic infrastructure, research grants and research programmes), managed by the new National Centre of Science and Technology Evaluation. The selection of projects for funding is based on a competitive bidding process; decisions are taken by peer review conducted by newly established research councils of Kazakh and foreign experts.

The Law on Science of 2011 has established the Higher Science and Technology Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, as a co-ordination body bringing together representatives from all ministries. The law created three research funds (for basic infrastructure, research grants and research programmes), managed by the new National Centre of Science and Technology Evaluation. The selection of projects for funding is based on a competitive bidding process; decisions are taken by peer review conducted by newly established research councils of Kazakh and foreign experts.

Various actors shape STI policy in Kazakhstan, and recent international evaluations have drawn attention to the fragmentation of the actors involved in STI policy.

The ministries mainly in charge of STI policy are the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Investment and Development. The Ministry of National Economy has been in charge of negotiations involving Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organization, and was consequently involved in discussions concerning the country’s adherence to international IP regulations set down in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Other ministries, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development, also shape STI policies in their respective areas. In addition, the Ministry of Justice oversees the activities of the National Institute of Intellectual Property (NIIP) and is responsible for aspects of the court system relating to IP enforcement.

The National Agency for Technological Developments (NATD) under the Ministry of Investment and Development is the main national institution in charge of overseeing technological development. The NATD provides grants for business innovation projects, develops innovation infrastructure, carries out technological foresight, and promotes international technology transfer and investment in innovative projects through domestic and international venture capital funds. As of 2016, following the entry into force of a new Code of Commerce, these were aggregated into three strands: a technology commercialisation grant, a grant for the technological advancement of enterprises and a grant for the technological advancement of industries.

Several national holdings group together the country’s main public research institutes and state-owned companies. Many of the research institutes under the Ministry of Education and Science have so far been organised under the National Scientific and Technological Holding PARASAT. In addition, the main public research institutes specialised in agriculture have been organised under the umbrella of another national holding, called KazAgroInnovation. Apart from the Samruk-Kazyna sovereign wealth fund mentioned earlier which groups together Kazakhstan’s major state-owned companies, other relevant associations representing the business sector are the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs (Atameken) and the Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises.

Commercialisation of Innovation

Governments can foster commercialisation by setting clear regulations regarding the ownership of research results and the sharing of revenues from commercialisation as an incentive for researchers. The pioneering reform in this regard was the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act introduced in the United States to create a uniform IP policy among federal research funding agencies. In particular, the act enables universities to retain ownership of IP obtained under federally funded research programmes.

Until recently, Kazakhstan lacked consistent regulation nationwide on technology commercialisation, leading to lack of clarity as to the ownership conditions and rewards for research results. In most cases, institutions did not have rights over inventions. Also, there were no clearly established criteria for rewarding others.

The new Law on Commercialization of Scientific Activities approved in October 2015 promises a number of important changes in this regard. The law provides stronger incentives for commercialisation through:

1) providing more transparency in the interaction of all participants in the process of commercialisation;

2) guaranteeing the rights and interests of researchers involved in the invention process, in particular their rights over income generated from the inventions;

3) providing economic incentives for the commercialisation of scientific activities in the priority sectors of the economy; and

4) increasing the integration of education, science, industry and institutions engaged in the development of innovations.

In addition, the government also offers grants, technical support and training addressed to researchers to promote university-industry collaboration and the commercialisation of public research. Moreover, new science parks and technology transfer offices aim to provide the infrastructure to facilitate commercialisation by enhancing industry-science interaction.

III. Pilot Project – Development of a Lithium Sulfur Battery for Renewable Energy, Electric Transport and Electronics

Head: Professor Zhumabay Bakenov, PhD, D.Eng.

Professor of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, Director of Center for Energy and Advanced Materials Science, National Laboratory Astana.

Nazarbayev University.

The Lithium Sulphur Battery Project: one of the largest research projects in Kazakhstan

Prof. Bakenov started research on the project “Lithium Sulphur Battery” in 2010. In 2009 and 2010, a number of research teams worldwide had started research on this subject. In 2011 he moved to Astana and worked at the newly established School of Engineering at Nazarbayev University. The “Institute of Batteries”, founded by Prof. Bakenov, has received accreditation as research institute and as such can receive funding.

The professor started working with a team of only two undergraduate students, but made quick progress in setting up the Project when he received help in the form of free equipment from colleagues from abroad. The first grant from the Kazakh government for a sum of USD 100.000 came in at the beginning of November 2012 – Professor Bakenov had to spend this sum in the few days before the end of the reporting period (deadline) on 15 November in order to apply for funding in the coming year. (The amount was spent in less than a month, mostly on research trips.)

By the end of 2012, the Project staff had grown to five people, including two master students, plus between 10 and 15 undergraduate students who worked on the Project for limited periods. Also, three students from the Kazakh-British Technical University in Almaty joined the Project team.

2013 marked a successful year: the Project received research grants from Ministry of Education, a project grant from a private Kazakh company, EUR 2.5 mln. from the EU (7th Framework Programme), and grants from other countries including Japan and Canada. Also, the World Bank TCP (Technology Commercialization Project) approved the project for unconditional funding and recognised its potential for commercialisation.

In 2014 the Project received another grant from the World Bank for technical equipment for a second battery project. By then, Prof. Bakenov operated two laboratories, one at the university and the other one in a start-up company.

The Project now has the biggest laboratory at Nazarbayev University, including 40 research staff (Ph.D., Master and B.A. students) and 7 postdocs. The Project develops and tests material (material science). In 2012, Conductive Sulphur Composite Material for use in batteries was developed, which is the basis for commercialisation efforts.

On average, the Project produces 10-15 research papers annually. In 2015, 16 papers were produced and 7 papers published in journals. This is Kazakhstan record.

The Project has to rely on international sources for funding

Although funding for the next years is guaranteed, future activities are difficult to plan, because national funding from the Ministry of Education (which provides the vast majority of research grants, including those with a commercialisation component in Kazakhstan) is cut back. As a consequence, Kazakh universities and the research scene are suffering from a reduction in funding. E.g, there hasbeen no call for application for research grants in 2016. Prof. Bakenov is thus looking for international source of funding, and lately applied for international grants from the ISTC (International Science and Technology Center) and the British Council.

Limited experience for IP valuation

Prof. Bakenov stated that the commercialisation offices from the universities had offered little help in evaluating the IP. In past cases, he had evaluated his patents himself by approximating the value from past experience from the Japanese market.

Registering and trading patents can take long time

The Project has applied for 30 patents and until now received 3 Kazakh patents, of which one belonged to the university and the other two to a separate company formed by Prof. Bakenov (the Institute of Batteries). Usually it takes 1-2 years to receive a Kazakh patent and 3 years to receive an international patent. Usual procedure was to apply for Kazakh and then for international patents.

For pure research results, Prof. Bakenov would seek a patent for the university, for innovations related to commercialisation, he would seek a patent for the “Institute of Batteries”. The reason was that it was very difficult for administrative reasons to pursue commercialisation with a patent that belonged to the university (long approval and decision-making processes in the university bureaucracy).

It cost around USD 1.000 to apply for a Kazakh patent (more than five years ago it had cost around USD 100); maintaining the patent was relatively inexpensive, costing 24.000 Tenge (about 70 US dollar) per year. Hardly anyone in the Kazakh patent office spoke English, and no support for getting international patents was offered. For applications for international patents, Prof. Bakenov consulted a patent consultant.

The small market of Kazakhstan offers limited opportunities for commercialisation

Efforts to find commercial partners in Kazakhstan had been unsuccessful. Prof. Bakenov had held several meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and interested local companies. Kazakh companies, however, lost interest when they heard that capital returns would only flow after some years. Similarly, the venture capital funds which were contacted could not be interested in the project. The Project also had contact with the local company Zhersu, a Kazakh company specialised in batteries, but without results. Prof. Bakenov also contacted companies in China, France, Japan, and Korean which he knew though his private network. The main reason for these difficulties in commercialisation is the small size of the Kazakh market and limited business opportunities, resulting also in a limited will of Kazakh companies to invest in innovative products and ideas.

While Prof. Bakenov’s preferred choice was to find a company or a buyer for his patents, he was offering also license agreements (cost-free, sharing of royalties for revenues under the licensed product) to companies. The license agreement was non-exclusive, meaning that it could be used by several companies at the same time. Presently, a number of Chinese companies considered the license agreement. The Project had also been in contact with a large European company in this regard. For the future, Prof. Bakenov plans to concentrate more on research on patenting and selling the patents.

The Project had a little commercial success in selling a limited number of small batteries to a local car key maker, which bought 360 rechargeable batteries for USD 1.000,-. The contact came through a junior researcher in the project who accidentally found out about the demand at a visit to a car key shop.

China as a promising market for commercialisation

The Project has very good cooperation with China. A joint laboratory has been set up at the University of Tianjin City in North East China through the initiative of former students, who have also established a small company with a Chinese partner which lives from funding for research and commercialisation. The advantage of China is the large market with 3.000 battery companies of various sizes.

Also, the president of the Japanese industrial battery association recently visited the laboratories at Nazarbayev University.

A call for stronger public support of local research

Prof. Bakenov called that the Kazakhstan government should encourage local research instead of buying technology, including less advanced technology, from abroad. For his own project, the board of directors from Samruk Energy approved to buy and use the technology developed in the battery project in 2013. However, nothing happened then and much later Samruk Energy signed a contract with a Silicon Valley based battery company: Primus Power.

Prof. Bakenov now puts hope in an “acceleration programme” organised by the Autonomous Cluster Fund Almaty Tech Garden: successful applicant will receive a sum of money, receive a training and match with investors in Silicon Valley.

Procurement at universities: (still) a major obstacle for researchers

Procurement for education and research equipment in Kazakhstan is extremely bureaucratic and takes a long time due to the high number of government regulations, in particular in the areas of dual-use goods and chemicals. Prof. Bakenov mentioned that for other projects. For example it took the Project several years to buy an electronic microscope. The 2015 Commercialisation Law stipulates that universities do not need to follow official state procurement rules when they grant funding, which does not seem to have been applied in this case.

IV. Recommendations on Commercialisation

Universities and the role of Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs)

1. Define the role and mandate of TTOs

a. At present, TTOs do only exist at some universities of Kazakhstan, and there is no uniform or common understanding about the mandate and function of TTOs, who perform different functions at different universities, and are differently staffed and equipped. This should be defined and streamlined.

b. TTOs should not only focus on promoting commercialisation based on IP (intellectual property-based technology commercialisation involving patenting and licensing), but seek to develop and offer expertise in other areas, such as public-private collaborative research, student and faculty mobility, contract research, faculty consulting, and student entrepreneurship.

2. Strengthen TTOs’ services, promoting collaboration and synergies among them as well as establishing linkages with international associations of TTOs.

Kazakh researchers would benefit from services which help to register IP and its subsequent commercialisation. Activities of TTOs need to be more consolidated in order to bring together experts on a regional level who can be approached by stakeholders. Regular meetings between TTOs could be established and institutionalised, possibly also through forming an association of TTOs, which will focus on sharing international good practices and develop training activities. These steps cannot be carried out by individual TTOs only.

3. Introduce and enforce clear and transparent incentives for university professors and researchers that reward them for licensing, participating in successful spin-off activities and engaging with the private sector.

A major challenge for technology commercialization in Kazakhstan is the lack of clarity whether researchers will benefit from participating in university spin-offs or engaging with industry. In this regard, incentives such as a reward system for building linkages with industry, mobilising research funds from private sources or earning income from patent-licensing should be set up and implemented at university level, in accordance with the new Law on Commercialisation. It should be in the interest of Kazakh universities to have an IP policy with clear royalty sharing agreements between investors, researchers, and the universities.

4. Encourage linkages between universities and PRIs and ensure synergies between Nazarbayev University and other leading universities in Kazakhstan

In research, PRIs and universities could engage in research collaboration and share equipment, while collaborative activities could take the form of joint formation of advanced human resources in education. It is also important that the Nazarbayev University, which is Kazakhstan’s university world’s interface, take up its leader role in Commercialisation and better interacts with PRIs in these terms, and also with other universities for which it should act as a model, in a first stage.

5. Nurturing universities’ “third mission” of contributing to economic growth.

Universities’ “third mission” activities, which, beyond education and research, consists in focusing on knowledge transfer to the private sector and wider society, should be reinforced by additional measures. As enshrined by the 2015 Law on commercialising research results, technology commercialisation should become a priority for universities and as such should be widely encouraged, e.g. by awareness campaign and incentives mechanism or intra-university co-operation. According to international experience, this is a medium-term process which would require a pre-defined strategy.

6. Create greater flexibility in procurement processes at universities.

The complex procurement rules at universities lead to delayed deliverance of equipment needed for research. They also pose a burden on researchers, as procurement processes are time-consuming. Universities should make use of a passage in the 2015 Commercialisation Law which allows for easier procurement processes where grant funding is involved.

More targeted public Funding for research on innovation and commercialisation

7. Increase the level of institutional funding to public research institutes and universities, maintain it, and encourage local research instead of buying technology from abroad.

It is important to increase funds provided to Public Research institutes and universities, which are very low by international standards. Maintaining these levels is also key to give visibility to PRIs and spin-off companies and enable them to face the different challenges on the continuous commercialisation process. Kazakhstan Government should also foster local research, starting by contracting with local researchers.

8. Put in place a mechanism of evaluation of Universities and PRIs, and introduce new performance measures.

In order to allocate these resources efficiently, adequate monitoring, including of outputs and results, as well as ex post evaluation mechanisms at institutional and individual levels need to be put in place. The strategy could be adjusted accordingly (i.e support additional funding when conclusive, and thinking new options - such as restructuration - when it is not).

New performance measures for the allocation of university funding could be introduced. They could be based on evaluation methods that take into account the quality of research produced and its relevance or interactions with industry, for example licensing agreements reached or incomes from collaborations with industry. Such evaluation could provide evidence of the benefits for targeted funding, as opposed to the current trend of financing a large number of very small projects, which seem to have only very little impact.

9. Ensure the selection processes about government funding allocations to be transparent and driven by true innovative and commercial potential.

The continued presence of intransparence and capture of governmental processes by interest groups in Kazakhstan and other European and Central Asian countries (ECAs) places a heavy burden on the design of successful policy instruments. The variety of grants and venture capital funding are then likely to attract rent-seeking behaviour, possibly resulting in inefficient funding allocations in case the institutional design cannot immunize the funding allocation from interference by political actors and other interest groups.

The instrument design therefore needs to enhance the decision-making processes with sufficient checks and balances through an independent institution and a wide representation of private sector, academia, civil society, and foreign expertise to protect the decision-making process from such interference. These decisions and project proposals should also be recorded, tracked, and made publicly available to enhance transparency. E-government procurement technologies could be considered to aid the process.

Assessing demand and the market for commercialisation

10. Develop and operate a self-assessment tool to determine the technology readiness level of innovative research in Kazakhstan to better target innovative products and increase the chances for commercialisation.

The level of technology readiness in Kazakhstan is often too low to compete with international technologies or just to be ready for business. A self-assessment tool on the Technology Readiness Level of products or processes could provide organisations in charge of commercialisation with a unique mapping of assets and their maturity levels. In turn, this would allow to decide which types of financing should be allocated to which teams and would improve the results of commercialisation.

11. Increase the understanding of the needs and demands expressed by future potential clients in order to ensure that innovations proposed by Kazakh team can meet market needs, possibly also looking beyond Kazakhstan.

Understanding what kind of needs and demands are expressed by future potential clients in order to ensure that innovations proposed by Kazakh research ecosystem can meet market needs is key for successful commercialisation. Kazakhstan market also offers very limited opportunities for commercialisation, and new approaches could also extend to other promising markets, possibly in China or Russia. The results should also feed in into the self-assessment tool proposed in the previous recommendation.

12. Enhance public support to connect national firms with global technology markets in order to promote the commercialisation of national technology abroad, with special attention to Eurasian Economic Union countries.

The commercialisation of Kazakh technologies has not yet made an important impact on international markets. The countries of the Eurasian Economic Union have similar socio-economic backgrounds and should be regarded as primary targets for the expansion of Kazakh technologies.

13. Strengthen the Government assistance in drafting Business Plan or marketing strategy, as well as in partnering with (international) business partners. Develop guidelines and tools such as model licensing contracts to implement the recent Law on Commercialization of Scientific Activities.

Technical support and outreach efforts are necessary to successfully implement the Commercialisation Law and to achieve higher results for commercialisation. Model contracts for collaboration between industry and universities can simplify and encourage first steps.

14. Stimulating firms’ demand for technology and innovation

Working on the demand side of technology transfer and commercialization is as important to the effectiveness of the innovation system as is the efficiency of the linkage with the supply side. The overall objective is to expand the number of firms that use knowledge as the main competitive strategy. Addressing this need has to be tailored at two levels. The first is for leading clusters whose orientation is predominantly the competitive international market. Here, the aforementioned tools to promote strategic alliances for applications oriented research are the most relevant. At this stage, however, some firms around leading clusters are still far from the technology frontier, which points to the need for combining these strategic alliances with technology extension services in some of the clusters. The second is for other firms who lie outside the priority clusters. The most frequent response to this challenge is to combine shared-cost grant schemes to stimulate the demand side and to link this effort to accredited suppliers who have been vetted for the quality of services they offer.

16. Provide support for researcher in universities and PRIs to deal with international Patents, especially in patent evaluation. Encourage IP ownership and facilitate the process of commercialisation in line with the Commercialisation Law.

Evaluation of intellectual assets, and in particular patents, remains unclear and lacks a more systemic approach. The value of patents too often results from a negotiation, even from researcher themselves, instead of stemming from more objective qualitative or quantitative methods which would be taken care by a dedicated structure. Application for patent has also become increasingly expensive, takes quite some time and little support is provided in the application process. Pursuing commercialisation with a patent that belongs to universities is subject to a somewhat tedious approval and decision-making process within universities, which needs to be reformed.

16. Provide support for researcher in universities and PRIs to deal with international Patents, especially in patent evaluation. Encourage IP ownership and facilitate the process of commercialisation in line with the Commercialisation Law.

Evaluation of intellectual assets, and in particular patents, remains unclear and lacks a more systemic approach. The value of patents too often results from a negotiation, even from researcher themselves, instead of stemming from more objective qualitative or quantitative methods which would be taken care by a dedicated structure. Application for patent has also become increasingly expensive, takes quite some time and little support is provided in the application process. Pursuing commercialisation with a patent that belongs to universities is subject to a somewhat tedious approval and decision-making process within universities, which needs to be reformed.

17. The National Institute of Intellectual Property (NIIP) should provide free, open and user-friendly access to information on IP registered and applied for in Kazakhstan, while providing guidelines on how to access other relevant platforms.

Information on IP, especially on IP applicants often lack a user-friendly format, as well as an English translation which is relevant for foreign investors. Building this solid database using the existing NIIP infrastructure should be the main priority. Collaboration with other international IP platforms should be increased.

18. Provide training courses, awareness campaigns and technical support to promote the use of IP by SMEs, traditional sectors and the general public in all regions of the country.

The awareness of IP in the general public is still relatively low. Especially businesses would benefit from more targeted and hands-on advice to help them register or source IP and support their business strategy.

19. The National Agency for Technological Development (NATD) should expand its technology-screening activities so as to match local technology demands with available foreign technologies. It should also provide support to adapt such technologies to local conditions when needed.

Information on existing technologies developed globally is an essential tool for the development of national production. NATD’s activities need to be intensified further, possibly in cooperation with other relevant agencies and stakeholders in Kazakhstan, as e.g. KIDI.

If you have any questions about this publication you can contact Mr. Jean-François Lengellé, Kazakhstan Project manager - Eurasia division; Этот адрес электронной почты защищён от спам-ботов. У вас должен быть включен JavaScript для просмотра. ; +33145249926.

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