“Smart Specialization in Ukraine: six months after the adoption of the regional development strategies”: discussion at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre

On July 29 at 11:00 the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center hosted a discussion on “Smart Specialization in Ukraine: six months after the adoption of the regional development strategies”.

The event was organized by the Ukrainian Institute for International Politics 50165160403_1aec52daaa_c50165687896_b40ee44bea_c50165692561_2c542729a7_c50165951572_2960384817_c50165954497_68d4f3dbf5_cwithin the project with the German Institute of International Relations (IFA). The representatives from the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine participated in the discussion.

The purpose of the event was to analyze the state of implementation of Smart Specialization in Ukraine and coordinate the next steps for further development of S3 priorities.

Speakers at the event were Rostyslav Tomenchuk, Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Institute for International Politics, Nino Damenia, Senior Expert on Smart Specialization and Industrial Development of the Reform Support Team of the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, and Yulia Bezvershenko, Director General of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

Rostyslav Tomenchuk noted that the regional development strategies for 2021-2027 for the first time identified specific areas of economic activity, which in most cases coincide with the analysis conducted by the EU experts responsible for S3. He also pointed out that in 2016 there were only 3 pilot regions (Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Odesa) for the development of Smart specialization, and in 2019 their number increased to 12. However, up until now no region has developed S3 priorities. Rostyslav Tomenchuk also said that the Institute has elaborated a methodology for the implementation of the Entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP), which is based on best practices and recommendations of EU experts. It is important to approve the methodology at the national level.

Nino Damenia stressed the uniqueness of the situation in Ukraine. The Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine managed to build an effective dialogue with the European Commission on the potential of S3 in Ukraine. As a result the EU agreed to provide support for developing of S3 in all Ukrainian regions, except from initial 3 pilot oblasts. According to her, it is important to attract active scientists and business that are able to strategically shape the development agenda in specific sectors of the economy. Nino Damenia also announced the initiative of the Ministry, starting in 2021 to develop a national program of co-financing of Smart Specialization projects.

Yulia Bezvershenko drew attention to the importance of timely informing about the latest EU opportunities and instruments that Ukraine can join. She stressed on the Ministry’s readiness to facilitate the scientists’ inclusion to the process of developing Smart Specialization. She drew attention to the weak communication between business and scientists, but despite this, S3 could be the platform where many issues of Ukrainian science can be addressed.

In the conclusion Rostyslav Tomenchuk drew attention to the importance in the future:

– to complete the formation of a national S3 team at the level of Ministries for better coordination;

– to approve the guidelines for the development of S3;

– to provide online consultations with the participation of EU experts;

– to provide resources to support S3 priorities both at national level and in cooperation with the EU.

The Ukrainian Institute for International Politics for the last 4 years provided support to the regions in the implementation of Smart Specialization.

The video of the discussion can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpm8ANL6b5o50165954497_68d4f3dbf5_c