The formation and development problems of the national innovation system of the republic of Kazakhstan

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

Author: Kaigorodtsev A., Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan

The problem. Nowadays the economy based on knowledge is gradually succeeding the economy, which is grounded on exhaustible resources.

The new knowledge, being transformed into new technologies, is the stable source of new competitive advantage. Furthermore, the term “knowledge” is regarded in a broad sense as the ability to accumulate intangible assets, to create new technologies, “know-how”, to adapt theory and practice of the corporate management to the conditions of the certain company, to initiate and conduct business research, to take correct investment decisions, to assess their effectiveness under uncertainty, to avoid various risks, etc.

Development of fundamental and applied scientific research and development work, qualification and experience of the scientific and technological workforce, which are necessary for generation of ideas and development of new products, technologies and business processes promote the formation of the knowledge system. Innovations are the results of “technological progress”, or the results of influence of the market demand, as confirmed by the appearance of new products and technologies conceptions in the Research and Advanced Development departments of the enterprise, or as a result of conducted market research [1, 2].

Thereby the analysis of problems, appearing when the systems are generated, and the identification of the resolving methods gain special importance.

Analysis of the recent research and publications. Various aspects of the formation and development problems of national innovative systems are investigated by scientists from the far-abroad countries, among which the works of such authors as G. Dosi, P.F. Drucker, Ch. Edguist, C. Freeman [2-6] and others stand out.

The works of many scientists from Kazakhstan and the far-abroad countries, in particular the works of N.N. Barlybaeva, J.V. Batalov, S.J. Glazev, P.M. Dnishev, E.A. Koloss, O.S. Sabden [1,2, 7-9] and others, deal with the topical problems of industrial-innovative development and competitive recovery of the national economy.

The research objective. The objective of the conducted research is to develop recommendations about the efficiency improvement of the innovative process in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Research findings. New knowledge and innovations haven’t yet become the essential factor of the social and economic development of Kazakhstan, as evidenced by the statistics given in Table 1.

Table 1 – Characteristics of the innovation process in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Activities 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
1 The innovative activity level of enterprises, % 3,4 4,8 4,8 4,0 4,0 4,3 5,7
2 Expenditures for technological innovation, mln. tenge 67088,9 79985,9 83523,4 113460,1 61050,9 235501,7 194990,9
including technological innovation in industry 56016,5 71513,4 76264,9 97463,7 31034,8 219571,2 170174,3
among them:              
- food 15144,3 29521,4 8922,5 11630,9 4617,9 17162,1 106284,0
- process 40872,2 41992,0 67342,4 85832,8 26416,9 202409 63890,3
3 R&D financing, % of GNP 0,25 0,25 0,28 0,25 0,29 0,30 0,32
4 Innovative production rate, mln. tenge 120408,4 156039,9 152500,6 111531,1 82597,4 142166,8 235962,7
5 Innovative production share in GDP, % 1,58 1,53 1,19 0,69 0,51 0,66 0,86
6 Internal current costs for scientific and technical works, mln. tenge 20036,0 23236,0 25737,5 33685,9 38538,0 40414,5 44513,3
among them:              
fundamental research 3089,8 3744,4 3468,1 3846,5 4107,5 4490,4 7475,9
applied research 7249,0 9354,3 9692,2 13320,2 17373,5 18088,0 20864,3
development work 9697,2 7944,0

5454,8 6704,9 6009,4 9536,4 9867,3
scientific and technical services - 2193,3 7122,4 9814,3 7599,6 8299,7 6305,7
other works (services) - - - - 3448,1 - -
7 Number of organizations, which conducted research and development 390 437 438 421 416 424 412
8 Number of workers, employed by research and development, person. 18912 19563 17774 16304 15793 17021 18003
Note – composed by the author according to the information of the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

According to this table, in spite of the tendency to rise, innovative activity level of Kazakhstan enterprises still remains low – 5.7%, while in industrialized countries about 70% of enterprises carry out innovations connected with production diversification with the purpose of new market segment development.

Outdated production and management technologies negatively affect social labor productivity with the level in Kazakhstan 1.5 times lower than in Russia, and four-five times lower than in the countries of Western Europe and the USA. Besides, there is a reduction of innovative production share in GDP from 1.58% in 2005 to 0.86% in 2011.

Specifically, the reason for this is underfunding of innovative activity. At the present time the amount of R&D financing accounts for 0.32 % from the country’s GDP, while in Russia it is 1.18%, and in 15 leading European Union countries it amounts to 1.96% [9].

In 2010 costs for technological innovations reached a maximum level (235.5 billion tenge), it is 3.5 times higher than they were in 2005. However, in 2011 level of costs for R&D reduced by 17.2%.

In 2011 87.2% of total costs for technological innovations was the share of industry, which gave its 62.5 % (106.3 billion tenge) to product innovations, and 37.5% (63.9 billion tenge) to process innovations.

16.8% of internal current costs for scientific and technical works, which accounted for 44.5 billion tenge in 2011, was the share of basic research, 46.9% –applied research, 22.2% – scientific and technical development, 14.1% – scientific and technical service.

In 2006-2007, a number of the organizations carrying out research and development increased to 438, thereafter it reduced to 412 by 2011. A number of employees, performing research and development, reduced by 8% in 2011, in comparison with a maximum level of 2006, and made up 18 thousand people.

In the Republic of Kazakhstan the National Innovative System Development Program (NISDP) is realized [10] to increase effectiveness of innovative potential use.

National innovative system represents a set of institutions, relating to the state and private economic sectors, which independently and interactively creates new knowledge, abilities, skills and scientific and engineering activity results, defining emergence, development and distribution of new technologies.

Components of NIS are:

1 The scientific potential, which includes:

– state scientific organizations – national scientific centers, research institutes, higher schools, design institutes;

– scientific organizations under national companies, laboratories under large enterprises;

– private research and design institutes;

– small and medium-sized enterprises, carrying out scientific research;

– scientific manpower of organizations and individual inventors;

– material and technical base.

2 Innovative entrepreneurship, which have binding (intermediary) functions between scientific-technical and production spheres. The ultimate objective of innovative entrepreneurship is development of enterprises, which able to react efficiently to the current state of the market, to organize a mass production of competitive science intensive production of new generation and increased demand at the level of the international standards. The innovative entrepreneurship includes:

– angel investors;

– enterprises;

– innovative managers.

3 Multilevel innovative infrastructure, that defines a complex of interconnected production, consulting, educational and information structures, serving and providing conditions for realization of innovative activity. The innovative infrastructure consists of the following elements:

– national technological parks;

– regional technological parks;

– technological business incubators;

– science cities, etc.

4 Financial infrastructure providing complex financing of research- production and educational processes in the sphere of innovative technological development, based on a combination of various mechanisms of direct and indirect state support relative to innovative entrepreneurship and infrastructure. The financial infrastructure includes the following elements:

– state institutes of development;

– venture funds;

– enterprises;

– individual entrepreneurs;

– second level banks, etc. [10].

To solve issues regarding technical and economic modernization of Kazakhstan one of two main economic development models can be used.

One of the two main models of economic development can be used to solve problems of technical and economic modernization of Kazakhstan.

The leading countries succeeding in technological and economic progress follow the pioneer model development, in which they create the most advanced production technology and the most effective (in terms of the rate of growth of national wealth) economic mechanisms. Another model – is catching up with development. It is typical for countries that are in lower levels of technical and economic progress, and even on its last levels. The main difference of this model is that here the development is based on the development of technology and economic mechanisms that have already been created in the leading countries.

It is considered that country, solving the problem of reducing the backlogs from the leading countries in the economic development and welfare of the population, must hold the catch-up strategy. According to this strategy, the country taken the path of progressive structural and technological transformation of its economy goes through a series of sequential levels:

- Extraction and processing of raw materials;

- Production of material and labor-intensive commodity;

- Production of capital commodity;

- Research and development.

There is no need for Kazakhstan to repeat all of these levels in the same sequence, as other countries did. In spite of insufficient range of competitive products produced in the country at present (excluding raw materials and primary materials), in Kazakhstan there are all of these steps, which may become the points of economic growth on the assumption of modernization in conjunction with new construction. Revenues from exports of raw materials and foreign investment should become the source of reconstruction financing and modernization of the national productive mechanism.

As a result of the acquisition of foreign technology can simultaneously and quickly organize competitive production and material-intensive goods (rolled steel, construction materials, etc.). There are also opportunities in production of technology-intensive products - machines, test and measurement instruments.

The foundation can become their own research in the production of high-tech products, along with foreign capital (assembly plants). The development of small business and joint ventures by conversion can provide a core of high-tech industries on the basis of available cells for the production of equipment, automation equipment and radio engineering. Import of technology should be used to organize the assembly plants are relatively less complex kinds of high technology products (such as household appliances). Also, scientific reserve in biotechnology, radiation and laser technology should be found industrial application available in the republic. In this case, the majority of goods should be focused mainly on exports.

In the process of formation and development of the NIC it is necessary to develop and implement an innovative industrial policy, including a system of measures for selective support of strategic sectors of the national economy of Kazakhstan, providing economic growth, structural changes in the economy, including innovation sphere.

As a result of the author's participation in foresight studies it was found that the priority directions of scientific and technological activities in the Republic of Kazakhstan for the next five to ten years will be R&D in the following areas [11]:

1 Agro-industrial complex and agricultural production

2 Development of the construction industry

3 Petroleum refining and infrastructure oil and gas sector

4 Metallurgy

5 Development of the chemical, pharmaceutical and defense industries

6 Energy, including the development of clean energy

7 Development of transport and telecommunications infrastructure

8 The development of information - communications technologies.

Cancellation of strict following catching up model is possible not only due to the simultaneous transmission of the stages of technological ladder from raw materials to high-tech goods. To be on the same level with the leaders in some positions can be achieved by setting the preconditions for the advanced formation of the latest technology for the world economy structure. Biotechnology, space technology, fine chemical technology will be the core of it. The electoral concentration of scientific research in promising areas of probable becoming the sixth technological structure, training the necessary qualifications are related to such preconditions.

The strategy of technological development of Kazakhstan should include a combination of several types of development [12].

The first type should be subordinated to the tasks of the fourth electoral technological system, the core of which in the world economy includes auto- and tractor construction, synthetics, organic chemistry, manufacturing, and oil refining.

The second type should be used for the development of highly selective fifth technological system, the core of which in the world economy includes auto- and tractor construction, non-ferrous metals, production of durable goods, synthetics, organic chemistry, production and refining of oil, agriculture, telecommunications, optical fibers, robotics industry, production and consumption of natural gas, information services.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, making a speech at Nazarbayev University, pointed out, that one of the main priorities in improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the national economy was the creation of an innovative cluster network.

Innovative cluster is the consolidation of a scientific-technical (or scientific) activity and of the elements of the industrially innovative infrastructure, that are intended to stimulate the industrially-innovative activity by interacting and sharing of available opportunities, as well as by exchange of knowledge and experience, where effective technology transfer, firm partners connection and information dissemination are of considerable importance.

The necessity of the transition from the traditional clusters to the innovative ones is explained by different tendencies in the previous and current centuries: the XX century was the era of high industrial technologies, and the XXI century is expected to be the age of high innovative technologies directed at the human capital development. This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that nowadays the national wealth of the developed states of the world depends on natural resources only on 5%, on manufactured capital only on 18% and the rest 77% is for their effective distribution and knowledge.

As opposed to the traditional sector clusters, the innovative clusters represent a system of close interconnections not only between the companies within the cluster, their suppliers and consumers, but also between major research centers and universities, which, being new knowledge and innovations generators, provide the entire region with the opportunity for a person to get a high level education.

This makes possible coordination of the effort and financial resources to create and release to the market a new product or technology. As a result, an exclusive process flow, starting with the creation of an innovative product and up to its market release, can be established within the cluster.

The other difference of the innovative clusters from the traditional industrial ones is the creation within the clusters frames mainly export-oriented production and technologies, as on an international scale, introclusteral competitive advantages become valuable.

The cluster form of organization of innovative activity results in the creation of an aggregate innovative product, which is a specific form of innovation and, at the same time, a combined efforts product of several companies or research institutes. This allows expediting spread of innovation in the regional economic space. Moreover, the consolidation of cluster participants on the basis of vertical integration results not in the formation of spontaneous concentration of various technological inventions, but promotes the creation of a particular system of new knowledge and technologies spreading. Besides, the most important condition of the effective transformation of inventions into innovations and of innovations into competitive advantages is the creation of a firm connections network between all the cluster participants.

Industrial parks, along with the innovational clusters, are the objects of support and placement of innovations. The creation and activity of the industrial parks is based on the modern European pattern, which is characterized by the presence of the building that contain tens of minor innovative enterprises and by the service support system for them.

Recently, a two-level industrial park system has been formed in the republic, which is currently active. This system includes the national industrial parks and the network of major regional industrial parks in the cities of Almaty, Karaganda, Uralsk, Chimkent, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Petropavlovsk and Astana.

The national technological parks, such as Park of Innovative Technologies (Alatau Town), National Industrial Petrochemical Technology Park “Tokamak” (Kurchatov City) and Space Monitoring Park (the cities of Almaty, Astana and Priozersk) are focused on the creation of new hi-tech industries that are intended to promote strengthening of national economy competitiveness. The distinctive characteristic of the technology parks of our country is their industrial orientation and the existence of specific economic area with tax exemption.

The other peculiarity of domestic industrial parks is their location on the territory of major enterprises and the attraction of leading educational establishments and research institutes.

As an example, let us consider the university industrial parks created on the basis of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, K. Satpaev Kazakh National Technical University and D. Serikbayev East-Kazakhstan Technical University. These universities have three basic principles: education, research and innovation. The result of their activity is the transition to a brand new economic-organizing way of human resource development, as well as experimental educational programs design and the development of the strategic partnership system of scientifically educational centers with government bodies and enterprises.

It is impossible to solve the task of overcoming scientific and technological gap and entering the top 50 most competitive countries without training the innovation-oriented experts, that are willing to continue life-long learning and have the necessary skills that would allow them not only to apply their knowledge, but also to create new knowledge with the purpose of profit generation, that is to capitalize.

Higher educational institutions combining principles of education, research and production must realize advanced training of world class specialists. The graduates of such institutions must be able to conduct technological research, manage technological processes both in the society and production facilities and solve research tasks and problems throughout the life cycle of creation and implementation of the scientific product [2].

Conclusion. This research paper has defined ways to overcome technological gap in Kazakhstan in comparison with the other industrialized countries based on formation and development of effective national innovative system.


1. Barlybayeva, N.À. (2006). National innovative system of Kazakhstan. Almaty, p. 199

2. Batalov, U.V., Kolos, Y.A. (2011). Scientific and methodological ways of higher education innovative management in Kazakhstan. Ust-Kamenogorsk: EKSTU, p.220.

3. Dosi G. Technological paradigms and technological trajectories. Research policy. Amsterdam. 1982, p. 147-162.

4. Drucker P.F. Innovation and Entrepreterian Economics: Practice and Principles. – N.Y.: Harper and Row, 1985.

5. Edguist Charles ed. Systems of Innovation: Technologies, Institutions and Organizations, London: Pinter, 1998.

6. Freeman C. The National Systems of Innovations in historical perspective. In Cambridge journal of economics. London, 1995, p. 5-24.

7. Yespayev, S. Cluster factor of competitiveness. URL: http://www. print/1335487563.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

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