The Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) of South Korea and the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences – High Technologies Park (ANAS-HTP) have worked together to carry out the two-year long K-Innovation ODA Program (2019-2020) under the title of “Policy Consultation on the Promotion of Technology Transfer and Commercialization in Azerbaijan.” In the first year (2019), we analyzed Azerbaijan’s STI policy and the TT & TC ecosystem at the national level that affect ANAS-HTP’s TT & TC activities, and shared South Korea’s TT & TC experiences. For the second year (2020), the project team developed a strategic plan for the successful take-off of ANAS-HTP at the institutional level, based on the research outcomes of the first year.
The key contents of the proposed strategic plan are as follows. First, the project team has defined ANAS-HTP’s vision of “Becoming a Top High-Tech Park Company in Caspian Countries by 2035.” The project team has also presented structure, budget, workforce, and network as core elements of the internal system, which will help realize this vision. It has also identified key operational programs of i) TT & TC, ii) Start-up & Incubation, and iii) Test & Certification, and presented a roadmap to implement these programs.
In the second year, unlike the first year, all the project activities were inevitably carried out through video conference (e.g. Zoom) and social networks (e.g. What’s app) because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the preparatory meeting held in February, the Kick-off & Field Interview and the Capacity Development Workshop were held in May and in September, respectively. Afterwards, a joint team of the South Korean experts and the Azerbaijani counterparts worked together to develop a final report. The final outcomes of the project were then shared at the Dissemination Workshop held in December.
In this process, Dr. Ali Abbasov, former Director of ANAS-HTP, and Mr. Mammad Baghirzadeh, former Deputy Director on the Strategic Development, have provided their extensive support. At the Capacity Development Workshop held in September, some South Korean Technopark experts participated as speakers, kindly delivered their lectures, and offered their presentation materials to the project team. I would like to deliver my special thanks again to these experts, Ms. Yang-jin Kim (Entrepreneurship Consultant of Gyeongbuk TP), Ms. Kyoung Joo Nam (Team Leader of Gyeonggi Technopark), Mr. Jong-Wha Lee (Associate Researcher of Daejeon Technopark), and Mr. Seong Byung-Ho (Director General of Daegu Technopark). It is my ardent wish that this project would lead to a follow-up project between STEPI and ANAS-HTP, so that our continuous cooperation through the follow-up project would serve as a momentum for ANAS-HTP to emerge as a top high-tech park in the Caspian countries by the year 2035.