Knowledge and innovation are key factors in economic growth and poverty reduction. Generally associated with information technology or technological gadgets such as smart phones and tablet PCs, innovation encompasses much more and is often essential to advances in science, medicine, and pharmaceuticals, among several other areas.
In Kazakhstan, innovation and technology are being fostered by the Technology Commercialization Project (TCP), which is implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan and assisted by the World Bank. A high-level workshop organized as part of the project in November 2013 called "Innovative Economy in Kazakhstan: Instruments of Technology Commercialization", looked at early success stories and ways to further harness innovation in the country.
The event attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, members of Parliament, government agencies, development and research institutions, academia, international organizations, and mass media, allowed to exhibit major grant projects with high potential of innovation in the area of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and construction materials.
Two research projects – showcasing the early results of the TCP – were comprehensively presented at the workshop,
The first project created filtration material and metal nanostructures to filter out microscopic material such as bacteria and viruses. The research group behind the project has entered into contractual arrangements with commercial organizations for distribution of the filters in several countries. The second project has developed pharmacogenetic tests for drug dosages for individuals, taking into account the different responses to drugs because of genetics. The project has already received orders from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health.