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Georgia

Creation of innovation ecosystem (GE0046)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: LELP- Innovation and Technology Agency, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

Support Institution(s): Advisory Body of Georgian Government – Research and Innovation Council; The World Bank

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Education, Infrastructure & Transport, Private Sector, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Georgia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Creation of innovation ecosystem; An idea to take commitment on creating innovation ecosystem derives from the reseach prepared by the World Bank. In order to create an innovation ecosystem, it is important to have a complex infrastructure that would inspire forming innovative society and the knowledge-based economy. By taking the two-component commitment in the framework of this Action Plan, Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (hereinafter,GITA) aims to create easier citizen access to the modern high-tech units, computer technologies and high-speed internet. This will develop computer literacy in the society and relevant skills for business commercialization. Component I – Innovation Agency plans to develop the innovation infrastructure (techno-park) currently available in the capital city and create additional innovation infrastructure in other Georgian regions through financial assistance from the World Bank.The development of innovation infrastructure envisages: 1. Development of innovation infrastructure currently available in the capital; 2. Establishment of regional innovation hubs in the big cities; 3. Establishment of innovation centers (innovation centers will be established on the basis of the available infrastructure (libraries, educational institutions) in close cooperation and with active participation of the municipalitites in the countryside; 4. Increase access to internet in the regions. To measure the results, IT-based beneficiary management system will be developed. A regional innovation hub (center) is a mini-technopark. One regional hub will be established in a big city of a region, which will be connected to a number of district innovation centers. The location of innovation centers will be selected based on the preliminary researches. These hubs will provide various training services. Based on the findings of the skills feasibility study, trainings will be conducted in response to the needs of a particular location. In addition to educational service, the innovation centers will have meeting-rooms to conduct meetings, presentations or monitoring on various topics. The services will be delivered free of charge. Component II – Provides population with increased access to innovation services by conducting trainings, Olympiads, distant learning, consulting services, improves basic computer literacy and relevant skills of individuals and entrepreneurs. Date of Implementation: 2016-2017; Issues to be Addressed: Currently, neither universities nor scientific research organizations conduct applied research focused on finding the needs of bussness sector, or creating and testing new products. Access to the computer facilities, high-speed internet and modern high-tech units is especially limited in the regions. Access to the innovative services (trainings, Olympiads, distant learning, consultation services for entrepreneurs) is also limited for citizens in the regions. It should be noted that along creating internet-infrastructure in the region (to overcome this challenge, the internetization project is underway which will provide access to the high-speed internet across the country), it is also important to increase access to computer technologies, to enhance computer literacy level, as well as relevant skills so that citizens can have better chances of employment. Main Objective: Support individuals and entrepreneurs in innovative activities; establishment of innovation firms; development of innovation awareness in the country skills development and form the knowledge-based economy.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Creation of innovation ecosystem

Commitment Text:

An idea to take commitment on creating innovation ecosystem derives from the research prepared by the World Bank.

In order to create an innovation ecosystem, it is important to have a complex infrastructure that would inspire forming innovative society and the knowledge-based economy.

By taking the two-component commitment in the framework of this Action Plan, Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (hereinafter, GITA) aims to create easier citizen access to the modern high-tech units, computer technologies and high-speed internet. This will develop computer literacy in the society and relevant skills for business commercialization.

Component I – Innovation Agency plans to develop the innovation infrastructure (techno-park) currently available in the capital city and create additional innovation infrastructure in other Georgian regions through financial assistance from the World Bank. The development of innovation infrastructure envisages: 1. Development of innovation infrastructure currently available in the capital; 2. Establishment of regional innovation hubs in the big cities; 3. Establishment of innovation centers (innovation centers will be established on the basis of the available infrastructure (libraries, educational institutions) in close cooperation and with active participation of the municipalitites in the countryside); 4. Increase access to internet in the regions. To measure the results, IT-based beneficiary management system will be developed.

A regional innovation hub (center) is a mini-technopark. One regional hub will be established in a big city of a region, which will be connected to a number of district innovation centers. The location of innovation centers will be selected based on the preliminary researches. These hubs will provide various training services. Based on the findings of the skills feasibility study, trainings will be conducted in response to the needs of a particular location. In addition to educational service, the innovation centers will have meeting-rooms to conduct meetings, presentations or monitoring on various topics. The services will be delivered free of charge.

Component II – Provides population with increased access to innovation services by conducting trainings, Olympiads, distant learning, consulting services, improves basic computer literacy and relevant skills of individuals and entrepreneurs.

Responsible institution: LEPL – Innovation and Technology Agency, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

Supporting institution(s): Advisory Body of Georgian Government – Research and Innovation Council, The World Bank

Start date: June 2015

End date: December 2017

Context and Objectives

Citizens living in rural areas of Georgia have limited access to continued education and training resources, which in turn contributes to the lack of qualified candidates on the country’s job market and low productivity levels.[1] Under this commitment, the Innovation and Technology Agency aims to support entrepreneurship and job creation by developing an innovation ecosystem, techno-parks and innovation centers, which would provide citizens with free access to modern technologies and skill-building trainings.

The commitment’s connection to OGP principles is unclear. If fully operational across the country, techno-parks and innovation centers have the potential to improve the socio-economic status of local populations by offering them free education and supporting their entrepreneurial efforts. A transformative reform in the OGP context would entail creating viable mechanisms for end-users to raise their innovative ideas directly with local authorities and to contribute to local decision-making.

Completion

At the midterm point, the commitment saw limited implementation. During the reporting period, the Agency opened one techno-park and three innovation centers instead of the initially planned two techno-parks and 13 innovation centers. Specifically, in October 2016, the Agency opened a new techno-park in Zugdidi, which is the second of its kind after the pre-existing Tbilisi techno-park. In addition, three pilot innovation centers were opened in Kharagauli, Baghdati, and Tchoporti. By the end of 2017, the Agency plans to open another techno-park in Telavi.[2] As mentioned above, the Agency was also supposed to open another 10 innovation centers in the regions but due to problems related to the dire conditions of old buildings meant there was a delay in implementation. There are two options to solve this issue: 1) allocate funds from the state budget for constructing new buildings; 2) rent private space for the centers. The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia has already allocated funds for constructing 10 new buildings. However, the first tender failed and now the Ministry is in the process of announcing the second tender.[3]

The locations for techno-parks and innovation centers were selected based on World Bank research that took into consideration the socio-economic situation in a given region, the level of access to broadband internet and the level of digital literacy, the quality of service delivery, as well as the readiness of local governments to collaborate.[4] According to an Agency representative, local governments have been very cooperative throughout the project. Specifically, they funded the renovation of selected municipal buildings to be redesigned for innovation centers. While the techno-parks are owned by the Agency and will remain so, the innovation centers will be owned by local governments.[5] Both techno-parks and innovation centers are different from public service halls and community centers being run by the Ministry of Justice. The former facilitates innovative business solutions through ICT-based trainings, distance learning courses, grant programs for innovative ideas, high-tech facilities and consultation services while the latter provide basic public services, such as the registration of personal documents and property.[6]

Early Results

The needs assessment conducted by independent consultants prior to selecting the locations for the techno-parks and innovation centers showed that local stakeholders, including municipal governments, school teachers and students, as well as CSOs were highly interested in using the new services provided by the Agency.[7] They were especially interested in consultations on business startups in the fields of production, agriculture, and tourism, as well as in trainings on IT programing.[8]

According to an Agency representative, CSOs are involved in the provision of innovation services. For instance, in Kareli the center building had to be adapted to the needs of people with special needs and the Agency worked with International Association for Inclusive Tourism to make this happen.[9] In addition, in all five centers, Elva Community Engagement and GeoLab provided 10 trainings on IT programing, social media, business management, and graphic design for 150 local students. Elva and GeoLab also organized 10 events with the participation of 300 people, including participants of distance learning course on IT programing. These events aimed to summarize the trainings conducted, organize competitions on developing innovative ideas for online applications, and discuss the topics of IT technologies and business.[10]

The data provided by Innovation and Technology Agency shows that 3,100 citizens visited one new techno-park and the three innovation centers. Specifically, 800 people visited Zugdidi techno-park while 2,300 people visited innovation centers in Kharagauli (940), Baghdati (1170), and Tchoporti (190). In the latter three centers, 1,500 people were provided with trainings offered by the Agency while 350 beneficiaries were trained at Zugdidi techno-park. The Agency has not conducted a survey to study the level of user satisfaction with the trainings and services provided. Therefore, it is difficult to analyze the early results achieved through those interventions. In addition, the Agency has not conducted a study to find out to what extent internet access has increased in the locations of techno-parks and innovation centers.[11]

Next Steps

The director of GeoLab and an independent consultant had a positive assessment of this commitment to create an innovation ecosystem in Georgia. According to them, an opportunity for using high-tech products and computer technologies, distance employment and a co-working space are the greatest benefits that the centers provide to citizens.[12] However, they also noted that these innovation centers are not meant to increase government transparency and accountability or public participation in local-decision making. They simply provide spaces for public meetings and trainings that local authorities and CSOs could voluntarily use to better connect with the citizens.[13]

While the centers have an unclear connection with OGP principles, the IRM researchers recommend that the Innovation and Technology Agency should better promote the existing techno-parks and innovation centers to the wider public by creating a unified online portal including detailed information about the programs and services provided. As Agency representatives noted, they organize innovation days in Zugdidi once every quarter to encourage local residents to use the Zugdidi techno-park’s services more actively.[14] Similar promotional activities can also be conducted in other locations where the techno-parks and innovation centers are already opened or will be opened in the future. The Agency should also consider offering local governments their assistance in using online technologies for better connecting with their constituents and soliciting their ideas for designing needs-based policies. This could include developing software applications to help citizens submit petitions to local governments or participate in budget-making processes. The centers could also organize regular hackathons to encourage local governments to use IT technologies while helping them develop online tools for identifying the needs of local populations and surveying them on issues of local concern.[15]


[1] World Bank, National Innovation Ecosystem (GENIE) Project, February 19, 2016, http://bit.ly/2wFEiZP.

[2] Giorgi Kintsurashvili, Head of Strategic Development Department at Innovation and Technology Agency, interview with IRM researcher, 18 August 2017.

[3] Kintsurashvili, interview, August 2017.

[4] World Bank, February 2016, http://bit.ly/2wFEiZP.

[5] Kintsurashvili, interview, August 2017.

[6] Giorgi Bezhitashvili, RIH/IC Coordinator at Innovation and Technology Agency, interview with IRM researcher, 18 August 2017.

[7] Sandro Asatiani, Director of GeoLab, interview with IRM researcher, 18 August 2017.

[8] Lasha Dalakishvili, independent consultant, interview with IRM researcher, 18 August 2017.

[9] Bezhitashvili, interview, August 2017.

[10] Nino Nanitashvili, Country Director at Elva Community Engagement, interview with IRM researcher, 8 September 2017.

[11] Mariam Dakhundaridze, Consultant at Innovation and Technology Agency, email correspondence with IRM researcher, 7 September 2017.

[12] Asatiani, interview, August 2017.

[13] Dalakishvili, interview, August 2017.

[14] Kintsurashvili, interview, August 2017.

[15] Nanitashvili, interview, September 2017.


Georgia's Commitments

  1. improved public services

    GE0066, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. citizen engagement platform

    GE0067, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. unified authentication system

    GE0068, 2018, E-Government

  4. economic governance

    GE0069, 2018, E-Government

  5. environment portal

    GE0070, 2018, E-Government

  6. strengthen anti-corruption institutions

    GE0071, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Monitor SDGs

    GE0072, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. citizen engagement legislation

    GE0073, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  9. publish court decisions

    GE0074, 2018, E-Government

  10. Increasing transparency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    GE0075, 2018, E-Government

  11. citizen participation in public finance

    GE0076, 2018, Audits and Controls

  12. transparent public funding system

    GE0077, 2018, Fiscal Transparency

  13. public procurement improvements

    GE0078, 2018, E-Government

  14. housing policy planning

    GE0079, 2018, Land & Spatial Planning

  15. Openness and accountability of state-owned enterprises

    GE0080, 2018, E-Government

  16. transparency and good governance

    GE0081, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  17. open data collection and publication

    GE0082, 2018, E-Government

  18. participation for disabled individuals

    GE0083, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  19. Participatory budgeting

    GE0084, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Your idea for the Zugdidi Mayor

    GE0085, 2018, Capacity Building

  21. electronic services

    GE0086, 2018, E-Government

  22. I. Gov. Zugdidi

    GE0087, 2018, Capacity Building

  23. service and citizen satisfaction assessment

    GE0088, 2018, Capacity Building

  24. Promoting and Monitoring SDGs

    GE0089, 2018, Legislature

  25. Citizen involvement in budget

    GE0090, 2018, E-Government

  26. Technology for Transparency

    GE0091, 2018, E-Government

  27. Citizen Engagement Center

    GE0092, 2018, Capacity Building

  28. Raising Public Awareness about Parliamentary Democracy

    GE0093, 2018, E-Government

  29. Electronic innovations for more transparency and efficiency of Public Procurement

    GE0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Starred commitment Adoption of the Environmental Assessment Code

    GE0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Introduction of a mobile app as an alternative channel to connect to “112”

    GE0058, 2016, E-Government

  32. Development of local councils for crime prevention

    GE0059, 2016, Public Service Delivery

  33. Development of a Guidebook for Economic Agents

    GE0060, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Development and introduction of the quality control program of commercial service

    GE0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Presentation of company reports in an electronic form and provision of their accessibility

    GE0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  36. Introduction of an electronic petition portal and “Zugdidi-INFO” on the webpage of Zugdidi Municipality Assembly

    GE0063, 2016, Capacity Building

  37. Transparency of Ozurgeti Municipality Assembly meetings

    GE0064, 2016, Capacity Building

  38. Creation of Electronic Mechanism for Local Budget Planning in Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Batumi and Akhaltsikhe

    GE0065, 2016, E-Government

  39. Adapting the Public Service Hall to the needs of the people with disabilities

    GE0042, 2016, Capacity Building

  40. Launch of the unified healthcare system information portal

    GE0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  41. Introduction of electronic licensing system in the field of natural resources application

    GE0044, 2016, Capacity Building

  42. Creation of spatial (Geographic) data web-portal for the energy sector

    GE0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  43. Creation of innovation ecosystem

    GE0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  44. Electronic portal for registering and disposal of State Property – Customer’s Module

    GE0047, 2016, E-Government

  45. Development of the Freedom of Information Law

    GE0048, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  46. Development of a monitoring and assessment system of the Government policy and legislative acts

    GE0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Introduction of the public officials’ asset declarations monitoring system

    GE0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  48. Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions

    GE0051, 2016, Judiciary

  49. Development of transparency and integrity strategy and action plan in the field of regional development and infrastructure

    GE0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  50. Improvement of the database of the convicted and transfer of the penitentiary department entirely onto the electronic workflow management

    GE0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  51. Publication of phone tapping data according to the nature of the crime and geographic area

    GE0054, 2016, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Increasing citizen participation in supervision of public finances (Public Audit)

    GE0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  53. "Voice of the Consumer"

    GE0013, 2014, Public Participation

  54. JUSTdrive

    GE0014, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  55. Educational services

    GE0015, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  56. Citizen's Portal (www.mygov.ge)

    GE0016, 2014, Capacity Building

  57. Transformation of public libraries for regional development

    GE0017, 2014, Capacity Building

  58. Digital signature and online authentication

    GE0018, 2014, E-Government

  59. Open data portal (data.gov.ge)

    GE0019, 2014, E-Government

  60. Freedom of information act (FoIA) draft

    GE0020, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  61. Georgia's OGP forum

    GE0021, 2014, OGP

  62. I-Change.ge

    GE0022, 2014, E-Government

  63. Transparency of public service recruitment

    GE0023, 2014, E-Government

  64. Asset declaration monitoring system

    GE0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  65. Starred commitment Political party financial declarations

    GE0025, 2014, E-Government

  66. Accessibility of Ministry of Interior's webpage to people with special needs

    GE0026, 2014, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Proactive publishing of surveillance data

    GE0027, 2014, Civic Space

  68. Public awareness of the electoral process

    GE0028, 2014, Capacity Building

  69. Transparency of budgetary processes

    GE0029, 2014, E-Government

  70. Electronic system of procurement

    GE0030, 2014, E-Government

  71. Digital human resource management system

    GE0031, 2014, E-Government

  72. Digital preservation system: E-archive

    GE0032, 2014, E-Government

  73. Openness and accessibility of national archives

    GE0033, 2014, E-Government

  74. Electronic catalogues of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) archives

    GE0034, 2014, E-Government

  75. Public finance management system

    GE0035, 2014, E-Government

  76. Alternative channels to "112"

    GE0036, 2014, E-Government

  77. Interactive statistics and crime mapping

    GE0037, 2014, E-Government

  78. Travel insurance services

    GE0038, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration

  79. State property registration

    GE0039, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  80. Development of community centers in Georgia

    GE0040, 2014, E-Government

  81. Introduction of e-governance in local self-governments

    GE0041, 2014, E-Government

  82. Public Service Hall-Hub of Public Services

    GE0001, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration

  83. E-Governance in Local Governments

    GE0002, 2012, E-Government

  84. Citizens’ Portal

    GE0003, 2012, E-Government

  85. Easily Accessible and Better Healthcare

    GE0004, 2012, E-Government

  86. Launch Ichange.ge and Data.gov.ge

    GE0005, 2012, E-Government

  87. Platform for Participating in the Legislative Process

    GE0006, 2012, E-Government

  88. Citizens and Justice

    GE0007, 2012, Judiciary

  89. Starred commitment Transparent Party Financing

    GE0008, 2012,

  90. Home-grown concept of E-procurement

    GE0009, 2012, E-Government

  91. E-declarations

    GE0010, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  92. Technology Cares for Safety: ICCMS, Crime Mapping, and Safety in Your Neighbourhood

    GE0011, 2012, E-Government

  93. NGO Forum

    GE0012, 2012, Capacity Building