The EU4Digital Facility has concluded a more than one-year-long work on supporting the six Eastern partner countries with recommendations for national policy instruments in selected priority policy areas of ICT innovation.
The selected policy areas are:
- Intellectual property rights management for digital innovations (Armenia);
- New organisational forms in support of ICT Innovation (Azerbaijan);
- Digital innovation SMEs’ access to finance (Georgia, Ukraine);
- ICT innovation ecosystems for start-ups and scale-ups (Moldova);
- Digitising industry (digital transformation of SMEs in traditional sectors) (Belarus).
For each of these areas, the Facility has studied the best EU practices, undertaken the gap analysis in each country and developed recommendations that identify specific EU tools, platforms, and practices that can be mastered by Eastern Neighbourhood country stakeholders. The Facility had also collected the list of over 200 EU organisations with advanced practices of innovation policy implementation, which are advised to be considered as potential partners for collaboration by Eastern partner countries.
Following this analysis, the final work of the Facility resulted in six national action plans that set a basis for further implementation through nationally funded or EU-supported projects. The action plans noted the stakeholders interested to take the leading role as an owner of particular actions or be part of the team on their implementation. The actual status of the proposed actions, the indicative timeline for implementation and approach for implementation based on EU practices are also identified in the action plans.
During this activity, a broad stakeholder community was mobilised and inputs received via national stakeholder consultations which took place in May and June 2020 with over 100 participants from 60 private and public sector organisations. EU4Digital has presented and handed over the results to the country beneficiaries and the EC.
The country stakeholder consultation took place on 16 June 2020 on the policy area of ‘Intellectual property rights management for digital innovations’.
The suggested action plan for this area focuses on identifying practical actions from the economic perspective, that can help to strengthen the capacity of the ecosystem to support start-ups and SMEs with digital innovations to efficiently manage their IP assets on international markets.
Seven key organisations related to the selected topic participated in the discussion, including the public sector, education, NGO and private sector, with a coordinating role of the Ministry of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia.
Republic of Moldova
The country stakeholder consultation in Moldova took place on 15 May 2020 on the policy area ‘ICT innovation ecosystems for start-ups and scale-ups’.
An ecosystem for digital innovations is seen as the one formed by people, start-ups and companies in their various stages and various types of organisations interacting as a system to create and support digital innovations.
Five key organisations related to the selected topic participated in the discussion, including public and private sector, with a coordinating role of the of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.
The country stakeholder consultation in Azerbaijan took place on 12 June 2020 on the policy area ‘New organisational forms for supporting ICT Innovation’.
This policy area addresses contemporary organisational forms that emerge in the ecosystem in support of digital innovations: innovation clusters and cluster organisations, accelerators, competence centres, digital innovation hubs as well as public-private cooperation for digital innovations. The action plan considers the potential areas for improvement of conditions for these new organisational forms to be used more broadly and to work efficiently.
Seven key organisations related to the selected topic participated in the discussion, including public and private sector, with a coordinating role of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies.
Ukraine and Georgia
Country stakeholder consultations took place on 22 May 2020 in Ukraine and 29 May 2020 in Georgia on the policy area ‘Digital innovation SMEs’ access to finance’.
This policy area addresses the financing needs of both start-ups and SMEs for which digital innovations make the core of the business model as well as existing enterprises in traditional industries, which can use digital innovations to increase the efficiency of operations.
Seventeen key organisations participated in the discussion in Ukraine with a coordinating role of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine.
Seven key organisations related to the selected topic participated in the discussion in Georgia, including public and private sector, under the coordination role of Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency.
Country stakeholder consultation in Belarus took place on 12 June 2020 on the policy area ‘Digitising industry (digital transformation of SMEs in traditional sectors)’.
This topic addresses the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on their path of mastering digital technologies and digital innovations (digital transformation) to increase the efficiency of their operations and make their business model more competitive. SMEs are seen a specific target group in the digitalising economy, because they usually lack the financial and human resources to be dedicated to digital transformation, which is a complex and many-fold endeavour.
Seventeen key organisations related to the topic participated in the discussion, including public and private sector and academia, under the coordination role of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.
The country-specific action plans with the comprehensive list of recommendations are all available for download on the EU4Digital Library here.