MISTI and UNESCO Experts organize consultation on the GO-SPIN Country Profile: “Mapping Research and Innovation” in Cambodia
On 21st October 2021, the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI) and UNESCO, held a consultation workshop to discuss the progress and achievements of the on-going development of the UNESCO Global Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments (GO-SPIN) Country profile: “Mapping Research and Innovation” in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Over 30 participants attended the consultation workshop, including members of the GO-SPIN National Working Committee, and members of the GO-SPIN Secretariat.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Ezra Clark, Chief of Section of Science Policy and Partnerships, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, stated that “the development of Cambodia’s science, technology and innovation (STI) country profile will contribute to align STI activities and priorities to the national development plans and objectives. The integration of research and innovation as cross-cutting policies into development strategies is key.” He highlighted that the mapping will help increasing policy-awareness and multi-stakeholder engagement in building a robust STI system.
Dr. Hul Seingheng, Director General, General Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (GDSTI), MISTI, and Permanent Vice-Chair of the GO-SPIN National Working Committee, opened the workshop highlighting the importance of the initiative to map the national STI system, as a foundation for STI policy development and implementation in Cambodia. Dr. Hul highlighted that inter-institutional collaboration is paramount for the development of Cambodia’s STI country profile, urging all relevant line-ministries to continue actively engaging in the process for mapping Cambodia’s STI landscape.
During the workshop, Dr. Hul Seingheng presented an overview of the desk review for the preparation of the GO-SPIN Country Profile, and described the contextual background for STI development and policy performance in Cambodia. Dr. Hul emphasized that mapping the contextual background requires joint efforts of all sectors, including agriculture, industry, economy and finance, health, education, labour, water resources, environment, energy, and climate, among others.
UNESCO expert, Ms. Sirin Elci, presented the preliminary results of the online demand-side and supply-side STI surveys, conducted in August and September 2021, through which information, data, and feedback were gathered from various ministries, STI institutions and companies, in relation to the STI activities and capabilities, and the STI needs and demands.
According to the preliminary survey findings, Ms. Sirin Elci noted that majority of the participants indicate that a wide range of policy instruments are important for stimulating R&D and innovation in Cambodia. Support for capacity building on R&D and innovation, public financial support for R&D and innovation projects of individual organisations, and support for intermediary structures are particularly assessed as highly important by the respondents.
Dr. Sophal Try, Deputy Director General, GDSTI, MISTI, and Chair of the Secretariat of GO-SPIN, presented the progress being made on the GO-SPIN inventories development. The participants provided insightful feedback and inputs, and discussed the way-forward, in the context of mapping the STI institutional ecosystem, and STI-related operational and legal policy instruments in Cambodia.
In his closing remarks, H.E. Prof. Chhem Kieth Rethy, Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister, Secretary of state, MISTI and Chair, National GO-SPIN Steering Committee, highlighted that “GO-SPIN is an essential and necessary step for Cambodia, towards a full development of a robust STI ecosystem, and future national progress. The mapping exercise is a milestone in Cambodia, towards using science and technology as an engine to enable future economic growth”.
“Mapping Research and Innovation in the Kingdom of Cambodia” is planned to be published as the 11th volume of UNESCO GO-SPIN publications series. The Country Profile for Cambodia will provide decision-makers, parliamentarians, universities, private sector, specialists, and the general public with a wide-ranging set of diverse information on STI ecosystem in Cambodia. The study will serve as one of the main policy documents for STI actors to shape and nurture National Innovation System (NIS) in Cambodia. MISTI and UNESCO will continue to work closely with all STI stakeholders, through an inclusive and participatory approach, to finalize the GO-SPIN Country Profile for Cambodia by the end of 2021.