September 27, 2018 Monthly Meeting

The Minister of Innovative Development, Professor Ibrokhim Y. Abdurakhmonov, spoke before 60 members of AmCham and diplomatic corporations during the September 27th meeting. Created by a presidential initiative in November of 2017, the mission of the Ministry of Innovative Development is to ensure the accelerated innovative development of all sectors of the economy and social sphere by utilizing several strategies. These strategies include using advanced foreign experience, modern achievements of work science and ground breaking ideas. As the ministry continues to grow, it is attracting foreign consultants who will share their experiences and best practices. Currently, 3 consultants work in the Ministry, in addition to 105 local staff members. A plan is in place to recruit 10 more foreign specialists from Germany, South Korea, the United States, Israel and other countries.

As the Ministry develops its strategy, it plays a key role in Uzbekistan’s ambitious plan to rank in the top 15 innovative nations in the world by 2030. The country has great potential and basis to achieve the target. The scientific basis represented by the Academy of Science and a world-wide recognized scientist residing in Uzbekistan. However, research centers in innovative countries such as the United States and Israel are affiliated with well-known and respected universities e.g. the Silicon Valley (Stanford University). On the contrary, Uzbekistan Academy is separate from the universities. Additionally, scientific breakthroughs in innovative countries are driven by private sector companies like Tesla and Google. In Uzbekistan, the sector of innovations is still directed by the government. According to the Minister, only 0.2% of the country’s GDP is allocated to support the innovation sector, with a plan to increase it to 0.8% within the next three years. In a plan to incite interest and motivate researchers, Uzbekistan will allocate 70% of the income to the researcher and 30% to the team. The ministry is also developing a detailed plan for the innovation sector that will provide solid results showing improvements of globally accepted indicators of innovation indexes.Following his presentation, Minister Abdurakhmonov answered a series of questions from the audience. He named three top priorities for development that include innovations in energy that would save the environment and be effective in the agricultural and textile fields.

Professor Abdurakhmonov is a leader in genomics science in Uzbekistan. His research specialties include genomics, germplasm characterization and genetic mapping, marker-assisted selection, transgenomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. He currently serves as the associate editor of the International Journal of Plant Genomics and the Journal of Integrated OMICs. He acts as a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Plant Science and the Journal of Plant Sciences & Molecular Breeding. He is a member of the International Cotton Genome Initiative (ICGI) and serves as an executive committee member of the International Cotton Researchers Association (ICRA) in Washington, DC.