Asia-Pacific National Innovation Systems
Online Resource Centre

NIS in CSN Countries

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Introduction
During the period 2005–2007, the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) implemented a project entitled “Promotion of National Innovation system (NIS) in Countries of the Asia-Pacific Region”. The overall objective of this first phase of the NIS project was to impress upon policy-makers, from selected ESCAP member countries, the importance of the concept, design and implementation of a NIS to facilitate, nurture and promote innovation. At the national workshops organized during the first phase of this project, participants were introduced to the key components of a normative NIS policy framework and presented with various approaches to the development and implementation of an NIS. They were also familiarized with good practices on how to develop an effective NIS policy framework. At each national workshop, group discussions were organized to identify generic and country-specific components for strengthening the development and management of an optimal NIS in the host developing country. Outputs of the project could be accessed from the Asia-Pacific On-line Resource Centre on NIS at www.apctt.org/nis.

One of the specific objectives of the second phase of the NIS project, currently being implemented by APCTT, is to carry forward the awareness creation activities in selected Countries with Special Needs (CSNs) of the Asia-Pacific region. Here too, the programme of work will be aimed at policy-makers. Recognizing the unique needs of these CSNs and current global trends, emphasis will be placed on strengthening of science and technology (S&T) infrastructure and encourage adoption of green growth as a strategy to leverage their natural resources.

Objectives
The First Meeting of Countries with Special Needs in the Asia-Pacific region was organized to:

  • Promote the concept of an NIS and its organic linkages with sub-national and sectoral innovation systems;
  • Review the current status of S&T infrastructure in participating CSNs;
  • Examine current S&T policies that have been adopted by participating CSNs and assess the extent of their contribution to the development of the NIS;
  • Share regional best practices of NIS; and
  • Evolve possible policy prescriptions and institutional support mechanisms relevant to CSNs to promote innovation and techno-entrepreneurship.

Programme
The two-day programme was organized for country representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Nepal. The representatives were requested to prepare a country paper on the current status of S&T infrastructure and policies that contribute to the development of NIS. In addition, they were encouraged to present their own policy prescriptions and institutional support mechanisms that contribute to the development or strengthening of an optimal NIS in their respective countries.

Resource persons from APCTT and invited experts focused on the concept of NIS and its organic linkages with sub-national and sectoral innovation systems and introduced regional best practices in relation to the design, development and implementation of NIS.

The programme involved group discussions and presentations to evolve possible policy prescriptions and institutional support mechanisms relevant to the CSNs participating in the workshop.