In 2013 the Center of Evaluation began trying to identify new areas of science and technology that could become engines of Kazakhstan's development.

In deciding which new areas to select, the Center staff will be taking into account their potential economic and social impact and whether Kazakhstan has the resources and technological capabilities to make them a reality.

Center staff will come up with development scenarios based on the potential of the new areas. It will also offer recommendations on how government agencies, industry and others can coordinate efforts to turn the new possibilities into reality.

The forecasting team will not only create a portfolio of new science and technology possibilities, but also a portfolio of projects that could solve key economic and social problems. It also will create a portfolio of prospective research and development activities that Kazakhstan could use to create industries whose products could compete internationally.

It takes spadework to go from identifying a promising industry to turning it into a reality. So the Center will also develop detailed implementation plans. The action plans will identify what financing, staffing and infrastructure will be needed to develop an industry, and what legislative changes will be necessary.

Forecasting Team's Tasks

The forecasters' tasks will include:

• Collecting and analyzing information about the current state of, and new directions in, science and technology in Kazakhstan and the world. The work will include analyzing research programs, patent information and the government's strategic plans for scientific and technology development.

• Identifying new areas of science and technology that Kazakhstan could develop into innovative industries.

• Identifying new areas of science and technology that are the most crucial to Kazakhstan's development.

• Developing action plans for implementing the most promising science and technology programs.

Anticipated Results of Forecasting

The forecasters are expected to produce:

• Scenarios for developing projects in academic and scientific fields that Kazakhstan considers priorities.

• Lists of academic and scientific subjects, programs and projects that fall under the five research priorities that Kazakhstan’s Higher Science and Technology Commission has identified.

• Road maps for implementing projects that fall under the five priorities. The information in the road maps will include the purpose of the research, the resources necessary to accomplish it, and a timeline for carrying it out.

Eight working groups have been formed to identify and develop actions plans for embracing promising new technologies. Each group is focusing on one field. The eight fields are national health; biotechnologies; new materials; safe, clean and efficient energy; environment and natural resources; information and communication; mechanical engineering; and sustainable development of agriculture and food processing and safety.

Leading international forecasting experts are supporting the Center’s effort. They include specialists from Manchester University, the Korean Institute of Science and Technology’s Evaluation and Planning Division, the Academy of Science of Finland, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and J’son & Partners.