IEMS’ Naubahar Sharif Selected as Delegate for the T20’s “Enhancing Innovation and International Technology Diffusion” Conference

Published on: 2015-05-14


Naubahar Sharif, Faculty Associate of IEMS and Associate Professor of Social Science Division at HKUST, was been selected to join a select group of innovation and technology experts who will provide policy recommendation to the heads of state attending this year’s G20 Summit.

Under the umbrella of the Turkish Presidency of the G20, the Economic Policy Forum (EPF) and the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) hosted a Think-20 Regional Seminar on “Enhancing Innovation and International Technology Diffusion” in Berlin on 18 and 19 May 2015. Among the 50 participants from 20 countries were policy experts and analysts on innovation processes, business representatives and investors, government officials and practitioners from institutions designed to function as innovation incubators. In line with the focus on lifting the potential for strong, sustainable and balanced growth chosen by the Turkish G20 presidency, the Think-20 seminar participants stated that innovation is a key to leverage inclusive and sustainable growth.

During the roundtable discussions, they developed key messages and recommendations on policies for an international framework for innovation, based on existing best practices in the private sector as well as public-private institutions and model instruments. Different sectorial, financial as well as skills and knowledge challenges were highlighted, and ways in which particularly governments can support and speed up innovation processes and cross-border technology diffusion were discussed. Specific business cases, as well as cluster and institutional models and policies for innovation that exist or are taking shape in China, Brazil, the EU, Israel, Japan, Turkey, and the United States were presented during the workshop.

Participants agreed that innovation and technology diffusion cut across many of the challenges and proclaimed aims currently on the G20 agenda, and highlighting the need for incorporating the topic as a key priority in the future G20 policy process. As key drivers of innovation were highlighted, among others: A strong cooperation between the public and private sector, collaborative spaces at the science-industry interface, a stable policy framework that is at the same time flexible to adapt to changes in the science and technology environment, and finally a skilled workforce and the acceptance of failure.

Mustafa Turan, Head of G20 Outreach and Engagement within the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the discussions and observed: „I feel something great has happened among the participants of the Berlin seminar; we now have what I would call an “Innovation Friendship” network for T20 and G20.”

The Think-20 Berlin seminar set the foundation for the development of a G20 Framework on Innovation and Technology. The recommendations will be made available to the Turkish Presidency by September 2015. A first draft was discussed at the Think-20 Workshop in Izmir and conveyed to the Turkish G20 Sherpa during the G20 Sherpas’ meeting on 16-17 June 2015 in Bodrum.

For more details on the event, please visit the Economy Policy Forum’s website here.

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