Panel discussion held on "Education, Innovation and Economy"
A panel discussion on the topic "Education, Innovation and the Economy" was held with the participation of Minister of Education Emin Amrullayev, Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, and Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Rashad Nabiyev.
Speaking at the panel discussion, Education Minister Emin Amrullayev stressed that educational outcomes are a key element that determines long-term economic growth rate, and gave examples from international assessment studies in this regard. Noting the successful results of Azerbaijan in this area in recent years, Mr. Amrullayev also talked of the project of fiber-optic networks, which will provide digital coverage in educational institutions. With this network, which will span 2021-2025, 75% of students across the country will be able to use fiber-optic broadband Internet services, expanding digital access to education.
In his speech, the Minister underlined that the scope of the Digital Skills project will be expanded to include 200,000 students in the next academic year, and touched upon the effectiveness of short-term cyber security courses.
The Minister of Education also spoke about the new generation of specialization opportunities that meet the requirements of the modern labor market in the master's degree SABAH, which will start operating next academic year.
Mr. Amrullayev extended his thanks to both colleagues for participating in this important event emphasizing that joint cooperation is an important link in achieving common goals.
In his speech, Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov emphasized a particular importance attached by the President to digitalization and innovation, noting the importance of the project in this regard. The formation of human capital and a modern space for innovation is among the main directions of "Azerbaijan-2030: National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development." The Economy Minister emphasized that both government institutions and business need to adapt to the new challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to quickly master new advanced technologies and serve the interests of citizens and businesses. From this viewpoint, the development of digital knowledge and skills, and the formation of human resources in accordance with the necessities of the times are important factors. The demand for digital knowledge and skills is growing in all sectors of the economy. Mikayil Jabbarov talked of the ministry’s active work in three aspects of innovative development. The first aspect aims at supporting the direction of public resources in these and other areas. Other aspects will include dialogue with the business world, support for the private sector, and systematic approaches from tax breaks to various incentives.
Delivering a speech at the event, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Rashad Nabiyev noted that the only path to innovation is education and science. Mr. Nabiyev shared his vision of innovation in Azerbaijan briefing about the work carried out within the framework of the Working Group on Innovation led by him. “We view the innovation environment as a three-tier pyramid. The lowest, most necessary level of the pyramid is a healthy system of government in the country. It is safe to say that the reforms carried out under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev have strengthened this foundation, and reforms in this area are continuing. The middle layer of the pyramid is the development of a knowledge and technology intensive manufacturing industry. The minister stressed the importance of two issues in this regard.
“The first is the development of scientific research. The path to innovation is rich in inventions”, Rashad Nabiyev said, noting that investment in research should increase rapidly. “Educational offerings need to be backed up by research - the role that universities will play here is important. The second is the development of a knowledge and technology intensive processing industry. A resilient startup ecosystem is at the top of the pyramid”.
Rashad Nabiyev noted that these issues are provided for in the National Innovation Strategy.
The discussion was attended by representatives of the private sector and civil society, as well as relevant government agencies.
Question-and-answer discussion was held in the second half of the event.