The main directions of the Byelorussian innovative development
theme 8
1. Belarus in the Global Innovation Index
2. Top 10 barriers to innovation in Belarus
3. The measures of the State Program for Innovative Development of Belarus for 2021-2025
4. Best Belarusian developments in the IT sphere
1. Belarus in the Global Innovation Index
Belarus ranked 80th out of 132 countries in the Global Innovation Index 2023. The best indicators relate to human capital and education, while the worst indicators relate to the business climate. The experts also recommend Belarus to increase funding for research and development, as well as to increase the output of products with high added value.

The Global Innovation Index has been published since 2007. Its compilers are experts of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University (USA) and business school INSEAD (France). Previously, innovation was measured by the results of research and development (R&D) and the number of patents. The authors of the index expand this idea and understand innovation as the introduction or significant improvement of a product (goods or service), a new marketing tool or a new method of doing business, organizing the workplace, as well as external relations.

Experts compared 132 countries on 80 parameters - from the number of applications for intellectual property rights to the state of the business environment. The composite ranking represents the average of two sub-indices. One indicator assesses the elements of the economy that contribute to innovation, while the second reflects the actual results of such activity.

The world's most innovation-advanced economies in 2023 are Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The Netherlands, Korea, Germany, Finland and Denmark were also in the top 10. China was ranked 12th.

Belarus took 80th place in the ranking, having dropped by three positions compared to 2022. In 2021, Belarus was in 62nd place, having improved its ranking by two positions compared to 2020 (64th place) or by 24 positions compared to 2018 (86th place).

As for Belarus' neighbors, in 2023, Lithuania ranked 34th, Latvia 37th, Poland 41st, Russia 51st, and Ukraine 55th.

Belarus had the highest score in the Human Capital and Research category, ranking 37th out of 132 countries. The highest level of praise was given to higher education.

The developers of the index also noted "Results in the field of knowledge and technology" (47th place) as the strengths of Belarus. The main indicators are revenues from intellectual property, exports of high technologies, labor productivity, spending on software and other factors.

In terms of infrastructure development of information and communication technologies, energy production, logistics efficiency and environmental stability, Belarus is allocated 71 lines.

In the sub-index "Business Development", which includes knowledge-intensive employment, payments for intellectual property, imports of high technologies and others, Belarus ranked 74th.

The results of creative activity (88th place) were assessed by the creation of mobile applications, registration of trademarks, world brand value, export of cultural and creative services, entertainment market and media.

The situation is worst with market development (99th place). Here, startup financing, credit availability, trade and domestic market capacity were taken into account. But the weakest in Belarus was the sub-index "Institutions" (128th place). It means the state of the business climate and the legal environment in the country.

One of the critical problems of the Belarusian R&D (Research and Development) sphere is the low volume of domestic spending on research and development. There are fewer researchers in Belarus, which in turn reduces the country's ability to create innovations and technologies.
The low innovation activity of enterprises is not only a result of a deficit of qualified personnel. It is also due to the high risks and high cost of innovation, which is compounded by limited own financial resources and credit resources.
Western sanctions also complicate innovation development of the Belarusian economy because of limited access to advanced technologies.
2. Top 10 barriers to innovation in BelaruS
The Belarusian Statistical Committee asked organizations whose main activity is the production of industrial products to assess the factors blocking innovation in Belarus over the last three years.
Based on these data, the top 10 barriers to innovation in Belarus were compiled.

The main factor that is a roadblock to innovation, representatives of Belarusian enterprises named the lack of their own cash resources. It was identified by 687 enterprises.

The second place in the evaluations of representatives of the Belarusian industry was taken by the high cost of innovations. This was reported at 506 enterprises.

The third most popular answer was "high economic risk. It was mentioned as a barrier to innovation in 369 organizations.

Long payback period of innovations was considered as a barrier in 333 companies.

The fifth place was taken not by economic, but by production reasons. 258 respondents named low innovation potential of the company as the main factor blocking innovations over the last three years.

However, the sixth and seventh places in the rating were again occupied by economic barriers - low paying demand for new products (247) and lack of financial support from the state (244).

The eighth most popular answer was "lack of qualified personnel". This shortcoming was named as a barrier by 160 representatives of enterprises.

Another 143 people who gave estimates did not look for internal reasons, but named an external problem - underdevelopment of the technology market. It was on the ninth position.

The Top 10 barriers to innovation in industry were closed by "uncertainty of the timing of the innovation process". This obstacle was reported by 132 Belarusian enterprises.
3. The measures of the State Program for Innovative Development of Belarus for 2021-2025
In 2022, 66 projects were implemented. Seven projects have already been completed, five projects have commissioned facilities, and more than 700 new jobs have been created.
JSC (open joint-stock company) "Legmash Plant" organized the production of innovative equipment and its components for the oil and gas industry.
The Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus created a high-tech export-oriented production of optical components and new generation diode-pumped laser systems.
Projects have also been completed at the Baranovichi Machine Tool Accessories Plant, Belkredo, Spetslit, and Ruchayka.

In 2023, 19 projects are planned to be put into operation and 17 projects are planned to reach their projected capacity. An innovation and production center for the production of medical devices is planned to be created in the BNTU Technopark "Polytechnik". The "Unitehprom" BSU is organizing the production of original bioresorbable polyfunctional medicines. A medical and social rehab center for the elderly and disabled with the use of innovative robotic technology and control system is being created in Uzdenskaya CRB. And Minsk Dairy Plant No. 1 will delight with a tasty novelty - cheese with white mold.

Creation of innovation infrastructure subjects, which include technoparks, is one of the most effective tools for the development of small and medium-sized businesses and innovation economy. The significant role of technoparks in the development of the regions of Belarus should be noted separately. Technoparks organize and hold startup events on a regular basis, including forums, investment weekends, master classes, seminars and others. They actively participate in the development of local startup schools. Technopark Polesie LLC actively contributes to the development of the Biotechnology and Green Economy cluster, and Technopark Gorki LLC acts as the core of the forming cluster in the field of bioinformatics, agrarian biotechnology and green economy.

The activities of the Brest Science and Technology Park and the Minsk City Technopark should not be overlooked. The active position of their managers and support of local authorities allowed them to achieve significant success in modernization and reconstruction of unused industrial premises, to become the largest technoparks in the country, to attract more than 100 residents, and to achieve revenues of over Br150 million. At the same time, over 1,500 jobs have been created in these technoparks alone, and dozens of highly qualified workers (candidates and doctors of science) are employed.

An important step was the signing in 2021 of an agreement on cooperation and interaction to develop and support startup movement and small innovative business between Belagroprombank, the Ministry of Economy and the SCST (State Committee for Science and Technology).

The effective legislation provides for a system of tax benefits for residents of technoparks: profit tax of 10% (the usual rate is 18-20% depending on the region), a reduction factor of the rental rate from 0.1 to 0.9. And full exemption from taxes and fees fully paid to local budgets is provided by decision of local councils of deputies for residents of such cities as Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel, Gorki and Mogilev.

In addition, a special legal regime for residents of the Minsk City Technopark is established at the production site on Partizansky Avenue,8 in Minsk. Participants of the investment project are exempted from import customs duties, value added tax and customs duties on technological equipment, components and spare parts until December 31, 2030. Legal entities and individual businessmen are allowed to apply profit tax exemption for up to 5 years from the date of registration as a technopark resident. Reduced rates of payment for electricity at this site are applied.

Since 2012, the number of technoparks has increased from 11 to 17. This shows that services to support innovative business are becoming more and more in demand. Next, we plan to bring the work of technoparks in line with the prospective model developed by the SCST.
What does this model represent? Technopark provides support to residents by means of material and technical, financial, organizational, methodological, informational, consulting and other support. It also promotes the creation and development of small businesses in the field of innovation, so that they also become residents in the future.

The country plans to continue creating new technoparks and their branches in the regions. Technoparks, in their turn, should develop technological infrastructure to provide services to residents, attract extra-budgetary sources of financing for the subjects of innovation infrastructure and to support their work.

Changes at the legislative level and constant work to attract residents will allow technoparks to become a promising platform for the development of the country's innovation economy.

The State Committee for Science and Technology is actively working to improve the legislation providing legal regulation of venture capital activity in Belarus. A project of the decree has been developed, which provides for granting the right to the Belarusian Innovation Fund to finance innovation and venture projects, using the norms of English law, tested in our country on the residents of the High Technology Park. And in case of their successful application by Belinfond, the norms can be extended to other participants of investment activity.

Belinfond and venture capital organizations created with its participation may be granted the right to enter into a convertible loan agreement, an agreement on granting an option to enter into a contract, an option agreement, an agreement on compensation for property losses, as well as the ability to fulfill and terminate obligations under these contracts (agreements), the right to require providing invalid powers of attorney and so on. Such rights were previously granted to HTP residents in accordance with Decree No. 8 "On the Development of the Digital Economy".

The possibility of financing through contributions to the authorized capital of business companies is also considered.

It should also be noted that the Law No. 197-3 of July 18, 2022 "On Changing Laws on Securities Market Issues" provides for the introduction in Belarus of the institution of qualified investor and new types of bond instruments - depositary and structured bonds, which can be used for venture financing.

However, there are a number of difficulties in the application of such financing mechanisms. Their use is peculiar only for organizations of private form of ownership and is impossible for state organizations. The reason for this is the characteristic features of venture investments related to investor's exit from the company, as well as the reduction in the number of private investors in the country who are ready to finance venture projects and late-stage startups.
Cooperation with partners from other countries is important for the development of science and innovation. One of our priority partners is Russia. Now on the top of the priority list is the formation of a unified scientific and technological space of the Union State. An important role in this direction is given to the implementation of Union scientific and technical programs.

For example, last year a new program "Intelavto" was launched. On-board electronics systems for motor vehicles will be developed, which will exceed the existing world analogs. These will include engine control systems, on-board safety, robotic control, as well as highly efficient electric motors and other components for electric and hybrid transport.

"Complex-SG" is a prolongation of space programs of the Union State. It is planned to start its realization already in the first quarter of this year. This program will be aimed at creating nanosatellites, atmospheric observation and monitoring equipment. A small spacecraft and two nanosatellites - Russian and Belarusian - will be created. Implementation of such a large-scale program will allow us not only to create and produce high-tech products on our territory, but also to form personnel for the space industry.

This year it is planned to start financing two more programs. The program "Soyuz-Biomembranes" is related to the development of pharmacologically active compounds, cell therapy technologies and identification methods for the therapy of oncological, autoimmune, cardiovascular and infectious diseases.

"Combikorm-3" is aimed at developing and mastering modern formulations for the production of a new generation of feed additives for farm animals, poultry and fish.
Systematic work on realization of the Interstate program of innovation cooperation of the CIS (Сommonwealth of Independent States) member-states for the period till 2030 is continued. Cooperation with the CIS countries in the scientific, technical and innovation spheres is developing mutually beneficial.

Strong contacts in the scientific and technical sphere have also been established between scientific organizations of Belarus and China. A program of Belarusian-Chinese scientific and technical cooperation for 2023-2024 has been approved, which provides for the realization of 35 joint scientific and technical projects. Highly efficient silicon-carbon composites for lithium-ion batteries, control systems for medical robots, a software system for early diagnosis of lung cancer, nanocomposite membranes for purification of gas mixtures from carbon dioxide, new plant protection products and many others will be developed.

In 2022, Belarus implemented 127 international scientific and technical projects with China, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
A number of Belarusian research and production and innovation organizations are actively involved in the implementation of contracts of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research within the framework of the flagship international mega-science project NICA. The project is aimed at studying fundamental properties of the superdense state of baryonic matter, as well as high temperatures and densities of nuclear matter created by the collision of heavy ions.

Belarusian enterprises and scientists are directly involved in the construction of the multifunctional detector of the NICA gas pedal complex: precision machining of the magnetic system half-yards is carried out, superconducting resonators are being developed, and custom electronics are supplied. The creation of the gas pedal complex will make it possible to recreate in laboratory conditions a special state of matter in which our Universe was in the first moments after the Big Bang - quark-gluon plasma.

SCST has been organizing this competition of innovative projects since 2010. During this period 1645 projects have been considered. Every year the number of participants in the contest is steadily growing: 43 applications in 2011, 145 in 2021 and a record number of 187 applications in 2022! This means that the authority of the contest is growing and such a mechanism of talent support is in demand and necessary.

The most popular areas of development among the contest participants are medical sciences, agriculture, industry and social projects. There is a tendency to integrate IT projects into these industries. Every year more and more projects submit their applications to the contest with a ready prototype. The year 2022 was no exception. The winner in the nomination "Best Youth Innovation Project" presented a finished prototype of an intelligent simulator for teaching skiing techniques.
In 2022, four certificates for commercialization were implemented for a total amount of almost Br60 thousand for the projects selected by the competition council among the winners and runners-up of 2021. One of the projects was aimed at the development and implementation of technology for creating customized navigation templates in spine surgery using additive 3D technologies. A prototype was created and experimental work was performed, clinical application is underway. 8 surgical interventions with installation of 32 screws in patients with degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine were performed. A patent for a utility model was obtained. Production of navigation templates has been established in the Coral Technopark in Gomel.

The average cost of one surgery using a similar technology based on computed tomography and navigation station in patients with degenerative spine diseases in leading clinics of the Russian Federation is about $7 thousand. The use of individual navigation templates makes it possible to implant a screw structure into the spine with high precision, which makes surgery more affordable for our patients and saves their money. The effects of implementing this development are several. They are: reduction of patients' stay in a hospital bed (from 14 to 10 days) and temporary disability (from 120 to 90 days), reduction of the probability of complications and disability.

Among the most interesting developments of technoparks is the information complex of telemedical diagnostics "Inspection+". The complex allows to determine the fact of taking narcotic and other drugs, as well as to assess the condition of a person. If necessary, additional medical equipment can be connected to it to expand its functionality. The complex also makes it possible to exclude direct contact between the subject and the medical worker.

Or the simulator for simulating walking "STEP". This is a device designed primarily for the rehabilitation of patients with severe diseases of the lower legs. It is used to perform complex exercises in a vertical position. Another interesting development is the disinfection arch with ramps. It helps to recognize in advance the symptoms of viral diseases in crowded places (airports, railway stations, administrative buildings, industrial enterprises, shopping centers, cafes, bars, restaurants, etc.) and, as a result, to prevent the disease from spreading further.
4. Best Belarusian developments in the IT sphere
Task. Make your own top 5 ranking of innovations in your country. Write your report in the document on the link.