Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

Panel of high level international experts supported by the European Commission presents policy recommendations to modernise Georgia's research and innovation system

Tbilisi, 14/06/2018 - 11:59, UNIQUE ID: 180614_4
Press releases

A panel of high level independent experts, supported by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility, today presented key policy recommendations to help improve the effectiveness of the research and innovation system of Georgia. These recommendations were discussed during a public event hosted by the Tbilisi State University with key representatives of the Georgian research and innovation institutions, industry and the broader stakeholder community. The European Commission was represented by Ms Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at the Directorate-General for Research & Innovation.

The Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility provides strategic advice to countries that aim to reform their national research and innovation systems.  At the request of the Georgian government, an independent panel of high-level experts from Poland, Germany, UK and Austria issued policy recommendations in three focus areas:

  1. Identification of promising research fields (prioritisation);
  2. Performance-based funding of research entities (selectivity of funding);
  3. Narrowing the gap between research and industry/business (science-business links).

In-depth analysis of background documents, interviews with key stakeholders and research and innovation actors in December 2017 and February 2018, and feedback loops with national authorities and stakeholders, have led to the publication of the report presented today. The Georgian national authorities expressed their strong political commitment to this exercise.


The Policy Messages stemming from the report are summarised around 4Cs ("Coordination – Concentration – Collaboration – Coherence"):

1st "C" - Strengthen Coordination

  • Improve the political governance of the research and innovation system – revise the role of the Research and Innovation Council and make it efficient.
  • Create coordination mechanisms for scientific priority setting and implement focussed reforms in that respect.
  • Stabilize the financial situation of public R&I performers – set up base line funding based on evaluation and increasingly reward performance, to encourage scientists and innovators to take risks to develop marketable ideas.
  • Remove unnecessary legal and administrative burdens and urge science stakeholders to fully exploit its potential.

2nd "C" - Strengthen Concentration

  • Embed R&I policy in the overall economic (regional) policy of the country.
  • Consolidate the fragmented research system, and finalise the reform of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences (GNAS).
  • Concentrate R&I resources – research teams and infrastructure.
  • Concentrate on a limited number of R&I priorities.

3rd "C" - Strengthen Collaboration

  • Create communication and coordination platforms to engage all relevant stakeholders.
  • Set up a portfolio of financial instruments to promote R&D collaboration.
  • Ensure that physical research infrastructure has adequate quality, and foster innovation-oriented collaboration around it.
  • Strengthen collaboration interfaces between Public Research Organisations and businesses.

4th "C" - Strengthen Coherence

  • Guarantee the coherence of governance structures: define roles at strategic, operational and performance levels.
  • Ensure coherence of baseline funding, open the allocation of baseline funding to all Public Research Organisations (University research labs, Research Institutes).
  • Create coherence of R&I support measures: avoiding fragmentation and duplications, ensure complementarity and a logic chain from research to innovation, and ensure coordination of support and funding measures among SRNSFG, GITA, Enterprise Georgia.
  • Generate stronger links between research and innovation priorities to economic and strategic priorities.


In addition, the report presents a rationale for each of these messages and discusses in detail not only the recommendations presented but also operational steps to boost research and innovation in the country. As emphasised by the panel, it is the country's responsibility to ensure follow-up and implement the recommendations in order to enhance the quality and effectiveness of its research and innovation system.



The Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility provides expertise and operational support to the design, implementation and evaluation of structural reforms of national research and innovation systems through a broad range of services: country peer reviews, support to specific policy reforms, and project-based mutual learning exercises to improve policy-making practice. It is funded through Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. Georgia, being a country associated to Horizon 2020 since 2016, is entitled to benefit from the support of the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility.


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