A panel discussion on the topic “Education, innovation and 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, Minister of Education Emin Amrullayev emphasized that the results of education are a key aspect that determines the long-term economic growth rates. In this regard, the Minister provided examples from international evaluation studies. Noting the successful results of Azerbaijan in this area in recent years, Emin Amrullayev also spoke about the project of using fiber-optical networks in general educational institutions. Through this project, which will be implemented in 2021-2025, 75% of students throughout the country will be able to use broadband Internet services, which will increase digital access to education.
According to the Minister, the coverage area of the project Digital Skills will be expanded in the next academic year, and 200,000 schoolchildren will be involved in it. He also said that short-term courses in cybersecurity have proven effective.
Furthermore, the Minister of Education spoke on the opportunities for a new generation of specialists who meet the requirements of the modern labor market in SABAH master’s program, which will begin next academic year.
Emin Amrullayev thanked both colleagues for participating in this important event and underscored that cooperation is an important link in achieving common goals.
In his speech, Mikayil Jabbarov emphasized that the head of state attaches particular importance to the field of digitalization and innovation, and noted the importance of the project in this regard. Building human capital and creation of a modern space for innovation is one of the main areas of the “Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development.” The Minister of Economy stressed that both government agencies and enterprises must quickly adapt to the new challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to introduce new advanced technologies and serve their citizens and business interests. From this perspective, the most important factors are the development of digital knowledge and skills, the formation of human resources in accordance with the necessities of the times. The demand for digital knowledge and skills is growing in all areas of the economy. Mikayil Jabbarov stressed that the ministry will actively work in three directions for innovative development. The first direction is support of public resources in these and other areas. Other areas will include dialogue with the business community and support for the private sector, systematic approaches ranging from tax concession to various incentives.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Rashad Nabiyev said that the only way to innovation is education and science. He spoke about the work carried out within the framework of the innovation working group led by him and shared his vision of innovation in Azerbaijan. “We imagine the innovative environment as a pyramid consisting of three layers. The bottom and most important layer of the pyramid is the healthy public administration system in the country. We can confidently say that the reforms carried out under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev have solidified this foundation, and reforms in this area are ongoing. The middle layer of the pyramid is the development of a science and technology-intensive manufacturing industry.” The Minister highlighted the importance of two issues from this point of view.
“The first is the development of scientific research. The path leading to innovation is rich in inventions,” said Rashad Nabiyev, adding that investment in research should grow rapidly. “Educational proposals must be supported by scientific research – the role of universities is important here. The second is the development of a science and technology driven processing industry. A sustainable startup ecosystem built on these elements forms the top layer of the pyramid,” he said.
Rashad Nabiyev also noted that all these and many other issues are taken into account in the National Innovation Strategy.
The discussions were attended by representatives of relevant government agencies, as well as the private sector and civil society.
The second part of the event continued with a Question & Answer session.