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Between vision and reality: promoting innovation through technoparks in Kazakhstan


  • Slavo Radosevic

    () (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

  • Marat Myrzakhmet

    () (Eurasian National University, Innovation Center, Munaitpasov Street, 010008 Astana, Kazakhstan)


A common motivation for the technopark movement is the belief that technoparks promote innovation and economic growth at regional and/or national levels. The paper analyses the role of technoparks as instruments of innovation promotion in Kazakhstan using data from a firm survey and interviews. Our results suggest that, unlike what is assumed in the innovation policy literature, technoparks do not house firms dealing with the commercialisation of innovations that are ready for introduction to the market. Technopark firms are no more innovative than other firms. They are oriented largely towards the local market, and operate in traditional sectors; the frequency and intensity of their external links are more developed than are their internal links. The key motivations for relocating to a technopark seem to be lower rents and the possibility of accessing finance. Overall, Kazakh technoparks seem to be successful in terms of facilitating business incubation, but much les so in terms of innovation promotion and diversification of the economy. Currently, Kazakh industry does not make any demands for local R&D, and its sources of competitiveness lie in non-R&D activities. This suggests that innovation policy should focus on assisting companies to upgrade their technological capabilities to the level that they can articulate their R&D demands. Focusing on technoparks as the main mechanism to improve competitiveness and diversify the economy is an ineffective and uncertain a policy option at this stage of the country's economic development. However, there seems to be significant scope for supporting business incubation. These conclusions are of relevance to other emerging economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Slavo Radosevic & Marat Myrzakhmet, 2006. "Between vision and reality: promoting innovation through technoparks in Kazakhstan," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 66, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
  • Handle: RePEc:see:wpaper:66

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    1. Christopher Gerry & Carmen A. Li, 2004. "Revisiting Consumption Smoothing and the 1998 Russian Crisis," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 43, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    2. Mickiewicz, Tomasz & Gerry, Christopher J. & Bishop, Kate, 2005. "Privatisation, corporate control and employment growth: Evidence from a panel of large Polish firms, 1996-2002," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 98-119, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Minguillo & Robert Tijssen & Mike Thelwall, 2015. "Do science parks promote research and technology? A scientometric analysis of the UK," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(1), pages 701-725, January.
    2. Albahari, Alberto & Pérez-Canto, Salvador & Landoni, Paolo, 2010. "Science and Technology Parks impacts on tenant organisations: a review of literature," MPRA Paper 41914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lizbeth Martínez Ramírez & Jaime Munoz Flores & Arturo Torres Vargas, 2016. "The Analytical Hierarchy Process: An Optimal Methodology for Research in Entrepreneurship (Metoda Analytical Hierarchy Process – optymalna metodologia badan przedsiebiorczosci)," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 14(62), pages 172-186.
    4. Lizbeth Martinez Ramirez & Jaime Munoz, 2015. "Priority Criteria and Alternatives for University Business Incubators in the Entrepreneurial Process in Mexico (Priorytetowe kryteria i alternatywy stosowane przez akademickie inkubatory przedsiebiorc," Research Reports, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 2(19), pages 95-105.
    5. David Minguillo & Mike Thelwall, 2015. "Which are the best innovation support infrastructures for universities? Evidence from R&D output and commercial activities," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(1), pages 1057-1081, January.
    6. Schwartz, Michael, 2010. "A Control Group Study of Incubators’ Impact to Promote Firm Survival," IWH Discussion Papers 11/2010, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    7. Bauyrzhan Yessengeldin & Diana Sitenko & Gulnaz Murzatayeva & Anar Yessengeldina, 2016. "Scientific Potential as the Basis of Innovation Development of Kazakhstan," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(3), pages 1019-1024.
    8. Sungur, Onur & Dulupçu, Murat Ali, 2013. "İşletme Kuluçkaları ve Bölgesel Kalkınma: Kavramsal Çerçeve ve Literatür Bulguları
      [Business Incubators and Regional Development: Conceptual Framework and Findings from the Literature]
      ," MPRA Paper 51833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Laura Lecluyse & Mirjam Knockaert & André Spithoven, 2019. "The contribution of science parks: a literature review and future research agenda," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 559-595, April.
    10. Kyunga Na & Kwangsoo Shin, 2019. "The Gender Effect on a Firm’s Innovative Activities in the Emerging Economies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-24, April.
    11. Michael Schwartz, 2013. "A control group study of incubators’ impact to promote firm survival," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 302-331, June.
    12. Adel Ben Youssef & Nawsheen Elaheebocus & Hatem M'Henni & Ludovic Ragni, 2012. "Are Technoparks High Tech Fantasies ? Lessons from the Tunisian Experience," Post-Print halshs-00998292, HAL.
    13. Jianghua Zhou & Hao Jiao & Jizhen Li, 2017. "Providing Appropriate Technology for Emerging Markets: Case Study on China’s Solar Thermal Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-21, January.
    14. World Bank, 2008. "Bulgaria - Investment Climate Assessment : Volume 2. Detailed Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7868, The World Bank.

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