On April 18th, I had the opportunity to attend Yuriy Kapitsa’s lecture entitled “Innovation Development in Ukraine: Situation and Options for Political Actions.” As the Director of the Centre of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Dr. Kapitsa has extensively researched comparative intellectual property law, the transfer of technology, as well as IPR enforcement. He also directed the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine project from 2003-2006.
Dr. Kapitsa’s lecture focused not only the problems that exist in Ukraine today, but also how Ukraine has changed since the communist era, and how this change is translates into particular challenges in innovation development. To propel advancements in this area, his center provides guidance to help establish positive change. First, he commented on economic development in Ukraine through examining the GDP from 2002 – 2011. There were major decreases in both manufacturing as well as agriculture during this time. Furthermore, there was also a decline in GDP during the chaotic economic conditions in Ukraine during the 1990s. However, Gross Domestic Expenditure between 2006 – 2009 did increase. Mr. Kapitsa also discussed governmental actions in regards to innovation development. He mentioned that it has been difficult to create laws in this realm. Above all, he stressed that a long term plan needs to be established for successful innovation development. This situation runs counter to conditions in the USSR when five year plans were the norm and plans were put in place. Expanding research and development will also be important for innovation development. The European Union has been helpful in this regard. In addition to research and development, enterprises will also need attention. He mentioned that in regards to enterprises, credit will be very important.
Overall, Mr. Kapitsa stated that in terms of innovation development a great deal of work lies ahead in Ukraine. One major problem is the ongoing use of out-of-date technology. However, he is optimistic about the future of innovation development in Ukraine. He believes that “globalization” will be beneficial for the country. I am also optimistic about the future of innovation development in Ukraine, but I think it will take some time. If Ukraine can take advantage of the rapid “globalization” occurring throughout the world, I am confident that the country can secure the resources and partnerships necessary to develop.
Ryan Eavenson is a first year MA student. He is particularly interested in democratization, human rights, and European integration in the post-Soviet world. His additional interests include Imperial and Soviet Russian history. He received a AB in History/Russian and East European Studies from Lafayette College in 2010. After completion of his MA, he hopes to find employment focusing on international affairs or continue his education.