The brief was to prepare a backgrounder concept and recommended outcomes on innovation policy for an intergovernmenal Arab States Ministerial Summit in Doha, Qatar. The objective was to help Arab leaders understand current international best practices in articulating national innovation policies and recommend a set of national and regional initiatives for consideration by the Summit preparatory process as well as for the Summit’s outcome and communiqué.
How it went down
A backgrounder paper was prepared that explored the concepts of innovation and what stakeholders in Arab States could do to further encourage it. It made reference to current national initiatives and success stories in the region. The paper proposed a number of possible policy interventions that would support building innovation at national and regional levels using a framework approach. This framework included the following elements:
Empowering people to innovate;
Unleashing innovation in firms;
Creating and applying knowledge;
Applying innovation to address global and social challenges;
Improving the governance and measurement of policies for innovation;
Promoting regional and international Arab co-operation and partnerships.
The paper articulated a set of pillars that advance an innovation agenda at national and regional levels across multiple sectors performed by a broad group of actors — including governments, institutions, firms and, increasingly, ICT-enabled users. The recommendations were reflected in the outcome of the Summit where leaders agreed to design and coordinate an Arab regional approach to innovation.