Peer Review of the Ukrainian Research and Innovation System
1. Ukraine's STI system needs ambitious reforms to boost its efficiency and impact. These should be coupled with strong governmental commitment to invest more. The target of 1.7% of public R&D expenditures/GDP in the new Law on Scientific and Technical Activity, although unlikely to be reached soon, should remain valid and support the STI reform agenda. Competitive research funding should gain relevance to reach 40% by 2022. 2. The country needs to "innovate its path to growth" with a cross-governmental STI Strategy that is backed by adequate tools. This will require a cross-government effort that involves the intellectual, material and financial assets of the country. Ukraine must place research and innovation high on its political and policy agenda. The Strategy should be developed and implemented to exploit the potential of STI for growth and societal wellbeing. 3. Science in Ukraine should benefit society and the economy. This will require a fundamental change in the way Ukraine orients and carries out its STI. Notably, the science community must realise that in these difficult times "science for the benefit of society and the economy" is a must. This has to be firmly anchored in the mission and rules of all research performing organisations (including universities and the Academies of Sciences). 4. Urgent decisions are needed to prioritise Ukraine's STI actions based on the principles of scientific excellence and on opportunities for innovation-driven economic growth in Ukraine. 5. STI institutions, funding and procedures need strong institutional revamp. Global standards and good practice should be leading forces of change. Legal reforms such as the new Law on Scientific and Technical Activity and the forthcoming Law on Innovation must be optimally deployed to roll out a fully coordinated cross-government approach on STI. 6. Ukraine should push for the internationalisation and opening-up of its STI system. It should use the manifold opportunities gained by its accession to Horizon 2020 and establish adequate mechanisms to support the success of Ukrainian participants in Horizon 2020. At the same time, Ukraine should take the European Research Area agenda as a backdrop for its national reforms. Openness and internationalisation create vibrant and advanced STI systems. 7. Finally, the government and the STI community must take ownership and communicate on the STI reforms undertaken and on their positive results for the country. This should be a joint effort by policy-makers from all political parties and the country’s leading intellectuals. STI delivers returns for Ukraine's economy and society, and these should be promoted, shared, and used with and between society and economic actors.