According to Erik Azulay, the wind never stops blowing in Astana, Kazakhstan. And, in some ways, that is a good thing.
Erik is GCG’s representative in Kazakhstan for a new IC2 program, with funding from the World Bank and operations organized by CRDF-Global, in conjunction with GCG. GCG will be engaged in at least the first two years of the planned three-year program to promote technology commercialization in Kazakhstan.
From Erik’s perspective, the nation is evolving quickly and winds of change are welcome by the business and scientific community. With support from the World Bank, the Kazakh government has organized a new national Technology Commercialization Center (TCC) and selected CRDF-Global and GCG to manage the TCC’s work to create start-ups, license Kazakh technologies, and train managers.
Erik Azulay’s role as “Lead Expert” for the program means that he works with both high-level government officials and entrepreneurs and scientists.
The view from his office window in Astana–the capital–is one of a rapidly changing skyline. And since Erik and his family moved to Kazakhstan two months ago, he has been helping to create change for both government officials interested in moving Kazakh technologies to the commercial sector and for aspiring entrepreneurs eager to work in international businesses. Erik has served as a judge at a competition among innovators, led training for managers, and is beginning to explore opportunities for 21 technologies selected by the Kazakh government for funding and further development.
According to Bakhytzhan Ibrayev, a business formation specialist, the manager training has been “excellent.” He noted that a recent three-hour seminar was “as high quality as any MBA program if not better. I really hope we will have the opportunity to attend other seminars on different business topics conducted by Mr. Azulay.”
Above: Erik Azulay officiated at a Nazarbayev innovation competition and awards event.
“I’ve been very bolstered by the enthusiasm of the people at the TCC and the Project Management Unit to have me here,” said Erik. “The TCC was asked for its input on commercialization for a report to President Nazarbayev, and I see how our work can have a long-term impact on technology commercialization in Kazakhstan. I look forward to continuing this important program.”
Erik Azulay, second from the right, was a panelist at a November 11 forum attended by Kazakhstan’s deputy prime minister. The event opened discussion on an “Innovation Based Economy in Kazakhstan.”
Link to News Video at the start of the program.
World Bank Press Release on the program.
updated June 2014