The first stage of the Second Central Asian Research Forum on Sustainable Development and Innovation was held at Loughborough University, one of the UK's leading research universities. Young Kazakh scientists presented their scientific projects aimed at ensuring the sustainable development of the entire Central Asian region.
Loughborough University is one of the ten best universities in the UK and is known for its programmes aimed at implementing scientific research into business. The University has provided invaluable support to the forum, providing its site for the event, as well as the opportunity to gain the invaluable experience of using scientific research to shape business processes.
The event was attended by the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom Erlan Idrissov, Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan Michael Gifford, Director for Education and Society at the British Council Richard Everitt, member of the House of Lords Baroness Alison Suttie, Vice-Chancellor and President of the Loughborough University Professor Robert Allison, representatives of British and international businesses, as well as scientists from Central Asian states.
The forum was organised by the Kazakhstan PhD Association in the UK with the support of the Administration of the President of Kazakhstan, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK, the Samruk Kazyna Welfare Fund, Kazakh Invest, the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy, and the British-Kazakh Society.
More than 80 PhD students from Kazakhstan are studying in the UK on various programmes, including medicine, hydrology, chemistry, biology, physics, economics, mathematics, IT, and business management. Eighty-five percent of them are the recipients of the Bolashak presidential scholarship, and the remaining 15 percent are holders of scholarships from British universities. The Kazakhstan PhD Association was created in November 2017 to facilitate the interaction of young scientists of the two countries.
The main purpose of the event was to present the current research projects of Kazakh PhD students and discuss their advantages and disadvantages with the representatives of leading British universities and businesses. PhD students and scholars from leading British and Irish universities, such as Loughborough University, Trinity College Dublin, University College London, universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Leicester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Southampton and others presented advanced projects on the digitisation of the healthcare system, increasing the yield of Kazakh wheat, recycling mining waste, sustainable development within the chemicals and petrochemicals industries, urbanization, tourism and education.
Opening the forum, Ambassador Idrissov noted the most important element of achieving sustainable development goals was human capital. “The projects presented at the forum in the chemicals sector, development of new materials, and agricultural production, to name a few, serve as the evidence of the intentions of young scientists to develop a world-class academic system and improve the quality of life in Kazakhstan."
The forum is to take place in two stages – on 18 March in the UK and on 4 April in Kazakhstan at the Astana International Financial Centre. The Kazakhstan stage of the forum is organised with the support of the Administration of the President of Kazakhstan, the Embassies of Kazakhstan and the UK in London and Astana, the Samruk-Kazyna Welfare Fund, Kazakh Invest, the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy, and the Loughborough University.