Kazakhstan seeks more cooperation [pg. 17]

Representatives of Kazakhstan's science and technology sector visited Israel this week as part of the agreement reached between the Republic's President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres during their meeting in Almaty last June, when the two countries agreed to expand cooperation in space research and biotech, as well as in educating Kazakh students at Israeli universities. The delegation included Nurbek Rayev, board chairman of the National Innovation Fund; Airspace Committee Deputy Chairman Askar Abduzhaparov; and Erlan Ramankulov, director-general of the National Fund for Biotechnology. The delegation visited Israeli venture capital funds, the ATI hi-tech incubator, RAD, Tadiran, Mobilack, Prinir and Gad companies. There were also talks at the Israel Space Agency, Technion, Rafael, El-Op and Gilat Satellite Industries. Launching the first Kazakh communication satellite "KazSat," the establishment of the space-tracking headquarters near Astana and the development infrastructure at the Baikonur space-vehicle launching site allow Kazakhstan to develop more deeply its national space program," said Abduzhparov. "There is a possibility of Israeli companies and scientific research centers participating in the construction of two new Kazakh satellites - one for telecommunications and another for distance monitoring of Earth," he added. Biotechnology also has big potential for development in Kazakhstan, the delegation said during meetings at Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University, the Technion and the Volcani Center. They proposed a wide field for cooperation with their Israeli counterparts, including agricultural biotechnologies, healthcare and environment. The Bolashak ("Future") international scholarship was established in 1993 by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to educate the most talented youth at the world's elite universities. Kazakhstan and Israel have held student exchanges in medical education, and more than 80 Kazakh doctors, nurses and lecturers have gained experience at Israeli hospitals and universities in the past year. Kazakhstan now plans to send more students to earn full academic degrees in other fields.