A new discussion on migration “whether to go or to stay” emerges in Ukraine not for the first time. The main reason for such a question is the lack of understanding of the society’s development thrust. Meaning either the absence of the real vision, or the lack of consensus within society on where exactly are we going. And what are we trying to build in Ukraine.
Let’s find out which communities supported the discussion and their reasons for that.
Firstly – the creative cluster, meaning the citizens who know already what they want and see the possibilities for their ideas’ realization regardless of the territory or State where they could realize them. For these people there are no problems with migration – they regard it only as a way for more qualitative self-development.
Secondly – the entrepreneurs. For this cluster what matters the most are the conditions for doing business. They will overcome all the difficulties if in the end they receive fewer headaches from the State. This includes not only taxes or fiscal methods’ introduction to fight “the informal”, but also omnipresent bureaucracy and being out of simple Ukrainian businessman’s problems. Which are quite numerous regardless of the State’s reforming agenda, being implemented already for several years. Yes, if the entrepreneurs have the possibilities and the vision of better conditions – they will be the first to leave.
Thirdly – the young people. Which is the most active and passionate part of the society. What are they lacking here? Maybe, the quality of education that doesn’t automatically mean the competitiveness on the marketplace. In reality, the most talented youngsters will gladly go to study abroad. There’s nothing bad in this – at least a part of them will return in order to try to make some changes here. That is why the discussion on migration concerning the young people is not totally correct. Rather it is a matter of personal choice, implying the existence of possibilities nowadays, making the idea of studying abroad absolutely realistic.
The last but not the least is the scientific and innovative cluster. For them the migration presents both the opportunity and the risk. On one hand, they could accomplish more in the specific sector, but on the other – their ideas could simply dissolve in more potent scientific clusters or become another “commercial victim” in long-lasting plans of some multinational corporation.
In reality, all the above mentioned communities have a vision of their future in Ukraine that is different from the State (meaning contemporary politicians and bureaucrats). Nowadays we observe the most confrontational situation in those spheres where there is a competition for resources – speaking first of all about business and entrepreneurship development.
However, the science has escaped from the keen interest of the State. New edition of the Bloomberg Innovation Index, issued in January, for the second year in a row testifies on the Ukrainian upsetting realities. The rating puts us on the 42nd place between Croatia and Serbia, which is one position lower than the previous year. Bloomberg Innovation Index considers such indicators as the intensity of research and innovations, production’s added value and economic output.
The first place in the rating has been kept by the Republic of Korea, Sweden is on the second place and Germany – on the third. For example, the Republic of Korea leads the rating due to the highest rate of spending on scientific research and development, patenting activity, added-value industry and level of higher education.
Despite of the State’s declarations on the need for scientific and innovative development, the State budget for 2017 pledges only 4 billion UAH for science. Which means only 0,16% from country’s GDP. Last year’s spending on research and development in Ukraine was only 0,8% of GDP or 2,5 billion UAH. Notionally the volume of State spending on science has increased, but in terms of percentage from GDP, on the contrary – declined.
In developed countries, this indicator is on the level of 1,5% - 3% from GDP: these States invest dozens, if not hundreds billions of dollars into scientific research and development. The States leading the innovations’ ratings spend from 1,5% to 3% from their GDP, which is incomparable to our realities. For example, the United States’ budget in 2016 pledged $ 405 billion (or 2,7% GDP) for scientific research and development, China - $ 338 billion (2,1% GDP), Japan - $ 160 billion (3,7% GDP).
It proves that the State’s interest in science and innovations in Ukraine is minimal. Is it good thing or bad thing? Does it make a good reason to leave? In my opinion – certainly not!
As we speak, Ukraine has all the conditions for the new scientific cluster’s emergence, which could become the driving force of the economy in the nearest future. We possess maybe the most important thing – the absence of over-regulating and the possibility to create “the terms of game” in the innovative scientific cluster form square one.
The most important thing is placing less hope into the providing role of the State. The civil society and its demand for the new quality of life are the most important horizontal links for innovative scientific development. There is no need to physically leave the country to fulfill the dream about Ukrainian scientific cluster. In times of digital technologies and hegemony of the Internet the main factors that matter are our ideas and strive for success.