Russia cannot afford critical dependence on foreign developments in priority areas. About this Vladimir Putin said on February 8 at a meeting of the Council for Science and Education. He also noted that in the scientific and technological field, often there is a substitution of tasks: current work is being done, but practical results are needed. The head of the Ministry of Finance, Anton Siluanov, added that there is money for research, it just needs to be properly disposed of. On the same day Vladimir Putin presented presidential prizes to young scientists, with whom he discussed the practical application of their developments.
On Science Day, the President focused on the main areas of work of scientists. Noting the successes of Russian specialists, Vladimir Putin pointed to problems in the technological field. Difficulties are primarily related to the formal approach to work.
— Often, unfortunately, there is a substitution of tasks. All efforts are directed to control the processes of current activities of participants in the scientific and technological sphere, to ensure the implementation of the so-called measuresformally report on the amount of allocated funds, on the development of funds, the number of grants or laboratories created, he said.
But these are only tools, means to achieve goals. “But we need practical, final results that the country, economy and citizens are waiting for“, the President emphasized.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed: on average, about 550 billion rubles are allocated annually for science, but there are many developments that end in nothing.
“There is money, there are resources, you just need to properly manage them,” the minister said.
In particular, Anton Siluanov believes that the number of publications in foreign journals is not the most effective indicator for assessing budget spending on science. According to him, it is necessary to pay attention to concrete results.
Taking into account current realities, the President called for updating the Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development. This document was adopted back in 2016 — “the situation has changed,” the president added.
Russia, according to him, it is necessary to focus on creating our own scientific technologies in the field of health, energy and security. The risk of critical dependence on foreign institutions in these industries is unacceptableVladimir Putin added. At the same time, he instructed the Cabinet to quickly approve innovative projects related to the rapid response to infections and the development of new energy sources.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko proposed to strengthen personal responsibility in the field of development. In his opinion, some scientific organizations of the Russian Federation can be combined into large consortiums with a head structure. Their leaders will have to be personally responsible for the results of their work.
The scientific community is positive about the idea of consolidation. The President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Gennady Krasnikov called for the Kurchatov Institute to come under the scientific and methodological guidance of the Academy of Sciences. He said that, together with the president of the national research center, Mikhail Kovalchuk, a corresponding project had been prepared government regulations. Now the Kurchatov Institute is directly subordinate to the Cabinet.
Mikhail Kovalchuk proposed to structure scientific data. He called for the creation of new genetic resource centers in Russia to preserve the largest domestic biological collections. This is necessary because ensuring biosecurity is becoming a key issue on the agenda, he stressed.
— The very concept of “collection” has no legal definition, status. We have a huge collectionmost of them are unique. But in fact, since the status is not defined, they are not on the balance sheet, people do not know what they contain and protect. The first important step towards the conservation and development of biological collections is the creation of national genetic resource centers based on the largest collections– said the president of the Kurchatov Institute.
Russia already has the first center for plant genetic resources on the basis of the All-Russian Institute of Plant Industry named after N.I. Vavilov, but no systematic work is being carried out in other areas, Mikhail Kovalchuk noted.
— We would like to propose the creation of several more national bioresource centers in the following areas. It is a bioresource center for farm animals and their wild relatives. on the basis of the Federal Research Center for Animal Husbandry named after Academician Ernst. Then the creation of a bioresource center of microorganismsincluding industrial microorganisms and yeast, on the basis of the Kurchatov Institute,” he said.
Also it is necessary to create a single bioresource center for viticulture, which will store and increment collections. This will create a unique basis for the development of the industry, the president of the Kurchatov Institute noted.
On February 8, five young scientists arrived in the Kremlin and were presented with presidential prizes by Vladimir Putin. In addition to a diploma and a badge of honor, specialists receive a monetary reward of 5 million rubles.
Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Oceanology. P.P. Shirshov RAS Alexander Osadchiev received an award for studying the patterns of water dynamics in the Arctic Ocean. He was the first to describe in detail the mechanisms governing the desalination of the three Arctic seas – the Kara, East Siberian and Laptev Seas. However, Alexander Osadchiev impressed those present not only with the results of his work, but also with his long dreadlocks.
During an informal meeting with the president, Alexander Osadchiev clarified that from a practical point of view, his study is important for forecasting and assessing the consequences of global climate changeoccurring in the Arctic zone of Russia.
The young scientist proposed to create a single database of state research conducted in the Arctic. This idea was supported by the president.
– You are certainly right. We have accumulated a lot of information. <…> There are security-related restrictions, but, of course, you need to create them. We will certainly work on this,” Vladimir Putin responded.
The President noted that the optimal route of the Northern Sea Route passes through Russian waters. However, if the situation in the Arctic changes, it is important to understand how it will need to be laid. This route connects the European part of Russia with the Far East. It is defined by the legislation of the Russian Federation as “the historically established national unified transport communication of Russia in the Arctic”.
The participants of the meeting also discussed the extraction of useful resources. Irek Mukhamatdinov, a senior researcher at Kazan Federal University, has developed catalysts to reduce the viscosity of oil even before it is produced.. It is expected that this will help to develop hard-to-recover reserves, which in the earth’s crust are several times higher than the volume of “traditional” or “light” black gold.
Speaking with the president, Irek Mukhamatdinov said that the share of light oil fields in Russia is decreasing, while that of hard-to-recover viscous oil is growing. According to the scientist, its development in the near future will be relevant for all oil producing companies both in Russia and in other countries. Vladimir Putin praised him for the new technology, but noted that “traditional” oil is enough.
— You said that our reserves of light oil are gradually disappearing. Well, there are probably still some in Eastern Siberia and on the shelf too,” the head of the Russian Federation noted.
Also present at the meeting were specialists of St. Petersburg State University Irina Timofeeva and Andrey Shishov. They were awarded for developing methods for fast and accurate analysis with extraction — isolation of the required substance from the sample. In addition, among the winners were employee of the Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Ivan Fisenko. He developed testing technologies for “complex technical devicesthat ensure the strengthening of the country’s defense capability.