Gaidar forum: Russia needs a unified management system for science and technology process
A plenary session "Management of scientific and technological development of Russia" organized by RVC was held at Gaidar forum. The participants discussed the necessary management model elements that will allow stimulation of the development in the high technology business country based on native developments.
"Today, we and the Ministry of Science, representatives of scientific organizations and state companies, will discuss from one side technical, but important issue related to management of scientific and technological development of Russia. We have a stack of tasks formed, priorities determined, sets of regulatory documents prepared. Now it should "fly", General Director of RVC Aleksandr Povalko discussion moderator said.
Minister of science and higher education of Russia Mikhail Kotukov noted that the constitutive document in this field is Strategy of scientific and technological development of Russia by 2035.
"Its general task is perfection of the instruments that will allow technological development of the Russian companies and new economy sectors relaying on the native research and development. It is necessary to do it together with the professional education organizations in order to grow up new human resources for the Russian economy. The task is ambitious. In order to resolve it we need to ensure development of the key resource components: infrastructure and human resources. It is necessary to establish tight interaction of all participants of the scientific and technological process from idea description to technical application", Mikhail Kotukov said.
According to the president of Kurchatov Institute Mikhail Kovalchuk, science became the main productive power of new time, and R&D share achieves 90% in moving forward to the new economy. The most important task is to determine the role of science in economic development:
"Science consists of different in meaning parts. Fundamental science takes a very little part. It is senseless for business and may not be estimated in respect to innovation. This is a clear soup that is not necessary today, but there is no future without it. Such science is limited; funds for its implementation are virtually frozen. There are application institutions — they are either demanded by the market or no. And the third part — strategic interests of the state. That is why we need to structure our science; the reform that is almost finished with the establishment of the Ministry of Higher Education is aimed at that. Now all institutions and regulatory activity related to it are in the same hands. This is the right start. But if we further don't determine role of science in innovation sector and don't structure it, we will initially ask wrong questions and set incorrect aims."
The president of the Russian Academy of Science Aleksandr Sergeev noted that the most important indicator of the role of science in economy development is proportion of the state and private investments in innovation development. In Russia, 1.12% of GDP is allocated for research and development:
"What part comes from the budget and what — from the industry? 30% from the budget, 70% from the industry. We should not blame our state that it gives small budget for science; it gives the same amount as the others, and even more in some cases. But we need to turn this 30% to 70% and make it 70% to 30%, stimulate industry and agriculture to invest in innovation".
According to the expert, it is necessary to make companies invest not only in application, but also in fundamental research.
Chairman of the Management Board of Rosnano Anatoliy Chubais told how to stimulate business to invest in science on a sample of the portfolio "Khevel", that was that build the first in Russia integrated works that produces solar modules and the first solar power station of commercial scale:
"As of the date of creation, 130 billion rubles were allocated for the project; 110 billion rubles are investments funds. These investments allowed the creation of the industry that produces the products for 360 billion rubles. Our plants annually invested in science 30 billion rubles from these funds. In other words, 110 billion rubles invested by the state have turned in annual investments of the cost-effective business. The first investment cycle finished and we expect to run the second one without the state support".
Aleksey Likhachev, the Head of Rosatom told how to solve issues related to modernization of the scientific base and creation of human resources reserve:
"Soviet legacy left a big reserve of base discoveries. However, those fundamental solutions and scientific reserve created in 40th of the previous century are not enough to maintain the leading role of Rosatom. We determined our own priorities. The key point are people. Rejuvenation of management staff in industry science, increase of prestige and salary of all employees of the entire scientific and not only management field."
Aleksey Likhachev also noted that Rosatom for the last years significantly extended the agenda and is not only a nuclear company any longer:
"Primarily, now we use those competences where we have reserves, especially digital. After suspension of nuclear explosions we were heavily engaged in mathematical modelling, radioactive wastes. We see many tasks for scientific developments. We also focused on cooperation with scientific community".
Human factor is a substantial limitation for scientific and technological development of the country, as Aleksandr Auzan, dean of the economic faculty at MSU emphasized:
"Let's begin with the fact that the things made by the people in leading countries, are made by the development institutions in our country. Budget funds are spent, but with low results. What's the matter? 10 years ago, we imagined the solution in this way: it is necessary to create national environment and it will work on its own. But it appeared a far more complicated task. We discovered that the institutions can be different. For example, inclusive that "magnet" people and talents, and "extractive" that get rent. We have wonderful institutions that "capture" rent. And we won't be able to fix it for 3-5 years. It is related to unseen part of iceberg — cultural orientation. In these conditions, we will move slowly and will be engaged in development as an exception."
As to the educational aspect, according to the expert, there is a problem in Russia related to quality of higher education:
"We are on the first places in the world by the elementary school, on 38th — by secondary school, and there is a huge gap in higher school. In respect to higher education, we are on the level of South Korea, France and Spain, which is a quite low result. Educational system built in the 1990s gave a bad result."
Mikhail Kotukov summarized the discussion:
"Expenses of the Russian economy for research and development should grow twice for 6 years. We need to go through this stage. We won't do it separately. We need to increase scientific payoff twice, prepare more than 30 thousand of new researches. This is a challenge not only for the universities. If the industry doesn't participate in this activity, the specialists will need to be re-trained. And our separate successes need to be scaled, made more accessible for all participants".
According to the minister, universities, colleges, industrial companies and partners as well as development institutions should be included in the unified system of managements of scientific and technological development.