In an address to the RAN general meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, “The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN) establishes scientific guidelines, it is responsible before society, it is honest and frank, and it is successful and ready for constant innovation. It will move with the times in future by preserving its spirit and traditions and will make a significant contribution to Russia’s development”. The session started on Tuesday and will end on 2 June in Moscow. Its agenda includes the election of a new president and selecting the members of its presidium, new academicians, and corresponding members. In his speech, Mr Putin outlined the key tasks before the RAN and its priorities. He said that all sectors of the RAN should join energetically in encouraging innovation and solve whatever problems are found in society, the economy, and business. The Russian government has already allocated substantial resources for the development of such areas as nano- and biotechnology, nuclear energy, and the aerospace industry.
Mr Putin said that the government has annually increased its allocations for scientific research. This year’s federal budget spending on civilian scientific research will be about 125 billion roubles (3.391 billion euros. 2.66 billion UK pounds. 5.276 billion USD) directly, which increases to about 200 billion roubles (5.426 billion euros. 4.256 billion UK pounds. 8.442 billion USD) when extra-budgetary funding is taken into account. The prime minister noted that an incentive system will be worked out to attract young people to scientific careers under the federal programme for 2009-13. For one, young scientists will be provided with houses, and the number of presidential grants for young scientists will be increased. The government plans to allocate 80 billion roubles (2.17 billion euros. 1.703 billion UK pounds. 3.307 billion USD) for this purpose. Mr Putin hopes that the Academy will be a partner in the realisation of a key priority project, the creation of a network of federal universities. Federal Universities will be scientific and educational centres meeting world standards, and their students and teachers would have access to the laboratories of the best institutes and an opportunity to use other rational forms of integration of science and education, Mr Putin emphasised.
29 May 2008
Voice of Russia World Service