Science and Technology in Russian Federation

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October 05 | Natalia Bykova

FASO discussed development strategy with Ural institutes

None of the academic institutes shall quit the FANO of Russia. This position was expressed by Alexey Medvedev, the deputy head of the FANO of Russia during the expert session "Strategy of the scientific organizations development" which took place in Yekaterinburg.

According to A. Medvedev, FANO of Russia has no other strategic partner, except RAS. Any decisions related to improving the academic institutes network efficiency, will be taken by the Agency after discussion with the Academy. He reminded that the January 15, 2015 is the day when the moratorium will expire imposed by the President on the use of property and personnel matters of scientific organizations of the former structure of the Academy. By this time, FANO of Russia, in conference with the scientific community must submit the plan on further scientific organizations network development to the country's leaders. If it does not happen, the contours of the academic complex can be significantly changed. The reason for that is that an interest of the various executive bodies in scientific institutions exist.

"The destiny of the academic network is being settled not only in this room, and not only in the debate between the federal agencies and academic institutions. There are also the other participants in this process. There are federal ministries, which have a specific look on how they see the development of scientific institutions, which are united now and are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Agency of scientific organizations", - Alexey Medvedev said.

In particular, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Industry of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation prepare their suggestions on cooperation with the academic institutions.

"Coming up at what will take on January 15 and asking for another moratorium year without giving suggestions on our viewpoint will be quite a difficult situation to manage", - he said.

To save the academic institutes network in its current form, the scientific community, in conference with FANO of Russia, should prepare their suggestions on scientific organizations development.

More than a hundred directors of the Ural region institutes, as well as representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences took part in the work of expert meeting in Yekaterinburg. Scientists recognize that changes are imminent. According to Vladimir Ivanov, the vice president of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia has not developed effective science and technology policies yet. If the basic researches are more or less ok, the situation with its results application in practical life is different.

In his turn, A. Medvedev noted that the state is interested in the solution of major interdisciplinary problems today. Such projects cannot be done by one institute. It is necessary to search the new forms of interaction between scientific organizations, new integration formats. Cooperation should take place for particular research programs.

Ivanov suggested the following algorithm of scientific collaboration: at first clear priorities for applied studies should be  stated, and then a special program should be developed for them. After the target is set, a form of institutes’ integration should be chosen to settle it. One of the possible ways of co-operation may be a consortium - association of Institutes for a particular project without losing their financial and legal independence. At the same time the Deputy President of the RAS did not exclude that in some cases, weak scientific institutions can be closed and their teams merged with another structure.

"Not all the institutes work at a high level.  We cannot exclude the possibility that institutes, being united, may lose their status as legal entities. <...> Since 2003, we closed about 80 institutes in the Academy. <...> Before making any decision like that, it is necessary to carefully analyze the situation first", - he said.

A. Medvedev, in his turn, said that FANO of Russia adheres to the following position in issues of scientific cooperation: any integration must come from beneath. Institutes themselves must choose the collaboration formats appropriate for them. At the same time the Agency will not speed up the events.


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