Fradkov: science optimization a government priority

The development and optimization of the Russian science are a priority of the Russian government. This was said on Tuesday by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov at an annual general meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Not the branches of industry and economics on the whole but first of all raising the efficiency of social and economic development of the country is a priority for the government now; science, healthcare and education are such priorities in modern Russia, Mr. Fradkov stressed.

"The government will pay primary attention to development of the scientific potential, as with the help of introduction of new scientific developments and innovations, Russia will be able to enhance its competitiveness on the world arena and clearly position itself on world markets," he noted.

Speaking about the attention the government pays to science, the premier said the financing of that branch is increasing with each year. "In 2002, the budget allocated 34 billion rubles (some 1 billion euros) on science, in 2003, 40 billion rubles, in 2004 - 46.2 billion rubles. Financing of science in the framework of state defense order is also increasing," Fradkov said.

"The government hopes for the Russian Academy of Sciences potential, which was preserved through joint efforts despite complex situations of recent years," said Fradkov.

The premier believes Russia needs to create elementary conditions to prevent brain drain from the scientific community.

"It's necessary to work out a whole complex of issues connected with creating conditions for scientists. This task is resolved not only thanks to increasing the budget financing of science but also due to involvement of scientists in the innovation process," the premier said.

In his words, to prevent brain drain, business incubators are created in the country, private capital is attracted to science, programs are developed to make young scientists continue working in scientific centers.

As an example, Fradkov cited one of Moscow State University programs. Out of four hundred contenders, only three scientists went abroad," said the premier.

"Of course there's nothing bad in specialists' movement, in the fact that going abroad they receive the necessary knowledge. But we need to prevent this from becoming a one-way street, for Russian scientists to return home," said Fradkov.

The Russian science must "press" the business and the government, introducing its developments into the economy. "You, scientists, have to meet the economy halfway, to "press" business, "press" the government, introducing scientific developments in the interests of social and economic development," Fradkov said.

In his words, "the experience of scientific experts will be used by the government in the framework of the Council on Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship." Mikhail Fradkov in this connection called on the Russian Academy of Sciences to formulate target-oriented tasks in the Russian science and optimize the science sphere. "The government will be responsible for supporting those priorities in the scientific sphere that will be determined by the scientific community as a priority," Fradkov said.

In his words, science needs to inventory technological development and programs to determine more promising directions and think over what state and public tools can be used to ensure access of business to the state's intellectual resources.

In this connection, Fradkov noted the necessity of building a clear market of intellectual property, its legal protection and transfer to scientific organizations of rights to the results of scientific-technical activity.

"This provision is to be fixed by relevant legal acts, besides, the government speaks for broadening of Russian Academy of Sciences rights to train specialists with higher education," Fradkov said.

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