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“To help innovators”, an article by A. Shumilin for Director

“To help innovators”, an article by A. Shumilin for Director

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“To help innovators”, an article by A. Shumilin for Director


TO HELP INNOVATORS

A dynamic development of innovation implies the formation of an appropriate infrastructure



ALEXANDER SHUMILIN, Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology, Doctor of Economic Sciences




FRUIT OF A SOFTWARE APPROACH

86 innovative projects of the State Program for Innovative Development of Belarus were implemented in 2017, which enabled to commission 19 new production facilities. The production of composite materials based on domestic thermoplastics for 3D printing at the Institute of Chemistry of New Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the production of microelectronic products in the STC “Belmikrosistemy” of the OJSC “INTEGRAL” and other productions are among them.

9 productions were put to design capacity, including the production of solid medicines containing beta-lactam antibiotics ("Pharmtechnology"), semiconductor generators and induction plants for heating metal (Physical-Technical Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus), geroler pumps for installation in the transmission of wheeled tractors and road construction equipment in Mogilev, etc.

The State Program received a target source of funding due to the decisions taken in accordance with Decree No. 431 to centralize the funds of innovative funds, and planned purposes were fully implemented in 2017.

The total volume of project financing reached almost 2.2 billion rubles. 83% of them are foreign investments. Last year, the volume of production of innovative products amounted to about 600 million rubles. 2/3 of them were exported.

The current state program, unlike the previous ones, is open. Therefore the SCST, together with the ministries and regional executive committees, is working to replenish it. So, in 2017, by resolutions of the Council of Ministers no. 693 and no. 977, 20 new projects were included. It is necessary to single out the of domestic technologies of the 5th and 6th technological structures (production of microelectronic products and components for laser systems) among them.

Last year expenditures on applied research and developments almost doubled. All applications of scientists in this area were financed for the first time. As a result, 459 innovations were developed; 2 new pilot productions were created on the basis of the Joint Institute of Mechanical Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, 4 production facilities were modernized. The volume of output of innovative products reached almost 4.5 billion rubles.


ROOTED WITH TECHNOLOGY PARKS

One of the levers of commercialization of scientific and technical achievements and the development of small and medium-sized businesses is an innovative infrastructure. A particular attention is paid to the development of technology parks, which are becoming sites for the organization of new industries.

The network of this infrastructure entities includes 14 scientific and technological parks, 9 technology transfer centers and the Belarusian Innovation Fund.

The main efforts are aimed at forming innovation infrastructure entities at universities within the instruction of the head of state to create universities 3.0. Thus, the centers for technology transfer are organized under Republican Institute of Vocational Education in the Minsk region and Grodno State University named after Yanka Kupala.

Last year, more than 500 workplaces were created by technology parks and their residents, and the output of innovative products exceeded 87 million rubles with a plan of 39 million rubles.

New technology parks started working at Belarusian State University, Grodno University and Belarusian Agricultural Academy. In addition, the Technology park of Biomedical and Information Technologies "Vitebsk Silicon Valley" was created.

Decree no. 105, signed by the President of Belarus on March 12, 2018, will ensure the dynamic development of scientific and technological parks and the creation of an effective innovative ecosystem.


SCIENCE PLUS PRODUCTION

To solve the tasks set by the head of state at the 2nd Congress of Scientists, the SCST is going to prepare proposals for the introduction of a unified system of priority areas in the field of science and innovation. At the same time, it is proposed to concentrate resources on 5-7 most popular areas, such as information and communication technologies, biotechnologies, instrument engineering and medical equipment, electric transport and industrial robotics.

A mechanism for managing the innovation cycle, from the idea to the creation of production, will be developed. The implementation of state integrated targeted scientific and technical projects will favor this. Taking into account the prompt commissioning of the nuclear power plant, the complex development of electric transport and its infrastructure will be started.


BET ON BREAKTHROUGH RESEARCH


With the further development of the innovation system, it is important to consider three factors, such as a solvent demand for products and an availability of competencies and financial resources. It is expected to increase the cost of scientific activity in the amount of 2.5-3% of GDP, with 30% of funds going to breakthrough research, and the share of shipped innovative products will reach 25%.

The resource base will be developed within the priority scientific areas. And there the main role should be played by branch laboratories and scientific and practical centers created in the real sector of the economy. It is necessary to maintain fundamental research that ensures the competitiveness of the economy or is in demand by overseas customers and motivate the private sector to invest in scientific development.

To enhance human resources, it is necessary to improve skills and professionalism. The emphasis will be on cooperation of education, fundamental science and applied one. It is proposed to expand the practice of creating branches of university departments at manufacturing enterprises for this purpose. It is necessary to stimulate the influx of talented youth into innovative entrepreneurship and business, including through innovation infrastructure entities at universities.



DIRECTOR'S REFERENCE

An examination of about 1.2 thousand projects was carried out at the SCST in 2017. About 25% from them, i.e. every fourth, was rejected by the expert board (received negative opinions). Due to the improvement of the selection system, it was possible to avoid an inefficient investment of significant budget funds.