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"We’re coming to the sixth level", an interview by Alexander Shumilin for Soyuz

3/30/17 2:48 PM / Views:1638

The developments of the 5th and 6th technological structures will become a main goal of the Innovative Development  Program 2020 recently approved in Belarus. The priorities are determined. In particular, a cluster of the complex medical equipment and the related products, the production of composite materials for extrusion 3D printing and unmanned aerial systems are being prepared for the creation. Certain projects will be implemented in the close cooperation with Russian colleagues. Which projects? How will the joint scientific and technical activity be constructed in the near future? The correspondent of Soyuz is talking about this with Alexander Shumilin, the Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of Belarus.


Alexander Shumilin: ‘Small and medium-sized innovative enterprises are the most important point of the economic growth worldwide’



Soyuz:  ‘Alexander, which Belarusian-Russian projects are included in the Innovative Development  Program 2020?’


Alexander Shumilin: ‘There are 75 export-oriented innovative projects in the program in total, 30 of which are based on the technologies of the 5th and 6th structures. Only domestic technologies were used in 26 developments. We should have more than 70 high-yield export-oriented industries and 9,000 new jobs and an innovative infrastructure by 2020. The peculiarity of the current state program is that it is open and can be supplemented. And a number of important projects will be implemented in cooperation with the Russian Federation and with the involvement of Russian banks. The first one, related to the 5th  technological structure, is widely known. It is the design and construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Its commissioning is expected in 2020. The second project is a plant of sheet metal and tinplate in the Vitebsk region. We plan to receive its first products in 2019. This material is brand new for Belarus, the CIS countries and the near abroad. Its thickness of 0.11-0.5 mm (there is minimum 0.18 mm in the CIS now). The technological line is flexible, it provides the opportunity to adapt to the needs of the market. In addition, the project to organize the production of industrial gas meters is included in the state program. We will receive ultrasonic devices with high sensitivity and accuracy, an extended range of measurements, functions of integrated diagnostics, a self-checking accuracy and a service life of at least 10 years at the output.’


Soyuz: ‘As it is known, the cooperation of scientific organizations, collectives and individual scientists of Russia and Belarus did not stop largely due to the emergence of scientific and technical programs of the Union State even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, there is a problem: promising projects "wander" for so long through the offices of officials, that some of them become out of date before they are approved. Will anything be changed there?’


Alexander Shumilin: ‘More than forty scientific and technical programs of the Union State have already been implemented since the beginning of the formation them. 8 are now in the works. The subject area varies from space technology and thermal imaging equipment to potato and Jerusalem artichoke. Today 34 draft concepts of allied programs are under development and coordination. We are working to advance the innovations faster. The budget of the Union State of this year is 6.7 billion Russian rubles. It is 600 million more than of the previous year. The funds that make up its expenditure part, first of all, will be used to finance joint Russian-Belarusian programs. The priorities are space exploration, energy, food, information technology, new materials and medicine. For example, we managed to create a space group of satellites. In fact, it is a development of the space technology, a new industry, for us.

Another mutually beneficial area of cooperation between scientists of Belarus and Russia is programs on electronics, microwave, LED technology and appliances based on them.

Belarusian experts fruitfully cooperate with the St. Petersburg Scientific Center of the RAS, the Physical-Technical Institute named after Yoffe and the Skolkovo Innovative Center.

New materials are being created both for the machine building and the chemical industry in the team with the scientists of the Novosibirsk region. There is an enterprise that fully works on Belarusian equipment produced by at "Planar" in Novosibirsk. These are systems for microlithography. There is an interest among Siberian scientists also concerning the participation in the projects of the scientific and technical programs of the Union State. A particular attention will be paid to new laser and additive technologies and mechanical processing technologies in mechanical engineering. The studies in the field of prototyping materials, components and devices of nanoelectronics, optoelectronics and bioelectronics are also promising. We continue to work together on the controlled thermonuclear fusion, which will make it possible to create a reactor safer than an atomic reactor at the Nuclear Physics Institute of the Novosibirsk Academgorodok.’


Soyuz: ‘Belarus and Russia have established a joint venture company. Are there any promising projects?’


Alexander Shumilin: ‘4 projects have been preliminary selected for 2017. This is the development of X-ray systems of the nondestructive testing, the screening for human beings, the parcels, the baggage, the cargo and vehicles, as well as the equipment and test systems for molecular genetic diagnosis, laser systems for nanotechnology and medicine.’


Soyuz: ‘Do we move with Russia at the same pace in the development of the innovation infrastructure and technology parks?’


Alexander Shumilin: ‘The world experience shows that the most important point of the economic growth are small and medium-sized innovative enterprises with the high-tech production. They could be the key centers for the implementation of the results of scientific and technical programs. An innovative infrastructure has been formed in the country: 10 science and technology parks, 7 technology transfer centers and the innovation and venture funds. There are some results.

The residents of industrial parks almost doubled the number of jobs and production from 2012 to 2015.

Five more subjects of the innovation infrastructure will be opened by 2020. We will be frank, however, despite the obvious  achievements, the Belarusian technological parks are substantially inferior in their development not only to the EU countries, but also to Russia. For example, there are 11 residents for one Belarusian technological park on average. The figure is four times higher in Russia, and it is higher 16 times in the European Union. The situation is similar with the number of workplaces of the average technological park. The volume of the technological park's revenues is 2.4 million USD in Belarus, and the amount of tax deductions is  0.35 million USD. These indicators are 13 and 20 times higher in the Russian Federation, respectively. The Chinese-Belarusian industrial park "Veliky Kamenh" should become a convenient platform for the development of innovative productions. But, at the same time this park is oriented, mainly, to large enterprises. Today we are working on the issue of creating a joint technological park for closer integration of our scientists in the implementation of joint projects.’


Soyuz: ‘2017 in Belarus is declared as the Year of Science. Are there any planned joint events with Russia in connection with this?’


Alexander Shumilin: ‘I proposed to hold the Day of Belarusian Science in Russia with the support of our embassy at the first meeting of the organizing committee for the preparation of the Fourth Forum of the Regions of Belarus and Russia, which was held in Moscow. An exhibition of scientific, technical and innovative developments, as well as a plenary session will be the central event of it. There will be organized a discussion platform for the exchange of views and experience of Belarusian and Russian scientists and the Fair of Patents. It is expected that the central part of the Days of Belarusian Science will be held on the eve of the forum on June 27 - 28, 2017 in the Business and Cultural Complex of the Embassy of Belarus in the Russian Federation. Also, there will be a meeting of the Interstate Council for Scientific and Technical Cooperation of the CIS countries. Both Belarusian and Russian scientists show a great interest in it.’

Aelita Syulzhina


Read the complete interview on the portal of the newspaper "SB"