Putin urges Russian scientists to launch new “mega-projects”

RIA Novosti / Aleksey Druzhinin
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said that Russia currently has all the necessary conditions to hold a large-scale science and technology project that could be of value to all of mankind.

­While making a visit on Tuesday to the town of Dubna, the home of the Soviet particle collider as well as a major scientific center, Putin took part in a session of the Government Commission on High Technologies and Innovations.

“I think there are all the necessary conditions for starting  the work here in Russia for the creation of world class scientific centers.  Like the specialists say, mega-class research installations,” Putin said. The Prime Minister said that such installation must be on par with the famous Large Hadron Collider capable of producing results which would be deserving of recognition from the Nobel Committee.

Putin said that the new projects must be comparable to the space projects or the nuclear program which were created in Russia.

The Prime Minister stressed that such projects were not just a matter of national pride, but were also very economically beneficial as they would allow for the concentration of resources on top priorities and in essence – ensure breakthroughs into the future. He added that the “science clusters” and infrastructure which comes with new innovation projects allows businesses to benefit from the scientific research and attracts investment to the entire region, which ultimately leads to the implementation of modern governing methods.

Putin also said that over the past six years, allocations into civilian scientific research in Russia had increased from 77 to 230 billion rubles. He said that the first pilot project to create a National Research Center had been launched in Moscow on the basis of the Kurchatov institute, which specializes in nuclear physics. This project will get an additional 10 billion rubles of funding in 2010-2012, Putin said.

Andrey Fursenko, The Russian Minister for Education and Science, said that Russia will get six major research installations in the near-distant future, but added that corresponding projects still needed refinement and the government was yet to approve funding. The minister said that the six projects were selected from 28 applications and asked the government to give the green light for them at their current level.

The six projects suggested for realization in Russia will need over 1.5 bullion rubles of government funding and will be completed in 10 years or less.

The minister also criticized Russia’s participation in international projects that are being created on other countries’ territory, as this had negative effect on the competitiveness of the domestic research and development sector.