The Foundation Head Yelena Shmelyova presented the main report.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
I welcome you to the meeting of the Talent and Success Foundation Board of Trustees. Traditionally, we will discuss today the current work of the Sirius Educational Centre and prospects for its further development.
But first of all, I would like to congratulate all of you who helped create Sirius, congratulate its students, educators and tutors, on the first milestone anniversary. Sirius turned five years old last September.
Within this historically short period of time, Sirius has become, without exaggeration, Russia’s true asset. I would like to say thank you very much to all of you.
It was in our country that a one-of-a-kind educational centre was set up at the Olympic facilities. This so-called Olympic legacy (and this was a decision we made in due time – to establish this centre as part of the Olympic legacy) benefits children. Sirius helps gifted schoolchildren, primarily from the regions, including small towns and even remote villages, to set high goals for themselves and get off to a strong start in life.
Today, the participants in the Sirius programmes study at the country’s top universities and get government grants and fellowships. By the way, this support is also rendered via Sirius. Some of them have already signed future work contracts and even work at the largest, successful domestic companies.
As for young musicians and ballet performers, our outstanding arts, ballet and music schools have opened their doors for them, while Russian national junior ice hockey teams are practically made up of all Sirius students. I believe that young hockey players are destined for new great victories ahead.
Apparently, such remarkable successes and achievements of Sirius students were made possible by an unparalleled training format, at an intensive pace and in an environment with talented peers and truly excellent star tutors. Sirius is at present the world’s only educational centre where teaching is conducted by world-class scientists, outstanding educators, athletes, coaches and musicians.
But I would like to underscore that we have always regarded Sirius not as a closed elite club for the chosen but rather as an open national platform for working with talents which concentrates the best technology and expertise for unlocking human capabilities, in our case those of a young person, a teenager or a child, of course. Such practices are widely replicated and change the system of working with the youth across Russia. We will definitely speak about this crucial area of Sirius activities today, too.
I would also like to note the following. Today at the forum of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, my colleagues and I discussed proposals from very different people on our country’s development. These projects embody the best qualities of our people, our nation, its unique talent and civil patriotism.
We must by all means preserve and multiply our human potential. To do this, we must build up our education today and establish effective mechanisms for children’s development throughout the country for them to discover their talent and soar to new athletic, artistic and scientific heights. We must create the conditions for the children to succeed here, at home, in their native land, in Russia.
In this regard, it is crucial that Sirius continues to expand its orbit. Its roadmaps even extend beyond the coming decade. They are really, as they say, about the whole 21st century.
A university, research laboratories and an advanced innovation centre are being launched here, where research will be conducted and practical developments made in the areas that, without any exaggeration, determine the progress of the entire civilisation. They include life sciences, cognitive disciplines and AI.
I am sure that such tasks and their solution will turn Sirius into a magnet for everyone who is ready to become a trailblazer and ensure a true technological breakthrough, for Russian scientists and our compatriots, for engineers at high-tech companies and, of course, for Sirius students. All that matters for them.
Their living and working space should also reflect the improving climate in general, it must reflect the sense of a new time, the beat of life, and must be designed with account of advanced trends in urban design, architecture and city development. Obviously, the very best solutions should be used for preserving the environment and expanding opportunities for the people.
Let me reiterate, here, in the Imereti Valley, new products as well as technical and other solutions will be designed, and work should be pursued on the projects of the future in the full sense of this word, which means new rules, laws and standards will be needed for inventing and introducing fundamentally new technologies. And, of course, effective management mechanisms that will allow for taking prompt decisions, implementing Sirius’s development projects and engaging research universities, scientific centres and companies from across the country.
In this regard, I deem it correct to use a new provision of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and grant Sirius the status of a federal territory, which entails economic independence for Sirius and a direct communication mechanism with both the President and the Government of Russia.
Members of the working group on drafting constitutional amendments – I asked them about it – prepared a respective draft law. As you are aware, it has already been submitted to the State Duma. I ask the Government to duly prepare all necessary legal acts for the functioning of the Sirius federal territory, including during a transition period, and also to ensure the economic basis for its activities. Let me repeat – all decisions must come into effect as early as next year, 2021.
And certainly, in view of new decisions on the status of Sirius, I expect proposals on its further development. Let us discuss all these issues.