In his speech Mr Ivanov noted that today the Kurchatov Institute is staffed by true professionals passionate about their work and desirous to maximise its scientific outcomes. It is thanks to Institute employees that many ambitious projects are being implemented and much needed basic and applied research is being conducted. This is true not only in physics’ traditional branches, but also in new, promising areas that in the near future will determine the winners of technological competition at a global level. The head of the Presidential Executive Office emphasised that the main goal is to prevent Russia from falling behind and to take a leading position in this field.
The National Research Centre participates actively in a number of international projects: research at the Large Hadron Collider, establishing the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and the European x-ray free electron laser. According to Sergei Ivanov, these unique research tools, the product of the international community’s combined financial and intellectual resources, are designed to bring fundamental knowledge to new levels as well as help obtain breakthrough and as of yet unparalleled technologies. These projects hold a strategic importance for Russia.
The government will do everything in its power to ensure that such projects are implemented, including in Russia. This is key to our national prestige, retaining our human resource potential, and developing high-tech innovative industries, Mr Ivanov stressed.
Sergei Ivanov also delivered the President of Russia’s greetings to Kurchatov Institute employees.
The Kurchatov Institute’s history began when a laboratory, whose main purpose was to design nuclear weapons, was established in 1943. The laboratory was headed by Igor Kurchatov.
The first nuclear reactor in Europe (1946) was developed at the Kurchatov Institute, as were the first Soviet atomic bomb (1949), the world’s first hydrogen bomb (1953), the world’s first nuclear power plant (1954), and the world’s first nuclear reactors for icebreakers and submarines (1957, 1958). Today the Institute is actively involved in programmes for modernising Russia’s economy and developing public policy in the fields of high technology, science and education.