President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Golikova, we have repeatedly discussed the issue of establishing research centres under the Science national project. We agreed that it is necessary to develop a legal framework for these purposes as soon as possible, and select priority areas and regions that are ready for implementation of these projects. Would you update me on the progress?
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova: Mr President, I would like to report on the current status of the Science national project but, first of all, I would like to say that the project has become national for the first time and attracted a lot of attention. There is healthy competition among scientists when it comes to choosing locations for future research and training centres and integrated mathematics centres.
As concerns the research and training centres, we have 15 centres under the Science national project. They were initiated by the Russian regions which see potential in the synergy of science, education and industrial production. So, keeping this in mind and also considering your instruction given in your Address [to the Federal Assembly], instead of holding competitions, this year we tried to select five pilot regions that are best prepared for testing the research and training centre programmes. In 2020 and 2021 we will be selecting five centres each year based on competition, according to the clear criteria specified in the respective Government resolution.
In 2019, as I said, the five pilot regions include the Perm Territory, the Belgorod, Kemerovo and Nizhny Novgorod regions and a consortium of the Tyumen Region, the Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi autonomous areas. What is special about these five pilot projects is that in the first year, we do not provide any federal funds to them. They work out the programmes. In September, all the five programmes were presented to the council for leading global research and training centres, which decided to support them. That is, we can say such centres have already been established. Since our council includes experts from research, education and major businesses, they all made proposals for finalising these programmes.
Why finalise? Because we want those priorities that these research and training centres have been working on to have world-class significance, as is stated in the Presidential order [Executive Order On National Goals and Strategic Objectives of the Russian Federation until 2024]. The priority areas that they will work on are of principal importance.
It is enough to say that, for example, the Belgorod Region focuses on innovative solutions in agriculture. They are working on programmes that are related to biotechnology and breeding and genetic research – areas specific to the Belgorod Region. Their consortium includes four federal universities, 12 research institutions and four industrial partners.
The Perm Territory focuses on research in rational subsoil use and related industries such as energy, engineering, and robotics.
I will not talk about all the regions now. I can only say that federal allocations for the next six years amount to only 8.6 billion rubles, while the regions are expected to raise the remaining 134 billion rubles from investors, including their industrial partners.
The creation of this infrastructure is extremely important, because, on the one hand, it is going to primarily contribute to the growth of their gross regional product. On the other hand, it is very important that the appropriate infrastructure is created for young people and students, and even schoolchildren, I would say, all those who choose to live and do science in their region, and not move to capital cities. Almost all the regions’ programmes – a welcome surprise – incorporate social programmes and housing support measures to keep these people there.
Moreover, as regards specific science and technological development guidelines of the Science national project, there are plans to train 10,000 specialists under educational modules that coincide with high-priority science and technological development aspects of these research and training centres.
I would also like to say that we are planning to sum up the first preliminary results in January, although it is, of course, too early to draw conclusions, but it is very important that all mechanisms should be optimised at the early stage.
Vladimir Putin: What about the remaining ten centres?
Tatyana Golikova: Most importantly, we already have your instruction. You have issued an instruction regarding the Arctic Research and Training Centre, in response to a request by the Governor of the Murmansk Region, as well as regarding a research and training centre in the Republic of Tatarstan and some other Russian regions. They are now being established as regional research and training centres, and they will be involved in the competition as federal centres.
I would also like to say a few words about two other types of education. Our goal is to set up world-class research centres under the Science national project. These are mathematics centres.
We have selected participants through a very tough competition, and four centres won. Two of them are located in Moscow. One is at the Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, another one is located in the Novosibirsk Akademgorodok (Academic Town), the third is affiliated with Lomonosov Moscow State University, and the fourth – Euler International Mathematical Institute – is affiliated with St Petersburg University.
We are planning to use current Western educational technologies here, including the involvement of lecturers who have a good international reputation. It goes without saying that our specialists will also take part.
Apart from theoretical mathematics, there are high-priority aspects linked with physics, artificial intelligence and robotics. Add to this all related sciences that can yield results in promoting the development of mathematics, which is, in my opinion, highly promising for Russia, all the more so as Russia won the right to host the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2022, and we would very much like these centres to assert themselves by that time.
And, finally, the last contest that was concluded recently – there was some serious competition too – was the selection of genetic centres.
In accordance with your executive order, last April we adopted a federal research and technical programme for the development of genome research, which is more extensive than only those centres that we selected. We plan to allocate 11.2 billion rubles from the federal budget to finance their activity; 1.3 billion will be allocated already this year.
As for the important development directions of genetic research that were outlined in the executive order and the programme, we have decided that the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with other research and educational institutions will represent medicine, the Kurchatov Institute will represent genetics in industry and agriculture, and Novosibirsk institutes under the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) will work with biosecurity.
In fact, we selected these centres in accordance with the four main subjects (biosecurity, medicine, industrial and agricultural genetics). We have set very ambitious tasks to be completed by 2027, because this programme is beyond the scope of the national project until 2024. I am talking about the creation of genetic technologies in 37 fields, and the creation of 65 new world-class laboratories that will cover the entire scope of genetic research in Russia.
In October, we planned on listening to reports made by our colleagues on the programmes presented for the contest, in order to see clearly what contribution these genetic centres can make to research and to the economic development of Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.