The prize is awarded for contribution to advancing Russian science, for creating new equipment and technology that can boost the innovative development of the economy and social sphere, as well as strengthen national defence.
The 2019 Presidential Prize was awarded to Alexander Veraksa, DSc in Psychology, for research of the cognitive development of children of preschool and school age; Sergei Makarov, DSc in Physics and Mathematics, for innovations in nanotechnology; and Marina Shirmanova, PhD in Biology, for achievements in the study of oncological processes.
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Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
First of all, I would like to congratulate all of you and all those who work in the fields of science and university education. We are trying to combine these two fields today, and I hope that science will be developing at our universities. I would like to wish you all the very best on the upcoming Russian Science Day – all researchers, those who are here today and those who are not, everyone who is prepared to break new ground, make discoveries and peer into the unknown.
It has become a tradition to award state prizes in science and innovation to young scientists ahead of this day. It is notable that the number of nominees for the prize grows with every passing year, and ever more interesting and promising projects in the key spheres compete for the prize. This rich choice allows us to select the very best and most deserving projects. It also shows that the standards of research projects carried out by young people are becoming increasingly mature.
I have no doubt that the talent and enthusiasm of our young people can lead to a major breakthrough in the key spheres of technology in this decade and the 21st century as a whole. Of course, difficult and ambitious goals and an opportunity to come to the fore and play a crucial role in national development are very strong motives for anyone, but especially so for young people who choose the field of science. Very young people developed Siberia, discovered Antarctica, created nuclear and space projects and accomplished many other things.
You may have noticed that I said in my annual Address that there are many young people working in science. According to estimates, by the middle of the decade every second scientist in Russia will be under 40. Our academic community will be one of the youngest in the world.
This has been a trend for the past few years, and I hope it persists. Your energy coupled with talent and knowledge will certainly produce a positive result for the country.
To create conditions for the work and professional growth of your peers and the younger generation, the Government will continue to update the equipment of our research organisations and universities, as well as research infrastructure, including megascience-class facilities. Major funds – over 220 billion rubles – will be allocated under the Science national project. We are to launch the NICA collider in Dubna outside Moscow before the end of 2022 and the SKIF synchrotron in Novosibirsk by late 2023.
We are about to design and create an unparalleled installation that combines the capabilities of a synchrotron radiation source and a free-electron laser. This will make it possible for our country to conduct unmatched research in agriculture, next-generation materials and pharmaceuticals, as well as other areas that are critically important for technological development in Russia.
To reiterate, the tasks at hand are colossal. We can bring the future closer only if we combine our resources and create a proper environment for scholars, engineers and young researchers. Each of them should have an opportunity to draw closer to their discoveries through hard work, as well as mistakes, perhaps, which are part of the work, and the help of like-minded people and inspiration. The way our today's laureates did it. I am pleased to present the results of their work.
Success in overcoming modern technological and non-technology-related challenges depends on talents and unlocking each person’s potential and gifts starting from preschool age.
Continuing the glorious and internationally recognised traditions of the national school of educational psychology, prize-winner Alexander Veraksa has been studying for 15 years the cognitive and emotional development of children exposed to a turbulent digital and technological transformation environment.
Based on large-scale and extended research, the author has created a proprietary, individually tailored and ultimately effective education system. As far as I understand, this system can be used for a variety of school subjects ranging from PE to mathematics. Today, this method is widely used not only in our kindergartens and schools, but in other countries’ educational institutions as well.
Sergei Makarov’s work opens up vast prospects in many areas of research and technology. He came up with an innovative economical and, thus, widely usable, method for creating ultra-small optical devices. They are very small, but, as I understand, their potential is gigantic.
They will make it possible to significantly speed up information processing and reduce power consumption, which is important for this kind of systems, and to conduct quantum computing. In addition, these devices have successfully passed biomedical tests for conducting cellular level treatments and promoting solar energy. They are used to improve the performance of microscopes and other physical instruments.
Marina Shirmanova, a representative of an innovative school of research, which originated in Nizhny Novgorod thanks to a mega-grant programme, works at the junction of physics, biology and medicine. Innovative methods for studying malignant tumours are being successfully developed at the laboratory that she heads.
These methods make it possible to obtain knowledge about internal processes in the affected cells that was previously beyond reach and use it for targeted treatment choosing the most appropriate treatment method in each case, and effectively treating a variety of cancers.
I congratulate all the prize-winners. Thank you for your significant achievements that expand our capabilities, for your determination and dedication to research.