Vladimir Putin: It is necessary to create a comprehensive national innovation system. That implies a developed infrastructure, a civilized market of technologies and legal protection of intellectual property rights.
It is very important to define the legal status of the Academy of Sciences, to adopt the provisions on personnel rotation and deal with some other issues.
The statutory documents of the RAS must be brought in line with modern civil and property legislation as quickly as possible.
That is above all what the Academy itself needs to feel secure within the existing state system. It should not be exposed to accusations of living according to its own laws and being “a state within a state”. It may not be so bad in a certain sense, but everything must function within a single legal framework in the country.
Putting the system of science management on a modern basis that meets the requirements of our times is a key challenge. It is due to the absence of professional management that Russia today is losing scientists and unique scientific results – it is not the only reason but it is part of the reason. In fact, Russia is putting its resources into other countries, increasing their science and technological potential at its own expense.
It is high time to move on from the so-called basic and target planning to competitive planning and financing of science. The economics of the RAS institutes must be changed to create flexible and mobile research teams, to increase the share of funds in the financing of research, encouraging those who can make effective use of resources and successfully compete in the world market of ideas and high technology.
A fair playing field must be created in the market of ideas. And I would like to stress that to this audience. These equal conditions mean that regardless of their administrative position and academic degrees, everyone must work with a view to achieving real results in research. Prominent RAS scientists should not only organise and manage tenders, but they should take part in scientific research along with all the others.
A key issue is to develop a clear-cut form of the state order in the scientific and technical sphere. The government has identified its scientific, technical and applied priorities based on its internal and external policy documents. And it is a key role of science to implement these priorities.
The whole system of fundamental sciences must be made healthier. These sciences have been a particular Russian strength, and we are still rightly proud of our fundamental science.
The strategic task of science is integration with higher education. In the meantime there has been little real progress in that direction. As a result both systems suffer. The existing integration programme fails to address the problem of functional integration of science and education. There are only isolated instances.
Ultimately, our common goal is to make the Academy face up to the needs of the state and society and enhance its effectiveness. Reproducing itself is not the main aim of the RAS. As in any other business it is the outcome that matters. The RAS is not only a key attribute of statehood. Its resources should be harnessed to the success of the country. Throughout the history of our state the Russian Academy of Sciences has many times spearheaded the solution of complicated issues. And the country, drawing on the achievements of the Academy of Sciences, was in the very front ranks of the world’s leading states because of the efforts of our scientists. I think that we will fulfill our task if we do everything to breathe new life into the Academy of Sciences in the new conditions.