Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
This meeting of the Council on Science and High Technologies was preceded by extensive preparations.
Together with the Security Council and the State Council of Russia you discussed the guiding principles of state policy in the sphere of science and technology.
I know that the plans and the themes of the Council’s work have largely been determined, the range of issues it is to address in the future has been identified. I hope that the Council’s meetings will address not only current, but also strategic aspects of our country’s development as a whole.
The resources of the state, the interests of the scientific community and, equally important, the potential of domestic business must be taken into account. That in fact is the only way if we are to work out new and effective models for combining the country’s economic, production and scientific interests.
Today we will discuss the problems and prospects of the development of the regions with a high concentration of scientific and technological resources. I would like to note that the main problems of the development of science and technologies can be observed there in the most pronounced and concentrated form.
Science cities started to be built under a directive issued after the war to address concrete scientific and technological tasks, mainly connected with defence. At the early stage narrow specialisation, direct financing, privileged social and living conditions, and territorial autonomy were key factors of success.
Today the situation is different in terms of economy and management. Many of the current problems of science cities have been inherited from the former system of organisation of science. One of these is heavy dependence on centralised financing, divorcement from modern economic processes and the needs of production, and a lack of mechanisms that stimulate innovation.
At the same time these centers have accumulated a unique scientific and technological potential and even, more importantly, unique human resources. Therefore our main task is to preserve these resources and use them effectively in the new conditions.
It is extremely important to determine in what form this can best be done. The Council’s working group has prepared corresponding proposals in this connection. The Government of the Russian Federation also has its vision of the problem. I understand that final decisions will be hammered out jointly by the Council and the Government of Russia.
Today we must focus our discussion on this task, with special emphasis on the problems of innovative economics.
I think we could usefully discuss ways of effective combination of budget financing of science, the state order and the investment potential of Russian business, and discuss the ways to promote innovation and venture business, including small business, above all through cooperation among scientific organisations, entrepreneurs and the regional authorities.
Such an approach will help not only to create and introduce modern technologies, but to replenish the budgets of research institutions and create new jobs.
Finally, another important task is to address the legal issues, especially protection of intellectual property rights and the development of the patent system.
The tasks facing the Council today are large-scale and multifaceted. I think it is symbolic that the official start of our work coincided with the centenary of the birth of Igor Kurchatov. The name of that great physicist and citizen is intimately associated with the organisation of science and scientific activities in our country. I hope that the decisions we take will also contribute to the potential laid down by that outstanding person and scientist.