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Russian PM Identifies Main Aims of National Project for Science

February 7, 2019

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has identified upgrading research facilities and equipment and providing support to scientists as major aims of the National Project for Science, the Russian news agency TASS reports. Dmitry Medvedev also believes that the project will help address many of the challenges faced by Russian researchers while achieving “the difficult but attainable” goal of propelling Russia into the top five countries in key fields of science and technology. The Prime Minister was speaking at a meeting of the organizing board for the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

In his speech, Dmitry Medvedev pointed out that young researchers needed particular support, not only financial but also in terms of facilitating their participation in academic conferences, publications in international scientific journals and patent applications. Special stress must be laid on supporting young scientists while improving their social conditions, he said. The Prime Minister admitted that so far insufficient effort had been made to provide them with housing and that further steps must be considered.

Dmitry Medvedev reminded his listeners that the National Project for Science had been designed to tackle these and other issues. Supporting scientific talent and promoting cutting-edge research, he insisted, were government priorities and should not remain a mere slogan but translate into reality. Dmitry Medvedev emphasised that the strategic task was to make Russia a top-five nation in key fields of science and technology, a goal which he defined as difficult but attainable.

He went on to say that funding for the national project had been approved, with as much as R135 bln to be spent over the next three years. In fact, R&D expenditure from all sources, as envisaged by the project, should grow ahead of GDP.

The project also calls for creating at least 15 world-class science and education centers as well as advanced research infrastructure over the next six years. Dmitry Medvedev underlined that all of Russia's leading scientific institutions were to get state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation, with 50% of their instruments to be upgraded or replaced.