Rustam Minnikhanov: ‘Tatarstan possesses huge scientific and technological potential’
The president of Tatarstan about a rise in investments in fundamental research and implementation of big plans during the Year of Science
What accomplishments a scientist from Tatarstan received Putin’s award for, why the republic needs a supercomputer and what technologies will help fight with protest moods in society — this and record-high investments in science were discussed at an extended meeting of the Tatarstan President’s Council for Education and Science and the republican organising committee for the Year of Science and Technologies on 8 February. The republic, as the Tatarstan president stressed at the meeting, takes the lead in the total number of scientific organisations in the Volga Federal District. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
18 billion of record investments
Costs on scientific research in Tatarstan have increased many times and reached 18 billion rubles in the last 10 years, noted the president of the republic opening the meeting. Among other achievements, he named the formed innovative infrastructure including two special economic zones, a system of technoparks, numerous financial development institutions.
Rustam Minnikhanov also reminded the audience that within Science national project in 2020 Tatarstan universities won a tender to create a world-class scientific centre for rational utilisation of liquid hydrocarbons of the planet. The amount of the centre’s money exceeds a billion rubles. Moreover, more than 600 million rubles were allocated from the federal budget to reconstruct and reequip instruments at Kazan Federal University, Kazan Scientific Centre Federal Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Kazan National Research Technical University.
“The huge scientific and technological potential, developed industry and a big supply of feedstock are key competitive advantages of Tatarstan,” the president stressed.
A centre for digital economy and information technologies was created in Innopolis University. There were developed integrated educational programmes with a digital component to train specialists in different areas. The centre offers refresher courses for college and university teachers from all Russia. Over 550 million rubles have been allocated for financing.
New challenge of the era
Circular Economy research and educational centre opened in Tatarstan too. “The circular economy is a new challenge of the era,” Minnikhanov believes. “And we will promote it, at federal level too”. According to him, modern enterprises should introduce high-tech designed to manufacture products with the latest achievements in science and technology.
“Only in this case we will get a positive effect for the economy of the region,” the head of the republic assumes. “New jobs will appear, while our commodity will be in line with the world’s best samples”.
To celebrate the Year of Science and Technologies in Tatarstan, there was an organising committee chaired by the republic’s Prime Minister Alexey Pesoshin. A plan for upcoming events has already been created. Moreover, Rustam Minnikhanov offered to create a task force to host a session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Kazan in 2022.
The president also congratulated a scientist from Innopolis University Vladimir Maximenko. According to Vladimir Putin’s order, he became a laureate of the Russian president’s award for science and innovations among young scientists in 2020. Maximenko develops invasive and non-invasive brain-computer interfaces to control brain activity. With the help of electric stimulation, his inventions will be able to prevent epileptics’ fits, help patients recover after a stroke.
Supercomputer and science against protests
Head of the Centre for Digital Technologies of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences Yevgeny Biryaltsev made the Tatarstan management an unusual proposal. He offered to purchase a powerful supercomputer for the republic because its presence today defines a region’s degree of scientific and technological development. The president replied that at first it is necessary to find out how ready Tatarstan is to work with the supercomputer. Though we should be more active regarding digitalisation, without doubt, he emphasised.
Rector of Kazan Federal University Ilshat Gafurov seemed to make up his own way of fighting protest moods in society. He talked about a set of research aimed to develop technologies to create a positive psychological climate in children and adults as well as to detect negative tendencies and oppose manifestations of extremism and social deviations among different groups of the population.
More than 16,000 people do scientific research and developments in Tatarstan. 13,200 people of them are staff members, the rest is the workers working with civil law contracts. Moreover, the institution of R&D includes 39 research centres, 9 design bureaus, 36 universities, 21 corporate R&D centres and design bureaus as well as 24 other organisations.