Image of a High-Tech Country
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Image of a High-Tech Country
On the development of international cooperation of Belarus in science, technology and innovation.
The President repeatedly stressed that our country has a multi-vector policy and spoke about the need to diversify exports. Today Belarusian science and domestic scientists make a significant contribution to solving these problems. After all, the image of Belarus as a high-tech country is shaped by the level of scientific and technical projects. This contributes to the growth of high-tech exports. Joint developments create prerequisites for the implementation of joint innovative projects and the influx of modern technology investments to our country in the future.
Alexander Shumilin, Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of Belarus, told about the implementation of the intergovernmental program of innovative cooperation of the CIS countries and innovative projects of the Union State and the way of cooperation of Belarus with the countries of the European Union.
In 2018, the State Committee on Science and Technology (SCST) organized and held intergovernmental commissions on the scientific and technical cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Slovakia and Ukraine. In addition, today Belarus has agreements on scientific and technical cooperation with 47 countries of the world. The conclusion of seven new agreements and memorandums in this area was ensured in 2018. Also, joint scientific and technical projects were launched for the first time with such countries as Korea, Serbia, Pakistan, Mongolia, Cuba and Azerbaijan in the period from 2015 to 2018. Collective sections of scientific and technical developments of Belarus were organized at 12 international exhibitions, as a result of which only last year contracts and pre-contract agreements worth over 8 million USD were concluded.
‘More than fifty programs have already been implemented and currently eight scientific and technical programs are being carried out within the Union State’ Alexander Shumilin said. ‘As a result, it is expected to develop innovative technologies and equipment for the production of biosafety animal feed, to develop new technologies for the surgical treatment of children with severe spinal injuries, to develop innovative genomic technologies, to identify individuals and to develop the system of hydrometeorological safety of the Union State.
Also Alexander Gennadievich noted that a number of new programs are in the development stage for the future. As part of their implementation, it is expected to develop technical means for preventing natural and man-made disasters, to create a special meteorological equipment of a new generation, to develop modern technologies for the geological study of the national environmentally friendly use of resources and to create new medical cellular products.
The state program of innovative cooperation for the period up to 2020 is being implemented within the CIS. The Interstate Council for Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation is successfully functioning. ‘There was a meeting in April, during which the main results of the implementation of the program until 2020 were discussed,’ the Chairman of the SCST said. ‘And the issues of program development until 2030 will be discussed on May 31 in Ashgabat. The Belarusian side will submit proposals to the draft document being developed, in particular, on the feasibility of maintaining the implementation of intergovernmental projects related to the commercialization of scientific developments and the mastering of the production of high-tech products as the main practical component of the innovation cooperation of the CIS member states.
We also support the inclusion of a new program of activities aimed at organizing a digital transformation of the economy and a formation and a development of cross-border innovation and industrial clusters in the high-tech sectors in the draft project. We are participating in nine pilot projects within the CIS today. Four of them have already been completed.’
Alexander Shumilin noted that brief results within those projects were obtained and the contracts were concluded with both Russian and Belarusian enterprises generating a good income on that moment.
An important vector of the development of international partnership is the People’s Republic of China. ‘In recent years we have significantly expanded the cooperation in science and technology. In particular, the number of joint projects was increased by 30% in the period from 2015 to 2016,’Alexander Gennadievich noted. ‘Today, 28 scientific and technical projects are being carried out, these are only those that have state support. In fact there are much more of them. These are projects in the field of microelectronics, optical laser technologies and biotechnology.’
‘The European vector is very important for Belarus, we are actively working within international agreements,’ Alexander Shumilin said. ‘The cooperation with Serbia is intensified. Today there is already a number of projects implemented by us.’ Belarusian scientists are actively involved in the European programs Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and COST. ‘During 2018, seven new projects were accepted for financing with the participation of Belarusian organizations with a total amount of funding of almost 1 million euros.
Thus, the total amount of funds attracted for the Belarusian side from the beginning of the program amounted to 6.4 million euros for 41 projects.’For example, the Research Institute of Physical and Chemical Problems of BSU is implementing the project “New Inorganic Electrode Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion’ with a funding of 108 thousand euros for four years. The Center for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus participates in “Horizon 2020” SURERTWIN project, which also involves Switzerland, Italy, France and the Netherlands. Scientists are developing a new microscope based on special quantum states of light.
In 2018, exports of science-intensive high-tech products in Belarus amounted to almost 14 billion USD, which is 20% higher than the level of 2017.
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There was an intergovernmental commission on scientific and technical cooperation with Georgia, Uzbekistan and South Korea in 2019. ‘We are going to finance 83 international scientific and technical projects implemented jointly with 12 countries this year. These are China, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Pakistan, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Cuba and Poland,’ Alexander Shumilin said.