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“Priorities of international scientific, technical and innovative cooperation of the Republic of Belarus”, article by A.Shumilin for "Science and Innovation" journal

“Priorities of international scientific, technical and innovative cooperation of the Republic of Belarus”, article by A.Shumilin for "Science and Innovation" journal

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“Priorities of international scientific, technical and innovative cooperation of the Republic of Belarus”, article by A.Shumilin for "Science and Innovation" journal

The modern development of society is characterized by increasing economic, social and political integration in the system of the latest knowledge and high technology. A major role in this process is played by the openness of the Belarusian economy and its integration into world markets.

Presently, Belarus does not have bilateral cooperation with the European Union in the field of science and innovation due to the lack of a basic agreement. Nevertheless, in order to diversify and develop relations with Europe, we try to actively participate in EU research programs. Belarus is one of the five most active international partners of the Maria Sklodowska-Curie program.

The activity of Belarusian scientists in COST, the oldest EU international cooperation program, has doubled since 2017. This program helps to establish partnerships, expand professional networks, and promote the recognition of Belarusian researchers in the EU.

In the 7th Framework Program of the European Union for Science and Innovation, Belarusian scientific organizations participated in 64 projects in the field of energy, information and communication technologies, nanoscience, new materials, medicine with 5 million euros funding. We also took part in the Horizon 2020 program with 50 projectsts worth 7 million euros. The largest ones were the European Commission's flagship initiatives, Grafen and Quantum Technologies, with a budget of 1 billion euros each. In their implementation, scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Problems of the BSU and the B.Stepanov Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, are leading search in the full sense of the word science of tomorrow. As practice shows, Belarusian scientists are sufficiently competitive to work in the most advanced areas. An example of this is UE “ADANI”, which has developed a unique scanner that allows you to recognize chemicals and objects hidden inside the human body and identify other anomalies from 100 g in size, as well as the B.Stepanov Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, which created a ground-based network infrastructure for monitoring aerosols, clouds and short-lived gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and ensuring its operation. These and other projects are relevant both for Belarus and for the European Union.

The international cooperation of Belarusian scientists in the field of fundamental physics has been expanded. Since 2016, at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna), domestic enterprises have been implementing a number of high-tech contracts for the implementation of the NICA mega-science project (construction of a complex of superconducting rings on counterpropagating heavy ion beams), including the development and creation of electronics, mechanical structures and elements of the magnetic system . The volume of export deliveries to JINR was significantly increased: in 2018 it amounted to $3.7 million, in 2019 - $6.7 million.

Our scientists took part in Large Hadron Collider experiments at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Among the co-authors of the Higgs boson discovery, one of the most significant achievements of modern fundamental physics includes 19 Belarusian physicists. In cooperation with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, international experts jointly with the SCST prepared the Second Innovation Development Review of Belarus “Innovations for Sustainable Development”. Its results showed that the republic was able to cope with the negative consequences of the crisis of 2011-2012 and subsequent recession. However, in the country's innovation sphere, there are a number of problems, such as insufficient financing of science and innovations, avoiding the risks, weak business involvement and low innovative activity of small and medium enterprises.

The recommendations of the Review are used by the SCST and other government bodies to develop and implement a national innovation policy, including with the assistance of technical assistance from international organizations and partner countries. Thus, with financial support from the Government of Sweden, together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, it is planned to present in May 2020 a roadmap for creating public-private venture funds in Belarus to finance innovative projects.

The cooperation with China is prioritised by the Belarusian side. A contractual framework and a mechanism for coordinating joint activities have been formed - the Commission for Scientific and Technical Cooperation of the Belarus-China Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee is functioning. The status of the Commission has recently been significantly increased - the Chinese part of the commission was headed by the Minister of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China Wang Zhigang, which emphasizes the priority of our cooperation (today it is the only sub-commission headed by the minister).

In 2016, the SCST and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the PRC signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of joint financing of Belarusian-Chinese scientific and scientific-technical projects, which made it possible to receive about $5 million from partners for the development of projects every two years. This contributed to 65% increase in the number of joint projects in microelectronics, optical and laser technologies, biotechnologies, new materials, etc.: 21 in 2015–2016 versus 35 in 2019.

The Training Testing Center on the basis of the Joint Institute of the Dalian Polytechnic University and the Belarusian State Universitywas opened last year. His mission is to attract students to carry out research in the field of applied physics and mechanical engineering using modern scientific and laboratory equipment.

Currently, the “Great Stone” is building the Belarusian-Chinese center for cooperation in the field of transformation of scientific and technological achievements. The commissioning of the facility is planned for May this year. The center will become a platform for the implementation of scientific startups and development, the cooperation of scientists and the work of young researchers. Work is underway to increase and expand the geography of supplies of Belarusian high-tech products. At the end of 2019, the share of its exports in total exports amounted to 35.6%, in value terms - $ 14.9 billion, which is 2.3% and 7% higher than in the previous year, respectively.

Many of the developments of the NAS of Belarus by academic scientists are the result of international cooperation, bringing a significant synergistic effect. Academic organizations sell and engineer their products in more than 60 countries. The export of information technologies, mainly software, is growing rapidly. Its consumers are world famous corporations such as Microsoft, HP, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Google, Toyota and others. Border services, law enforcement agencies and banks from more than 80 countries, including the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand use equipment to verify the authenticity of documents, banknotes and securities of the Belarusian company Regula. Unique X-ray and medical equipment, bench-top analytical instruments and non-destructive testing equipment, developed and manufactured by the Belarusian ADANI Unitary Enterprise, are supplied to the markets of 70 countries, including the USA, South Korea, Japan and the European Union. Countries such as Germany, Italy, Poland, Israel, South Korea, China, Mexico, India, are willing to purchase Minsk KBTEM-OMO equipment for the formation of topological structures on photo masks, which has no analogues in the world.

At BSU, the first Belarusian university satellite was created and put into orbit. It is used as a flying educational and scientific laboratory in teaching students and allows the study of radiation fields of near-Earth space, radiation resistance of electronic elements, and remote sensing of the Earth. In addition, students gain unique experience in the full cycle of creating and using their own spacecraft.

The BelAZ-75710 domestic heavy-duty dump truck with a carrying capacity of 450 tons is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest car on the planet, and is already used at one of the Kuzbass coal mines. Belarus took 72nd place in the Global Innovation Index 2019, increasing its rating by 14 points compared to the previous year (86th). The country has high positions in the indicators “Development of mobile applications” and “Training of specialists in the field of science and technology” (6th place), “State financing of general education” (8th), “Higher education” (9th), “Inventions and Utility Models” (10th), “Export of ICT Services” (19th). By the totality of indicators that characterize the conditions and prerequisites for the development of the innovation environment, the republic is among the top 50 countries, increasing its rating by 10 points compared to 2018.

Thus, today Belarusian science is ready for the challenges of the global world economy and is able to ensure the development of competitive high-tech goods and services on the world market, a steady flow of investment, economic stability and the prosperity of society. Of course, the interdepartmental and interparliamentary dialogue will continue and will contribute to the growth of the domestic economy competitiveness and increase the authority of the Republic of Belarus in the international arena.