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“How Belarus plans to develop the high-tech sector”, interview with A.G. Shumilina for BelTA

“How Belarus plans to develop the high-tech sector”, interview with A.G. Shumilina for BelTA

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“How Belarus plans to develop the high-tech sector”, interview with A.G. Shumilina for BelTA

A new research cycle is being launched in Belarus. A draft state program for innovative development for 2021-2025 has been prepared. Smart cities and electric transport, medicine and biotechnology - many innovations are planned for the future. What projects will be implemented in the next five years and plans to support innovative entrepreneurship were told in an interview with BelTA by the Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technology Alexander Shumilin.

The international cooperation

- Cooperation with foreign countries is important for the development of science and innovation. What are your plans for the near future?

- The closest cooperation, of course, is established in the Union State and between the CIS countries. A number of new union programs in the field of high technologies are being under development. They provide for the development of mobile fiber-optic locators, sensor systems for the prevention of natural and man-made disasters, systems for the design and production of microcircuits. Plans also include work on technologies for highly productive agriculture and food processing, as well as 3D printing. By the way, in 2019-2020, for the first time, a competition was held for the award of the Union State Prize in the field of science and technology.

An interstate program of innovative cooperation between the CIS member states for the period up to 2030 was also approved. Its main task is the development of an interstate innovation space that combines the capabilities of national innovation systems. The new program is designed to increase the number of breakthrough technologies and promising developments, organize large-scale production of science-intensive competitive goods and services.

- What bright international projects with the participation of Belarus can you name?

- Today, in the scientific, technical and innovation sphere, we cooperate with more than 50 countries. Cooperation with the European Union has been expanded. From 2014 to 2020, Belarusian organizations took part in 50 projects of the EU framework program for science and innovation "Horizon 2020". The volume of funds attracted to Belarus exceeded 7.5 million euros. At the beginning of 2021, domestic organizations are participating in 57 Horizon 2020 projects. This year, work will begin on 4 more projects.

We are proud of Belarus' participation in the European Commission's flagship initiative "Quantum Technologies" with a budget of 1 billion euros. This is exploratory, risky research, the science of tomorrow, and we are competitive enough to work on it. It is worth mentioning one more EU scientific megaprogram to support technologies of tomorrow with a similar budget, in which Belarusian scientists participate. This is the flagship Graphene initiative that aims to bring graphene from laboratories to production and society, while stimulating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities for citizens, investors and scientists.

Belarus, as part of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, is actively involved in such research as the mega-science project NICA, as well as in experiments of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). In addition, our country is actively cooperating with the PRC. In 2019-2020, 35 Belarusian-Chinese scientific and technical projects were implemented in the field of microelectronics, optical and laser technologies, biotechnology, and new materials.