Belarusian research projects drive national economy
Selecting the best three works out of nine that made it to the final of the 2012 Republic of Belarus State Prize contest in the Science and Technology nomination was a hard task for the panel. Each one was worthy. Some papers demonstrated in-depth research, some impressed the jury with the scope of practical application of scientific ideas, and some were a combination of both.
For example, ‘New inorganic compounds and materials based on micro- and nanoparticles: preparation, properties, application’ series presented by the Ministry of Education includes 485 major publications. The authors worked out methods and techniques for combustion control as well as formulations of solid fuel for rockets, the production of which has been mastered by the industry.
With regard to the fundamental scientific innovation, suffice it to say that two researchers – Anatoly Lesnikovich and Oleg Ivashkevich – were officially announced the Nobel Prize nominees by the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.
Achievements of researchers and specialists who devised and implemented national holographic techniques based means of documents, securities and valuables protection are no less important. The effect of the mass use of holographic protection is enormous.
Manufacturers from Russia, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Lithuania use Belarusian science-intensive holographic marks to protect their products. Annual growth of exports of different holograms accounts for 50 % of domestically used products and tends to increase.
Developers of high-precision and probe equipment worked to meet the needs of microelectronics, a basis for sustainable development of other industries and one of the catalysts of the scientific and technical progress. Owing to the research by Planar precision engineering plant, facilities to assemble a new class of microelectronic devices with a capacity of three million units a year have been put in place.
As reported during the presentation, more than 40 models of assembly and probing equipment were put into production, and more than 400 units of such equipment have been made of which 350 were exported.
Experts at the Mother and Child research center and the National Academy of Sciences Physics Institute researchers made outstanding achievements in quite a different area. They have developed innovative medical technology of non-invasive diagnostics and treatment of neonatal jaundice – the disease affecting every fifth child. To solve urgent medical problems, scientists proposed a photophysical method for rapid non-invasive monitoring of concentration of bilirubin molecules in the blood of newborn babies, based on the use of optical skin monitoring. This enabled the authors to create an excellent diagnostic system Spectrum and a phototherapeutic device Malysh. Hundreds of pieces of such equipment are already used at clinics, which significantly mitigates the problem. One of the researchers, Vassily Mostovnikov, is no longer with us, but the matter to which he has dedicated his bright life continues to save lives and health of thousands of kids.
All sorts of research projects can run for the State Prize – ranging from energy-efficient homes to high-reliability microelectronic products, agricultural machinery and sports simulators.
Of course, the premium that totals 350 million rubles this year is a good motivator for researchers. But many years ago, when they just started their projects, they did not think about a reward. Those who will not win, will not get upset: after all, they are already winners as their dreams have come true.