By Alexander Trofimov
To become applied, innovative products must pass certain stages of scientific testing and development, with prototypes produced before full industrial manufacturing is launched. Naturally, without talented individuals, new inventions would never come to light and, without skilled professionals, production would be impossible. Belarus has no lack of scientists or technicians but investment is a different matter.
The 2011-2015 State Innovative Development Programme aims to drive forward this process. It was recently studied at a session of the Council of Ministers, targeting foreign investments to cover at least half of all financing for innovative projects. Over the coming five years, about Br58 trillion is to be spent on fulfilling the programme.
The National Statistical Committee notes that, last year, the share of enterprises producing innovative goods (among large and medium-sized firms) rose to 15 percent (against 12 percent in 2009). As a result, 324 Belarusian companies were called ‘innovatively active’; a year before, their number was 234. Among those using high technologies, the greatest share was involved in the manufacture of machines and equipment: 22 percent. These were followed by firms producing electrical, electronic and optical equipment, food and chemicals.
According to the National Statistical Committee, domestic enterprises invested Br2812.5bn into innovative production last year, which is less than the figure envisaged by the 2011 state programme. Positive dynamics are registered, with sales of innovative products and services by industrial companies almost doubling between 2009 and 2010. Overall, the share of innovative products stands at just 14 percent however.