Opening widely windows to new opportunities

Innovative developments help us to see landscape from above, find genetic predispositions, and track the spread of plant and animal migration
By Valentina Goryacheva

Belarus’ innovative development programme has brought us such novelties as a unique system of labelling and certifying organic products, highly durable brake pads, new ways of disposing of ammunition, the creation of domestic explosives for peaceful purposes, and unmanned aircraft with an operating range of 300km (allowing coverage of the entire country from Minsk).

The strategic importance of innovations is obvious; they are the ticket to the future and we must seize the moment. “On-going technological trends open ‘windows of opportunities’, bringing a new wave of economic growth,” noted the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, recently addressing the Belarusian people and the National Assembly. “In such periods of large-scale global technological shifts, ‘windows of opportunities’ allow single countries to move ahead.”

Belarusian science is ready to take a leap, with the market guiding which innovations gain inclusion on the state programme. “In particular, our project to deal with ammunition was developed from necessity: there was a large expired volume,” explains the Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Sergey Chizhik. “Of course, these weapons could be blown up but we’ve found a way to recycle efficiently and with economic benefit: for example, by removing non-ferrous metals.”

Unmanned aircraft equipped with infra-red cameras can follow the movement of animals — from hare to bison — through Belarusian forests, guiding environmental and economic plans. Meanwhile, anyone wishing to find out their ‘genetic identity’ can do so for a fee. The first Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technologies, Leonid Demidov, tells us that, this year, high-tech enterprises will have their tax liability reduced, in order to stimulate their work.

Competition is a strong impetus. For example, Brest Electric-Bulb Factory has designed and launched the production of a variety of fluorescent lamps to fulfil its role in the state’s innovative development programme and the import substitution programme. They are more expensive than Chinese counterparts, which are flooding the Belarusian market, but of much better quality. “Producing energy-saving lamps for the third year, our main goal is to make them high quality yet cheap,” asserts the Director of Research and Production at Akhova PUE, Nikolay Karviga. “We aim to make a lamp equivalent to a 75-watt incandescent bulb, costing no more than $5-7 (in equivalent). We’ve made a prototype and, after certification, production can be launched.” An intelligent combination of innovative potential and public-private partnership is producing not only high quality goods but revenue worth millions of Dollars to the budget.
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