Programme devoted to engineering analysis
Belarusian-Russian Venture Fund aims to generate income
Negotiations are underway with the Russian Venture Fund, and corresponding documentation is being developed, allowing the Belarusian Innovative Fund to partner the new fund. Belarus already grants Br40 billion a year to the financing of innovative developments but, as the Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology, Alexander Shumilin, is convinced, at least triple that amount could easily be spent, since many good projects are yet to receive financing.
The new fund will become a powerful addition to the financing of Belarus-Russia scientific and technical programmes being carried out via the Union State budget. There are currently 10 such projects, notes Mr. Shumilin, worth about $53 million in equivalent this year. He explains, “We’re liaising via the Union State, as a priority direction, and have another 20 programmes under consideration.”
The First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Sergey Chizhik, tells us that one programme is devoted to engineering analysis, applying software not only to mechanical engineering but to other high-tech manufacturing. Belarus and Russia are currently reliant on expensive imports in this field and lack access to some advanced developments. Naturally, independence in this sphere is highly desirable, and may be achieved with well-directed investment.
Import-substitution of high-tech products is a goal for both our nations and our likelihood of achieving it is greater through unification of efforts. This would also open the way to entering the world market more competitively as exporters.
Other CIS countries are similarly involved, as Mr. Shumilin emphasises. Ukraine and Moldova began financing four such projects last year. Meanwhile, Slovakia took part in the Belarusian Industrial Forum in Minsk for the first time, introducing its two-seater superlight plane. Three years ago, Belarus became a ‘space power’, designing and manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles. Co-operation with Slovakia would be useful for the aerospace branch, as Mr. Shumilin admits.
Belarus-Russia scientific and technical co-operation is a priority for the Union State, to the benefit of each nation individually and together. The State Secretary of the Union State, Grigory Rapota, has often underlined this fact. Belarus is developing its next five-year innovative programme, oriented towards 5-6 technological spheres of manufacturing. Undoubtedly, new Union State programmes will be a logical addition.
By Vladimir Yakovlev
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