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Scientific evolution utterly reliant on dynamic action

Scientists discuss and approve draft programme to update scientific policy
By Olga Bobrovskaya 

Nearly four hundred representatives of academic, institutional and specialised science organisations have joined young scientists from all regions at a general meeting of the National Academy of Sciences. The new programme is now being directed to the Council of Ministers, before submission to the Head of the State.

According to the Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Vladimir Gusakov, Belarusian science has progressed, acquiring a modern, highly effective character, and is a major element of the Belarusian social and economic model. The new regulatory document provides measures for the reform of the scientific sphere, addressing today’s challenges — such as raising the status of science and improving mechanisms of management and financing.

“The programme is important not only for the Academy of Sciences, but for the entire scientific sphere,” Mr. Gusakov asserts. “The document relies on the creation of scientific research laboratories and centres, scientifically-technological clusters, the development of state-private partnerships and the attraction of foreign capital. In addition, it envisages a system of social guarantees for particular categories of scientists, as well as the introduction of a personal bonus scheme — and a number of other measures.”

According to Vladimir Gusakov, the programme has three stages. The first (operating until 2015) tackles salaries and the foundation of national research laboratories and centres, using a cluster principle. This will include the creation of the BelBiograd national scientific and technical park.

The second stage (operating until 2020) should see the cluster fully established. The action plan for the scientific sphere will also be revised as needed, to meet current requirements, and scientists’ salaries will be revisited, looking at bonuses and flexibility of payments. Young researchers will be offered additional measures of social protection, as will retired candidates and doctors of sciences.

The third stage is due to be implemented by 2025, or earlier if the initial stages are fulfilled well. Belarus will join those countries known for designing and manufacturing hi-tech goods, meeting Central European indicators for development in the scientific sphere.
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