Posted: 17.11.2022 11:30:00

Belarusian cut diamonds

From biotechnology and nuclear energy to space exploration:  the successful development of new sectors of the economy as a guarantee of the national security of Belarus

The recent opening of the Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation by the President can be compared with the construction of a nuclear power plant, our space programmes or the creation of an IT park. In fact, the country has launched the development of another promising industry — biotechnology. The implementation of such projects raises Belarus to a technologically new level. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes, “The nuclear power plant, BNBC and so on are a steam locomotive that will pull up wagons. These are completely different people. It’s a great cause. It’s a completely different technology. Society will be different. This is all for your children!”

President Aleksandr Lukashenko,
“We say that today grain is the new gold in the world. And what our corporation, BNBC, produces is without exaggeration real polished diamonds. I compared BNBC to space industry. I think it’s even cooler. Launching into space is not a problem. But creating such a manufacturing facility is much more difficult.”
At the official ceremony to launch production at the BNBC, November 4th, 2022

More than space

The biotechnology industry is recognised by international experts as one of the drivers of both the global and national economies. However, only a few countries have it, including now our Belarus. 
BNBC is a vivid example of the implementation of the national strategy for the development of in-depth processing of domestic raw materials to obtain products with maximum added value. By and large, selling grain on the world market does not pose any particular problems: the world’s population is growing, and their is always the demand for agricultural products, it’s growing every day. But it is much more profitable to manufacture it.

BNBC produces competitive products: amino acids, starch, animal feed, premixes. In the near future, it is planned to launch the production of vitamins (B2, B12, C) and new types of amino acids (valine, leucine, isoleucine). This is a fundamentally new product for both Belarus and the CIS.
It was purchased quite a lot by import for animal husbandry, poultry farming, and fish farming. Import substitution of feed base components will improve efficiency in these industries. Especially in the case of fish breeding. 
Belarus has experience (up to the cultivation of sturgeons and the production of black caviar), there is an export potential, and now a forage base will appear. BNBC is ready to purchase Belarusian grain — about 700,000 tonnes annually at world prices. 
It is a big benefit for our agricultural enterprises, for which the world market is now located in the Pukhovichi District.

Healthy industry

Today, Belarus covers its own needs for many critical medicinal positions. Our drugs successfully compete with foreign analogues. Of course, there are a number of drugs that we do not produce. Most of these are patent medicines. 
The copyright holder does not give the go-ahead for their release in Belarus. But in a critical situation, if due to some external factors these medicines are not supplied to the country, there is a production base to produce them using the international mechanism of the so-called compulsory licensing. However, manufacturers of raw materials and substances for the global pharmaceutical industry are located in China and India — in countries that are friendly to us. There are also our own unique developments that no one else in the world has. For example, drugs for the treatment of blood diseases.
Today, the portfolios of domestic companies include more than 1800 types of medicines of various pharmacotherapeutic groups. Over the past five years, more than 500 new drugs have been registered and put into production. The BelVitunipharm enterprise is equipped with all the necessary equipment and is ready to produce the first pilot batch of the Belarusian COVID-19 vaccine. It has already passed preclinical trials and has shown high efficiency.

Environmentally friendly, without reference to fuel

Belarus has become a leader in the region in electric transport. There is an electric Geely, and a sports car recently presented by the National Academy of Sciences. 
Belarusian electric buses are mass-produced and are already successfully running not only in Minsk, but also in cities of other countries. There is interest in our developments, since electric transport is a global trend. 

Firstly, it is environmentally friendly, which is fundamentally important for all megacities. Secondly, it is cheaper to maintain. Thirdly, electric transport is an element of energy security. There are many different options for power generation: from thermal and nuclear to wind, solar, biogas... Electric transport reduces dependence on fossil hydrocarbons, which is extremely important for many countries. 
Given all its advantages, leading auto corporations are actively engaged in developments in this area. Moreover, our manufacturers are in trend.

President Aleksandr Lukashenko,
“I am an avid fan of electric vehicles. They are the future. It is good that this trend has emerged in the world. I felt it a long time ago. Samples of Belarusian electric vehicles are available. Those are not only cars but small trucks. We now know how to make them. We need to make them beautiful and affordable now”
At the talk with the workers of the Atlant plant in Minsk, July 10th, 2020

There is nothing better than your own rockets

The military conflict in Ukraine showed the importance of missile weapons. High-precision weapons make it possible to solve combat missions with minimal humanitarian damage, as well as losses for our own Armed Forces. Guided anti-aircraft missiles protect the sky. Nonetheless, it is impossible to reliably resist the enemy without an air defence umbrella today. 
In Soviet times, the Belarusian radar school together with the development of automation systems was one of the best in the USSR. And that means in the world. We did not have enough missiles to produce modern full-cycle weapons. Nevertheless, this issue was closely and successfully maintained. 
Today, Belarus has almost completely its own Polonez MLRS and Buk-3M air defence system. Longer-range rocket technology is being developed: space technologies are already being used there. Equipment of this level on their own (without foreign licenses) can only be produced by countries leading in the military-industrial complex. Thus, Belarus is one of them, which means it is one of the most protected. 

Reaching for the Stars

In general, space is not something immense for the Belarusian industry and scientists. Domestic enterprises worked closely on co-operation in the development of space technologies during the Soviet Union.
This experience was not lost, not wasted, but accumulated. And today the country is able to produce satellites! On own high-quality component base. By the way, our chips are considered one of the most reliable on the market. A satellite is an expensive device, so it is necessary to give a guarantee for the uninterrupted operation of microcircuits for 15-20 years. For decades of co-operation with partners from different countries, not a single accident has occurred due to the fault of Belarusian components. 
Furthermore, in a number of areas, for example, the protection of electronic products from various radiations (of which there are plenty in space), the Belarusian scientific school is considered one of the leading in the world. According to the textbooks of our scientists, they study at NASA and other space agencies.

Reliable kilowatt

It was a perfect timing for Belarus to become one of the nuclear countries! The demand for nuclear power is just insane right now. Almost all countries in the world either have nuclear power plants, or build reactors, or plan to do so. 

Only a number of African states refuse peaceful atom, but due to lack of financial opportunities, together with several European powers (Germany, Austria, Italy), in which such decisions are taken not due to expediency, but to some political conclusions of past years. But, perhaps, the attitude towards nuclear power plants will be revised in these regions as well amid the energy crisis.
During the period of global turbulence — first due to COVID-19, then geopolitical exacerbations — it became obvious that nuclear power plants are perhaps the most stable source of energy. Atomic blocks consistently produce voltage in any weather and logistical troubles. Which is very important for national energy security.

By Svetlana Isaenok, Maksim Osipov
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