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Opinions & Interviews

11 Sep 2020

Belarus’ scientific sector praised for increased contribution to economy

Belarus’ scientific sector praised for increased contribution to economy
Aleksandr Shumilin

MINSK, 11 September (BelTA) – The contribution of the national scientific sector to the country’s economy has significantly increased in recent years, Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of Belarus Aleksandr Shumilin said as attended a meeting between the Belarusian president and researchers, BelTA has learned.

“The contribution of the scientific sector to the economy has increased significantly. In the previous five-year period, the share of Belarusian solutions in the state innovative development program was 10%, in this one it came at 36%. We intend to reach 50% in the next five-year period,” Aleksandr Shumilin said.

According to him, Belarus has developed scientific solutions and technologies worth Br12 billion in this five-year period. They are exported to China, South Korea, Russia, the USA, Japan, Germany, and other countries.

In recent years, Belarus also successfully expanded the innovative infrastructure, setting up 74 sectoral laboratories, primarily at industrial holding companies. For example, the laboratory of the national research center for hygiene and epidemiology organized testing the safety of face masks in just three months.

There are 17 technoparks in Belarus. In 2019, they rolled out Br149 million worth of innovative products, which was 4.4 times as much as in 2015. “For every ruble allocated from the budget, the technoparks got Br16 from the sales of their solutions. Export of high-tech products reached $15 billion in 2019, 1.5 times up over 2015,” Aleksandr Shumilin noted.

He also spoke about the ongoing projects of Belarusian researchers. They include development of new fast-track vaccines against viral and bacterial infections, establishment of a hybrid cardiac surgery center and a new facility for bone marrow and stem cells transplantation, creation of a digital platform for a smart city, development of a lineup of electric cars, including self-driving and autonomous vehicles, and production of modern chargers for them.

Aleksandr Shumilin also spoke about prospects for promising youth in the scientific sector. He proposed not only to provide them with rental housing, but also offer an installment plan for 20 years to young researchers who defend a thesis in due time and work in the country’s research organizations. Should they leave their organization, they will have to continue paying for the housing at a standard price.

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