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Putin highlights Russia's need of world class universities

January 30, 2012, 12:38 UTC+3
The innovational character of our economy should be restored, starting with universities as the centers of fundamental science and a cadre basis of the innovational development
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MOSCOW, January 30 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has set forth the task of creating several universities of world class in Russia by 2020, which should be given considerable financing for scientific development.

"The innovational character of our economy should be restored, starting with universities as the centers of fundamental science and a cadre basis of the innovational development. International competitiveness of our high school should be our national task. By the year 2020 we should have several universities of world class with an entire spectrum of material and social technologies. It means it is necessary to ensure steady financing of university scientific collectives and ensure an international character of these collectives," Putin said in an article published by the Vedomosti newspaper on Monday.

Russian research universities should have a resource for scientific research worth 50 percent of financing envisaged for education like the rivaling universities abroad, Putin said. Simultaneously, a well-considered reconstruction of the entire branch of professional education, coordinated with an expert community and the society, will be conducted, Putin said.

Russia should make use of a high level of the population's education achieved and a tremendous heritage of fundamental science, engineering schools and an experimental production basis which survived in many industries. In the past years we made serious investments into scientific establishments, ensuring commercialization of applied projects. We have Rosnano, the Russian Venture Company. The state conducts competitions for creation of an innovational infrastructure of higher educational establishments. The Skolkovo project has already attracted a big number of western companies, Putin said.

"However, learning to sell is not enough. To ensure stable innovational growth of the economy it is necessary to ensure an uninterrupted influx into the economy of new ideas, products of fundamental research and creative workers ready to create technologies," Putin said.

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