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Science/education council to discuss fundamental research, RAN reform

December 20, 2013, 2:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

President Vladimir Putin will chair a meeting of the council

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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Shakhidjanyan

MOSCOW, December 20, 2:16 /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin on Friday will chair a meeting of the Science and Education Council over fundamental research and the reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN), the presidential press service reported.

The participants will discuss "ways and priorities in the development of fundamental research in Russia, as well as the measures to reform the academic sector of science and implement new tasks set before the Russian Academy of Sciences," the Kremlin said.

Taking part in the meeting will be Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, presidential aides Andrei Belousov and Andrei Fursenko, RAN President Vladimir Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Gennady Romanenko, heads of federal academic institutes and research centers and State Duma deputies.

The Council was set up by Vladimir Putin in 2001 as the Council for Science and High Technologies. It was renamed in 2012 and reshuffled in 2013.

The Council comprises 38 members who are well-known figures in the spheres of science, research and education. The 13-member presidium of the Council is headed by Andrei Fursenko.

Its main objectives is to draw proposals for the president on priority guidelines to develop science, coordinate the activity of government bodies and public and research associations and select nominees for state prizes in the sphere of science and education and the president's prize in the sphere of science and innovations for young scientists.

It will be the second meeting of the Science and Education Council chaired by Vladimir Putin in 2013. The first took place in Gatchina, Leningrad region, in April. It addressed the development of infrastructure for research.

Russia's science has undergone major changes related to the RAN reform since. For example, one of the novelties was the establishment of the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations /FANO/, which controls research institutes. RAN has kept the leading role in fundamental research.

The Russian president pays much attention to R & D, as was shown by his recent state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly. Specifically, he demanded co-funding of research projects by the state and business and legal protection and launching of new developments.

Putin also tasked RAN with bridging the gap in the level of newest technologies with the states which still pace ahead of Russia in this sphere. He also warned about the inadmissibility of lagging behind in medicine.

"The world’s leading countries are about to introduce new medical technologies based on bio and genetic engineering," the president said. "This would revolutionize medicine. The Healthcare Ministry and the Russian Academy of Sciences must give priority to fundamental and applied research in medicine.

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