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Putin sets task of making Russia magnet for world’s best scientists

November 23, 2016, 15:23 UTC+3

It is necessary to develop the so-called mega grants program to attract researchers from abroad, according to Putin

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© Vladimir Smirnov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. It is necessary to create conditions for scientific research in Russia to make sure that it becomes one of the centers of attraction for the best scientists from all over the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Council for Science and Education on Wednesday.

"We are talking primarily about setting large-scale and interesting scientific tasks, launching research projects with long-term funding. In a word, we need to create conditions for turning our country into a magnet for the best researchers from around the world," Putin said.

He noted that it is necessary to develop effective mechanisms, which have already made it possible to attract leading scientists from abroad to Russia, particularly, the so-called mega-grant program. The president noted that there are our fellow countrymen who have worked abroad successfully for a long time among the participants in this program. "Under this program, 200 laboratories conforming to international standards under the guidance of the leading scientists have been created," Putin noted.

The mega-grant program was launched in 2010. Its main objective is to attract world-famous researchers (including our fellow countrymen who left Russia) to Russian universities and colleges to encourage the inflow of young people to science, education and high-tech spheres.

"Attention should be focused on development of fundamental science," the President said at the meeting of the Science and Education Council. "It should target acquisition of fundamentally new knowledge and search for answers to the so-called "great challenges of tomorrow." Despite the challenging situation, there is a need to maintain the level of fundamental science expenses as percentage of GDP," Putin said.

Both budget and extra-budgetary resources should be allocated for these purposes in order to maintain in general financing of fundamental science in coming 2-3 years, the head of state said.

A consolidated approach of experts, business and the government relatively to science priorities was worked out as a result of discussions on the Russia’s science and technology development strategy, Putin said. Goals for the nearest perspective were also formulated. "We need primarily to create a strong technology base to support breakthrough growth of the economy and global competitiveness of our companies, attribute new quality to healthcare and agriculture and speed up development of our territories, including the Arctic and the Far East," the President said. "Tasks of such level could only be tackled by concentrating budget and private resources," he added.

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