Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Июнь 2000 г.
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    Harvard International Review / Summer 2000, Vol.22 Issue 2, p.9
    Progress by Integration
    • Macosko, Evan
    Статья о трудностях, стоящих перед научными учреждениями в России во время перехода к капитализму и демократии в середине 1990-х годов; о факторах, ограничивающих возможность перестройки российской науки, а также о многочисленных попытках российских ученых вывести свои научные учреждения из кризисного состояния и усилить связь между коммерческими вузами и государственными академиями.

Helping Russian Science

Though all Russian institutions have suffered tremendously during the transition to democracy and capitalism, few organizations have endured as much hardship as the scientific establishment.
Ten years ago Russia's 1.5 million researchers were the largest scientific force in the world. Today these same scientists form a poorly organized community whose situation continues to deteriorate. Unfortunately, the conservatism of many members of Russia's scientific hierarchy and the near bankruptcy of the central government have seriously limited the prospects for remodeling the outdated Soviet research system. Despite these obstacles, many scientists are taking steps to reverse the decline of their institutions. Today, Russia's scientific establishment is in disarray. During the mid-1990s, in a movement that became known as Russia's "brain drain" thousands of scientists left their research posts in search of better-paying or more prestigious jobs in the private sector or in other countries. Researchers who remained in Russia discovered that its institutions were antiquated: the new and supposedly improved Russian Academy of Science (RAS), for example, was nearly identical to its Soviet predecessor, the Academy of Science. Funding was already scarce, but it continued to fall as both domestic and foreign contributions disappeared. Meanwhile, the number of private universities increased, providing greater competition with the aging state system.
Despite the troubles of modern Russian science, there have been attempts by many policymakers to restore Russia's past scientific glory. The most recent attempt is a project called Integration that is endorsed by Russia's new Science Minister, Mikhail Kirpichnikov. The advocates of Integration hope that it will reform key areas of Russia's scientific infrastructure without angering reactionary elements--more traditional scientists--within the scientific research community. Integration began in the mid-1990s as an attempt by the Russian government to increase communication between private universities and state-run academies. Concern with Russia's inability to adapt to the methods and systems of Western science has led to strong support for Integration from both the Russian Education Ministry and from foreign institutions such as the Carnegie and MacArthur Foundations. Kirpichnikov has increased the government's annual contribution to US$32 million and has set aside funds to buy equipment for new RAS-university cooperatives called Centers of Excellence. Unfortunately, funding still does not fully meet Integration's goals, and of the more than 300 Centers originally established, only 30 are expected to survive to the end of this year. Nevertheless, the Centers represent a step forward, and Integration maintains a variety of other programs designed to break down the divisions within Russian science and to make the research establishment competitive with the Western world The most formidable structural problem within Russia's research system is the lack of coordination and organization among its many components. Most Russian research is still conducted in state-run academies that rely on support from the government; currently, 90 percent of all research dollars come from the public sector. This system contrasts with the US system of private university research that relies much less on public funding for support. Unlike the academies, which do not offer courses to students, the private universities provide greater interaction between students and scientists, now considered by the West to be a major criterion for successful research. Since Russian scientists must choose between research or teaching, the division between research and teaching staffs has spread Russia's human resources thin. The overall goal of Integration is to create a healthy system of private research universities where interaction between students and scientists is encouraged and where researchers can tap into the financial resources of the country's elite.
In addition to bridging the gulf between research and education, Integration is devoted to helping scientists adjust to the new world of peer review and grant-proposal writing. In the old Soviet system of block-funding, research institutes received funds based solely on the size of their work force. Russian scientists, therefore, are not used to competing for funding. In addition, many scientists intentionally write vague grant proposals, fearing that if they produce original ideas, they run the risk of having them stolen. By educating researchers about Western customs regarding intellectual property and by teaching scientists how to write effective grant proposals, Kirpichnikov hopes to open up alternative sources of non-public funding for Russia's science institutions.
In addition to meager funding, one of the greatest obstacles the project currently faces is the Russian scientific community itself. For many scientists, the old system offered many perks that the current system does not. The decision to merge the new RAS with the old Soviet Academy made these scientists' intentions clear: the Soviet model would continue to influence the organization of Russia's scientific research community. The inability to effectively reform the system in the early 1990s has contributed greatly to the continuing decline of Russian science. The great majority of scientists, barely subsisting on salaries from their research positions, are giving up hope and finding jobs elsewhere: just one-third of the scientists who were working in 1990 are currently doing active research in Russia. Loren Graham, an expert in the history of Russian science, predicts that another 30 to 40 percent of Russia's research community will leave before the system begins to stabilize.
Despite the dim prospects for the near future the small steps that Russia has taken toward a less centralized, more Western-style system have paid off to some extent. The establishment of new private universities, many founded with the help of Integration and its programs, has begun to attract the resources of Russia's financial elite in the form of tuition and donations. The growth of these private institutions has increased the universities' student enrollment. Although very few of these students are planning to become scientists, they are still better trained and more motivated than previous Soviet students, according to Alexander S. Spirin, director of Protein Research at the RAS. In addition, through Integration and other programs, many of the most prestigious Russian institutes have stayed afloat by making arrangements with foreign research facilities to share equipment, funding, scientists, and ideas. Finally, many scientists are beginning to adjust to the Western system; according to Professor Graham, as many as 20 percent of Russia's researchers have now adjusted to the system of grant proposals and peer reviews. Russian science may continue to decline in the short term, but by increasing cooperation between the academies and the universities, educating scientists about the Western system of scientific funding, and maintaining foreign support of research, there is hope that one day, Russian science will once again be competitive with that of Western nations.

© Copyright of Harvard International Review

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    ITAR-TASS
    June 15, 2000

    12-year schooling requires large expenses.
    12-летнее школьное образование требует больших расходов

MOSCOW, June 15 (Itar-Tass) -- The transition to 12-year education will require considerable spending from the budget at every level, said Ivan Melnikov, the chairman of the State Duma lower house committee for education and science, in his co-report at the parliamentary hearings on Thursday on the theme of "12- year education: social and legal problems". The need for such expenditures is one of the main reasons why it is believed in the committee that a possible reform of the secondary school -- the transition to 12-year education, is a long way off, he said.
Melnikov noted that a possible reform of the secondary school has the bearing on the interests of all Russia and there are people who are for and those who are against this idea. He noted, though, that longer schooling is the world tendency, but a number of important problems must be resolved for this transition. Melnikov noted among them such a problem as postponing the conscription age from 18 to 19 years or granting deferment to graduates. "These problems must be solved legislatively," he said.

© Copyright 1996-2000 ITAR-TASS. All rights reserved.

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    Ученые, которые работают в Российском городке науки, в джунглях Амазонки, Канадских больницах и других учреждениях во всем мире, соберутся в Штате Мэриленд 20-23 июня, чтобы обсудить результаты своих исследований по проблемам, начиная от генетического происхождения рака до молекулярной основы паразитарных болезней. Ученые - биомедики будут говорить о том, как исследователи в различных частях мира могли бы более эффективно работать вместе.

Scientists who work in a Russian science city, the Amazon jungle, Canadian hospitals and other settings around the world, will gather in Maryland on June 20-23 to discuss their research on topics ranging from the genetic origins of cancer to the molecular bases of parasitic diseases. The biomedical scientists from 16 countries are all International Research Scholars of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. They will meet as a group for the first time at HHMI's headquarters in Chevy Chase. The meeting provides a forum for both technical presentations and discussions about how researchers in different parts of the world might work together more effectively.
HHMI's new president, Thomas Cech, opens the meeting with a keynote address on Tuesday evening. Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, leads a discussion on the evening of Wednesday, June 21, about US initiatives to foster international scientific collaboration.
Although the scientists have gathered before at regional meetings -- in Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Moscow, and in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro -- this will be the first time they will come together in a single place. Neuroscientists from Argentina and Hungary will meet, for example, as will geneticists from Mexico and Poland.
Since 1991, HHMI has awarded $53 million in five-year grants to support the work of outstanding biomedical scientists at their own institutions. In 1995, it awarded five-year grants totaling $15 million to support the research of 90 scientists from Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Estonia, Belarus and Latvia. In 1997, it awarded another $15 million for 47 scientists from Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Venezuela. In many cases, the grants have enabled outstanding scientists to carry out research in the face of difficult economic conditions, providing critical funds for supplies, the support of graduate students, travel to meetings and other needs.
HHMI's International Program currently has three new competitions under way. The first will award $14 million to help scientists devise new approaches for combating infectious and parasitic diseases. The second will award $15 million for biomedical scientists in the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The third will award $15 million to biomedical scientists in Canada and Latin America. The results of the first two competitions will be announced at the end of this year. The results of the third will be announced at the end of 2001.
HHMI's International Program complements its principal activity of carrying out research in cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience and structural biology with its own scientific teams. More than 300 Hughes investigators conduct research in HHMI laboratories at 71 outstanding academic medical centers and universities across the United States.


© Copyright 2000 Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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    "Развитие информационных технологий является залогом быстрого экономического роста и включения России и других стран СНГ в процесс глобализации" - cказал доктор Секимото на открытии экономического форума в Санкт-Петербурге.

ST PETERSBURG,June 15 (Itar-Tass)-- Dr Tadahiro Sekimoto, a prominent businessman and scientist, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of Japan's major telecommunication corporation NEC, addressed a plenary meeting at the St Petersburg Economic Forum here on Wednesday, speaking on the theme of "Expanding Into The 21st Century", outlining social trends relating to Information Technology (IT) and discussing ways in which "we should seek to expand economies and societies as we enter the new century." Dr Sekimoto believes that the development of information technologies is an earnest of a rapid economic growth and inclusion of Russia and other CIS nations in the globalisation process.
"The world is currently undergoing significant and rapid changes as part of the transition to an information-oriented society, with information-related projects being developed in a number of regions. The technological impetus behind these projects lies in the integration of computers and communications," he pointed out.
"As information and telecommunications infrastructure grows more advanced, transport infrastructure is further developed, and institutional arrangements are liberalized, the world is becoming increasingly borderless, moving towards an age where individual nation states will be replaced by regional communities. As this trend continues, at some point in the 21st century we are likely to see the realization of a society which can be truly considered a 'global community' or a 'global village'.
"It is my understanding that the need to become an 'IT nation' is also considered an important policy issue in Russia and the CIS nations. In order to promote such a policy, advanced information infrastructure must first be developed as quickly as possible. NEC is proud to have contributed to the development of this infrastructure through the construction of a digital microwave telecommunications system linking Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the world's longest digital microwave telecommunications system linking Moscow and Khabarovsk, together with an optical telecommunications network linking the same two cities, and Russia's largest urban optical telecommunications system on behalf of a Saint Petersubrg telephone company.
"I believe the government must actively promote the construction of information infrastructure while considering hte possibility of tie-ups with overseas firms. This infrastructure should then be used to increase the efficiency of public administration and provide electronic government systems which support the development of industries and companies. The realisation of an electronic government is also an important issue with regard to the need to improve the transparency of public administration," Dr Sekimoto said. To the United States and many European countries, information technologies are a lever for economic restructuring, Dr Sekimoto emphasised.
"From my own standpoint as a person of industry, I believe an even more important issue is the question of how to use this infrastucture in order to promote industrial development. Electronic commerce (EC) via the Internet is the most promising mode of business, with considerable prospects for growth. The share accounted for by EC also serves as a barometer for measuring the degree of sophictication of a particular industry. Furthermore, efficiency and effectiveness can be improved in a manner which involves other related industries, through customer satisfaction management (CSM) using C&C technology, and supply chain managmeent (SCM) linking materials suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers via a network. Rather than targeting a single domestic or regional market, EC enables firms to expand their business to target the entire global economy. The manner in which this is to be ahcieved is one of the most important issues facing Russia and the CIS nations today."
The Senior Member of the NEC Corp., which has been cooperating for 27 years with the Soviet Union at first and subsequently with Russia in the telecommunication sphere, believes that Russia has immense opportunities in IT development, since the country affords great highly educated and highly professional human resources. He said he was deeply impressed by "the wealth of high-quality human resources" and urged people in Russia to draw on that potential in order "to keep pace with the changing world".
Dr Sekimoto is of the opinion that it is also essential for Russia to adapt Western high technologies. The NEC-Neva company which has been operating here for several years now, is a successful example of such cooperation, he said. This Russo-Japanese joint venture manufactures telecommunication stations. The importance of this enterprise, in Dr Sekimoto's view, transcends the scope of ordinary production, since it makes it possible to ensure a transfer of technologies and contemporary management techniques.
"In 1997 NEC and the Saint Petersburg company Telecominvest established a joint venture - "NEC Neva Communications Systems" - for the manufacture of digital switching equipment, with production activities currently under way. The importance of this joint venture goes beyong the production of physical goods.
It also enables the transfer of technology and management know-how. Furthermore, in an age where speed is of the essence, the introduction of the world's leading technologies and know-how is an effective means of achieving rapid business development, and an important strategy in order to survive "mega-competition".
This relies on a philosophy of "Mutual Benefit through Mutual Trust", and requires countries, regions, industreies, and companies to co-exist in friendlyu rivalry and apply another C&C concept, namely "Cooperation & Competition".
In conlcusion, Dr Sekimoto expressed hope that Russia and other CIS nations "will achieve vigorous growth throughout the 21st century, and develop together with other citizens of the 'global community'".

© 1996-2000 ITAR-TASS. All rights reserved

* * *

    Business Wire/ June 14, 2000
    Eurotech Ltd. Announces Further Commercialization of New Technologies; Management Describes Move to Capitalize On Two Industrial Technologies

    Многопрофильная холдинговая компания, Евротех приобрела портфель передовых технологий, разработанных известными научно-исследовательскими институтами и отдельными исследователями. Действуя в качестве "инкубатора" творческих решений проблем окружающей среды и технологических проблем, Евротех разыскивает и переводит на коммерческую основу патенты и авторские права, имеющие большой рыночный потенциал. Связи, установленные с учеными из Российской Федерации и Израиля помогли компании стать "мозговым трестом" или "инкубатором технологий". Среди этих технологий, EKOR, материал, с высокой устойчивостью к радиации, используемый для герметизации ядерных отходов. Проверенный в зоне Чернобыля, EKOR может быть успешно применен для изоляции ядерных отходов и обеспечения их долгосрочного хранения.

WASHINGTONJun 13, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Eurotech (OTCBB:EURO), the U.S.-based incubator of emerging international technologies, announced today its plans to commercialize two of its promising technologies: the continuous action reactor and a polyadditive technology.
President and Chief Executive Officer Don Hahnfeldt announced that Eurotech has signed a letter of intent to sell for $1 million its equity participation in the continuous action reactor, a process for the continuous combustion synthesis of ceramic, composite and intermetallic powders. Additionally, Eurotech would receive royalties for the usage of this continuous combustion technology.
Heralding the proposed sale, Hahnfeldt said it was in keeping with Eurotech's strategy of "seeking to generate royalty revenues by selling technologies to firms with established sales and distribution methods." Eurotech also announced that it has signed a letter of intent to partner with an undisclosed third party in a joint venture to manufacture and sell a line of proprietary polyadditives. Eurotech will contribute intellectual property and technological know-how and the partner will add manufacturing assets and working capital to the joint venture. Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President Jeffrey Stephen said that, "Eurotech's management team will work to choose the appropriate marketing strategy for each of its technologies. Sometimes an outright sale of our technology rights makes the most sense, while in other contexts finding the right manufacturing partner or starting a joint venture works best. The key is finding a flexible, opportunistic and balanced approach to realize near-term revenues and longer-term potential for our portfolio of technologies." The terms of the agreements were not disclosed. While closing is subject to conditions, Eurotech expects to finalize these transactions before the end of next quarter.
ABOUT EUROTECH: A diversified technology holding company, Eurotech has acquired a portfolio of advanced technologies developed by prominent research institutes and individual researchers. Acting as an incubator for innovative solutions to environmental and technological problems, Eurotech seeks out and commercializes patented and propriety intellectual assets with significant market potential. Eurotech's established relationships with scientists from the Russian Federation and Israel have helped to position the company as the preeminent "brain trust" or technology incubator. Among their many technologies, EKOR, a highly radiation-resistant material utilized in the encapsulation of nuclear waste, is poised to change the protocol for nuclear waste management. Confirmed on the proving ground of Chernobyl, Eurotech's EKOR can successfully isolate nuclear waste and provide long-term storage solutions. For more information, visit www.eurotechltd.com on the Internet.

© Copyright 2000 Business Wire. All rights reserved

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    В Санкт-Петербурге открылся IV международный экономический форум, в котором принимают участие более 2000 политических и общественных деятелей, ученых и бизнесменов

ST.PETERSBURGJune 14 (Itar-Tass) -- More than 2,000 politicians, businessmen, scientists and public figures from over 60 countries are taking part in the IV St. Petersburg Economic Forum which began on Wednesday.
The forum was opened by Yegor Stroyev, chairman of its organising committee and speaker of the Federation Council upper house of Russian parliament. He started by praising the results of the previous forums, especially in the sphere of investments.
In 1998, 52 protocols on intentions for over two billion U.S. dollars were signed at the forum, Stroyev said. The next year, their number reached 1,500. "The Northwestern region alone invested over two billion dollars in the industry thanks to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, and over one billion dollars more were directed to Central Russia," he said.
Stroyev also said he had had a telephone conversation with President Vladimir Putin and the president welcomed the forum. The event "has become the centre of intellectual and business communication for Russia and the members of the Commonwealth (of Independent States) for the next century," Stroyev concluded.
The forum is attended by Prime Ministers Mikhail Kasyanov of Russia and Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, government members of Belarus, Azerbaijan and Moldova, U.N. Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown and acting President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Charles Frank.

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