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Applied and academic research:new development stage

15 July 2011



A discussion “Applied and academic research: new development stage” was part of the International Ural Exhibition and Forum of Industry and Innovation “Innoprom-2011” agenda.The participants of the discussion were Dr. Martin Gitsels, Head of Siemens AG Corporate Technology department in Russia and Central Asia; Sigurd Meldal, Department Chair, San José State University, Computer Engineering Department; Vladimir Ustinov presidium member UrB RAS, Sergei Kadochnikov, dean of the faculty of economics, UrGU, as well as the heads of the industry institutes of the UrB RAS.

The discussion was based on review of various options for overcoming the problem of separation of the applied and the academic research.The discussion focused mostly on science. In the 1990s the system of industry research was destroyed, and the network of research institutes, which formerly efficiently served the needs of production industry, was practically reduced to zero.The conditions necessary for the best use of the Russian scientists’ potential were discussed by the experts and the industry representatives.

According to the participants of the discussion one of the key measures was the increase of the material base for research funding, since one of the most important factors causing the fundamental research degradation was the deficit of state financing of the industry.As Vladimir Ustinov mentioned, today the money was pumped from one research environment into another.Therefore it was necessary to balance the base and the project financing.At the same time the participants of the discussion mentioned the need of maintaining both the targeted and the base financing of research, which should cover the key material needs of the research institutes, (rent and maintenance of facilities, IT networks, basic equipment, etc.)The Russian science is ready for project financing of specific areas of research C the scientists have already been using the grants system for obtaining funds for research for many years.

Dr. Martin Gitsels paid a particular attention to the subject of cluster approach in application to research done to the order of business structures.For instance, Siemens AG in addressing its research needs uses not the internal resources of the company, but the ad hoc large consortiums with the participation of the leading research centers. This approach according to the Siemens AG leadership is more efficient both from the practical and the economic aspects.Recently there appeared a new positive trend in the development of modern industry engineering R&D centers as subsidiaries of the large production groups of companies.

Another topic for discussion was the issue of the research centers’ development potential in Russia.Example of the Silicon Valley demonstrated that the success of this type of unique projects was largely dependent of the creation of a favorable environment.In Russia the optimal route would be the development of the environment of the already existing research centers C “academgorodok” and “naukograd”.

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