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26 January 2024, 13:33

Lukashenko in favor of practical applications of scientific endeavors

MINSK, 26 January (BelTA) – Fundamental research and applied research should be guided by needs of life. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed it out during a ceremony held at the Palace of Independence on 26 January to present certificates of doctor of sciences and professor certificates to scientists and pedagogues, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “In science it is necessary to finance what we need now. Naturally, we cannot do without studying and advancing fundamental science. But let’s advance the fundamentalism that will contribute to practical applications. It is necessary to more heavily stick to life needs.”

“Why do we need fundamental research and even applied science in the areas where we have no schools and where we will do nothing at all because it is catastrophically expensive?” the president wondered.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed the need to single out the priority areas in science that may aspire to get state support. “We have to determine precisely where we should move. I say it both for organizers of our science, for the education minister, and for the Supreme Personnel Review Board. They have to be a genuine ‘purgatory’ that can stop worthless projects,” the head of state pointed out.

Examples of scientific studies with practical applications were presented by participants of the ceremony.

Professor of the Eye Diseases Department at Belarusian State Medical University, Doctor of Medicine, Associate Professor Galina Semak explained the development and introduction into clinical practice of a treatment method that can restore and preserve the transparency of the eye cornea without transplantation. The method relies on a Belarusian hyaluronic acid preparation. The Belarusian treatment method has already interested clinics in Russia. The registration of the Belarusian medication in Russia is in progress. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that this kind of scientific studies should be supported.

The discussion also touched upon the development of Belarusian spectroscopy methods, which allow determining with high accuracy the composition and qualitative characteristics of products of the petrochemical industry, civil engineering industry, food industry, and other products. For example, this method is used to detect counterfeit products, including food products. Mikhail Khodasevich, a leading researcher at the B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences, had been awarded the degree of Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences for developing this method.

“It is very important. Particularly in the Year of Quality since it applies to quality as well,” the head of state appreciated the R&D product of Belarusian scientists.

Another example of applied research is methods for modifying rubber properties in order to improve rubber parameters by increasing wear resistance, resistance to thermal aging and to the impact of hydrocarbon media. The example was explained by Professor of the Polymer and Composite Materials Department at Belarusian State Technological University, Doctor of Engineering Science Zhanna Shashok. In her words, the scientists tightly cooperate with the Belarusian tire manufacturer Belshina. Thanks to the applied research the enterprise makes good tires for cars, trucks, and agricultural machines. Joint work is now in progress to improve the quality of Belarusian supersize tires. Such tires are made in Belarus. According to Zhanna Shashok, their quality is not bad but it would be desirable to improve a number of parameters. The scientists are working on it. A number of samples are going through trials.

Participants of the meeting with scientists also talked about the development of the country’s microelectronics industry in detail. Belarus has preserved the relevant scientific schools and manufacturing enterprises since the Soviet times. A number of accomplishments have also been secured since the country became independent.

“Tendencies of development of the proprietary microelectronics industry and nanotechnologies in Belarus, the preservation of existing personnel and the training of new personnel that have competences in these fields, the renewal and creation of new physical infrastructure have been timely and justified,” stressed Anna Bondarenko, Doctor of Engineering, Head of the Applied Plasmonics Lab at Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics.

R&D products in this sphere are highly sought after by the real sector of the economy. Belarus makes staple microelectronic products, which the manufacturing sector and the defense industry need. However, as modern equipment and technologies get more and more sophisticated, the size of components gets smaller and smaller. Belarusian scientists and manufacturers are working on it, but it is necessary to understand demand, the capacity of the market. It is necessary to evaluate advisability before pouring billions of U.S. dollars in investments.

Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the bigger scope of the problem. Money is not the problem. Long-term prospects are: “I am worried that life goes on. 10nm, 15nm, and 7nm may be necessary. And the market will not need us [due to the large size of Belarusian electronic components].”

Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Vladimir Gusakov said: “We are working out these technologies. We will be ready to offer them to the manufacturing sector [in the future]. We don’t lag behind world accomplishments in this field. We are gradually reducing the size of components but we don’t have to do it on a massive scale. These efforts are limited to scientific endeavors for now.”

At the same time the president cautioned against arrogant and flippant attitudes and claims that Belarus makes a range of microelectronic products that can satisfy the domestic demand: “This is a very promising business. There can be no development without it. It is impossible to do it on one’s own. And if we have a group of scientists, practical people, who can do it, we should pay attention to it. We talked about it when I visited Planar Company. We have to pour efforts into it. There is no development without it. And the market is crazy today.”

Rector of Gomel State Technical University, Professor Artur Putyato also talked about practical assimilation of R&D efforts. By the way, he opted for a career in science largely thanks to the president’s special foundation, which gave him a scholarship when he was in the final year at university. “It gave me confidence. Today my life is tied to science, to education activities,” he said. “The gold triangle principle ‘science – education – manufacturing’ is at the heart of development and operation of our university today. We most actively interact with enterprises.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed: “Science lives only when manufacturing and life use R&D products and accomplishments of science.”

The relevant decisions were made in the past at the state level. The role and the responsibility of the head of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus were increased.

The president remarked that Belarus has a number of competences but there are spheres where the country cannot operate due to objective reasons. “We may want to make spacecraft better than the spacecraft of the European Union, the USA, Russia, and China. We would love to make better ones. But we cannot make them and we don’t have to. We have different problems, different schools. We know how to make a lot of other things. But we need to know where to advance,” Aleksandr Lukashenko gave an example.

He once again underlined the importance of scientific endeavors in the areas that the country needs: “Science is a cornerstone. We cannot develop further without science. It is necessary to move forward now. The decisions that we’ve made on the ground and at enterprises are already implemented. It is impossible to proceed further without science.”

The president also pointed out that industrialists should not be idle as well. It is also necessary to improve discipline in some places.

Summing up results of the meeting, Aleksandr Lukashenko also underlined the importance of work with young people. The current generation needs to be replaced with well-trained personnel, who understand that it is necessary to work hard in order to accomplish something in various spheres. They have to understand that these accomplishments cannot be secured by the Internet alone.
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