China has made a huge leap forward. I remember how in the mid-1990s our scientist colleagues from China came to Russia to purchase equipment. And now we’ve arrived at a point where such a scenario would be unthinkable. That happened over the course of just 15 years. First, the country became economically rich without having a particularly strong scientific base. Then, as time went on, so more was invested into science. There was an understanding that it would be impossible to advance further without developing their own scientific sector. Now, China is planning to become the world’s leading scientific power by 2035 — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.
China’s 14th Five-Year Plan includes a target of a 7% average annual increase in spending on science. And this year, spending on fundamental research in China increased by 10% in comparison to last year. In South Korea, 10% of GDP is spent on science. We spend just a fraction of this, and need to spend more. That said, we do have one unique advantage – our fundamental mathematical and engineering schools. So, instead of coming here and buying equipment, as they used to, people in China are luring away people and ideas. It is therefore very important to support scientists and engineers so that we don’t lose them. We need science to be viewed as a prestigious and lucrative profession in Russia, and we need scientists to come here, rather than leave the country. Unfortunately, the wave of outward migration is beginning to grow — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The government has announced a whole range of strategic initiatives, encompassing a number of project benchmarks. These include autonomous vehicles, and strategic initiatives in hydrogen power and nuclear energy. There are some very ambitious scientific objectives, but they require a completely different level of funding. In my opinion, there is huge demand for the government to substantially increase spending on the fundamental sciences — Andrey Klepach, Chief Economist, VEB.RF.