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Strategy for Integration of Science, Education, and Business
6 June 2019
16:45—18:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The integration of business and science – the basis of the modern economy and sustainable development

When not just one, or a couple of dozen, but a large number of companies start to pay close attention to scientific research, then we will create additional added value. And then the profits that companies obtain by applying this new knowledge will be ploughed back into gaining yet more knowledge. This positive feedback loop between business and science, and not just applied science, but also fundamental and exploratory, is the basis for the growth of modern economies and sustainable development — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

The conditions for the integration of science, education and business are being created in Russia

The mechanisms are in fact already in place. For example, the legislation on innovation and science and technology centres that was enacted in 2017. In 2018, we introduced some amendments. These are basically all the possible tax and customs preferences that are contained in the federal law on Skolkovo. But what makes Skolkovo stand out is that federal universities and scientific organizations base their facilities there and are the initiators — Oxana Tarasenko, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

In my opinion, the conditions created in Russia are unprecedented. We have adopted a scientific and technological development strategy in response to the significant challenges we face. However, this means that only the results that we aim to achieve are specified, while the specific regulatory tools we need to create are not. This is the challenge for the expert community, civil society and society as a whole that has set its sights on the results that it aims to achieve — Elena Shmeleva, Head, Talent and Success Foundation; Member of the Presidential Council for Science and Education.

Science is a source of increasing state and business competitiveness

When the federal government invests in research, for every 20 million invested it receives a return of 67 million. A total of 3.8 million was invested in human genome research, and the subsequent return was 120 million — Samuel Potolicchio, Director of Global and Custom Education, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University.

Companies, our clients, are usually large Chinese companies. <...> Our clients want something specific. They express their problems and objectives to us, and we develop a programme specifically for them, then they visit us, and we work with them for a week or so, after which they go to Oxford, where they are also taught something new. Then they return home and try to implement what they have learnt. <...> I believe that our model is of interest because it is not fixated on fundamental science, and Chinese clients require a combination of scientific and practical knowledge — Maurice Antony Ewing, Professor of Executive Education, Cambridge University.

We have moved up more than 15 places in terms of the number of patents, the number of publications and many other such factors, and now we are ahead of many countries. I speak from the perspective of our organization, which is called KACST. We are developing strategies to respond to market demands through technology — Anas Alfaris, Vice President for Research Institutes, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

The digitalization era is changing the requirements for education

As long as we want to produce creative people, basic education has always been with us and always will be. <...> I think we will continue to pursue a classical education framework, but to what degree remains to be seen. When we need specialists with a theoretical education, then we need to primarily offer fundamental scientific education, and when we need more specialists with a vocational education, then naturally we need to provide more practical training courses — Vladimir Ivanov, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Of course, now that digitalization is transforming technology, the main change we are seeing is the transition from educating people to educating individuals. As soon as we begin to put a person at the head of this system and state that we are a service that this person needs, then this system begins to change, and those things that are achieved quicker now, in commercial education of course, as it is forced to adapt, will gradually be introduced into public education — Aleksandr Laryanovskiy, Business Development Director, Managing Partner, Skyeng.

ISSUES
Lack of investment by Russian business in science

The most important issue, as we know from the regrettable statistics, is that when we look at the amount of funds allocated for science, it is estimated that business provides only 25 to 30 percent, with the rest coming from the state. This means that we do not have the integration that exists in rapidly developing, high-tech economies where the ratio of funds provided the state and business is almost the opposite — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Unwillingness of the education system and business to take on new challenges

One and a half million teachers, 42 thousand schools. These people do not know how to teach soft skills [a set of super professional skills that ensure high productivity and a successful workflow, – Ed.], because they themselves were not taught this in academic universities. And this is actually a big problem. <...> If we do not focus on teachers now, we will be stuck right where we are — Irina Potekhina, Deputy Minister of Education of the Russian Federation.

Technology is changing at a tremendous rate. If before we had a technological revolution once every one or two generations, now technologies are becoming obsolete every 3 to 5 years. And because of this, professional skills are also quickly becoming obsolete, with their value dropping rapidly. And for the employer, the personal qualities of an employee, his or her social skills and fundamental knowledge are of increasing interest. <...> Interestingly, it is not at vocational school where these skills are developed, but in childhood and adolescence, and we have seen very little interest on the part of business to work with schools and kindergartens. There are no special mechanisms in place for this to happen — Natalya Tretyak, First Vice President, Gazprombank.

SOLUTIONS
Systematization of data on education and training

We are already working on this. At a more systematic level, with the support and on the initiative of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Roscongress and Innopraktika, an expert group was created that brings together all those decisions and initiatives taken at different levels at different platforms, and based on this incoming flow of information, we can generate an overall picture of the situation. Now we have a more extensive vision of our education and training system — Natalya Popova, First Deputy General Director, Innopraktika.

Development of cooperation between business and universities

Today, all higher education institutions have a good understanding of the need to integrate strongly with business, but business, for its part, also realised long ago that it is impossible to hire students and train them as they used to do. <...> We taught students data analysis from the 4th grade, it was good, because they could study, say, at the Moscow State University, from the 4th year to go to us in the evenings, to finish their studies, and then started working for us. <...> At some point we realised that this was not enough, that we needed to integrate more. We opened the School of Computer Science at the Higher School of Economics, and things improved. On top of the obligatory basic education courses we introduce practical courses right away. Then on the third course, our students are placed on an internship, after which they are more or less ours — Elena Bunina, General Director, Director of Organizational Development and HR Management, Yandex Russia .

Support of primary schools by large companies and universities

Where are our drivers?” And the answer is where there is global competitiveness. We have global state-owned companies such as Rosatom, Roscosmos and Rostec, and private companies such as Yandex, Kaspersky and Mail.ru, which are forced to adapt as the prevailing winds of the global economy change. We have twenty, maybe thirty globally competitive universities. <...> I would like to try to build a triangle so that global companies and global universities could be the drivers of our cultural competitiveness and our primary schools, otherwise it will soon be eroded by digitalization — Alexander Auzan, Dean, Faculty of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University .

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS