Go back

Putin outlines research ambitions on Russian Science Day

Science needs to be restored as a driver of Russia’s economic development and society, president Vladimir Putin said in a speech on Russian Science Day, 8 February.

The country also needs to ensure that scientists feel needed, have the resources to realise their potential, and receive recognition for their work, he added.

“We have strong reasons to be able to say today that Russia and its science sector is capable of making breakthroughs,” he said. “Russia is one of the world leaders today in terms of the amount of GDP it spends on civilian science.” He noted that the government had more than tripled its spending on non-military science from 2006 to 2012.

He said the government plans to continue its support, and that state research funding would increase to 25 billion rubles ($800 million) by 2018, up from around 15 billion rubles on civilian research now.

He also highlighted plans to increase scientists’ salaries and said: “Since 2006, the average wage of science-sector specialists has increased more than 2.5-fold, and the average wage in the Russian Academy of Sciences has risen more than five-fold.”

Putin’s comments came in a speech at the Kremlin last week after he had awarded the President’s Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists to five researchers. The recipients were honoured for their work on biomedicine, organic synthesis in chemistry, elementary particles, and ancient Russian culture.

Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said, “The achievements of modern young scientists are a shining example of the nation’s considerable intellectual potential. Today, Russia is taking strategic steps to promote innovative development … I am certain that many of the world’s important discoveries – discoveries that will change millions of lives for the better – will be made by Russians.”

Russian Science Day was instituted in 1999 to commemorate the founding of the Russian Academy of Science in 1724 following a decree by Peter the Great.