President of Uzbekistan: We will never achieve our goals without science and innovation
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Yesterday, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference on the priorities of higher education institutions, scientific organizations, industries and regions in science and innovation development, reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.
According to the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in Uzbekistan, special attention is paid to development of science. 28 scientific organizations and 4 innovative technology parks have been created over the past four years. The Head of the state met with scientists and researchers several times and resolved all the issues they raised. Scientists’ salaries have tripled. Considerable funds have been spent on updating the material-technical base of organizations in the sphere.
In general, all material and organizational conditions are created for development of science. However, as it was noted that there were no significant changes in the activities of more than 100 specialized organizations. For example, last year 24 institutions did not publish scientific articles in international journals. The Ministry of Innovative Development is not able to create an integrated system and environment in which science and production interact closely with each other.
Despite the fact that 100 billion UZS were allocated from the budget for innovative developments, only 51 projects worth 29 billion UZS were formed based on competitions’ results. Last year, 33 research institutes of the Academy of Sciences received only 59 patents.
The level of research in higher education institutions is very low, and the effect of the activities of the higher education institutions’ vice-rectors for science and innovation is not felt at all.
“What is the state of interaction between universities, research organizations, industries and regions? Today, this issue is clearly on the agenda. Unfortunately, the interaction is not at the proper level”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
Current areas of ensuring cooperation between science and production, and formation of orders for scientific institutions were identified at the meeting.
In particular, special demand for developments aimed at increasing productivity in agriculture, effective specialization of territories and creation of products with high added value was noted. The unsatisfactory state of work on creation of crop varieties suitable for climate of regions and production of high-quality seeds was stated. Over the past two years, the country has imported $108 million worth of seedlings and seeds. This year, the import of seed potatoes has doubled compared to last year.
In this regard, it was noted that it is necessary to promote the formation of private seed enterprises in the regions, import commercial varieties from abroad and create seed brands adapted to local conditions. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Innovative Development were instructed to establish the production of hybrid seeds of a new generation and organize seed-growing laboratories.
Scientific innovations will also help solve problems in water resources management. In particular, the use of water-saving technologies in irrigation is expanding. However, there is no scientific understanding of how to properly apply fertilizers, what are the optimal watering and maintenance times. Work on introduction of the research results on irrigation is stalled.
In this regard, it was instructed to establish joint ventures in Namangan, Samarkand, Kashkadarya and Tashkent regions to service water-saving systems.
The need was noted for involving not only foreign specialists, but also domestic scientists in the design of irrigation structures built at the expense of foreign financial institutions. For example, in Karakalpakstan, $8 million was allocated for scientific research as part of a $215 million water resources management project.
The necessity of redesigning irrigation facilities and proper planning of water resources on the basis of research center for water problems organized in Khorezm region was noted.
Scientific achievements are extremely important for chemical, oil and gas industry. The fact that Uzbekistan imports chemical reagents, polymers and other products in large volumes clearly shows the situation in this direction.
In this regard, the task was set to create a center for deep processing of oil and natural gas and production of products with high added value based on foreign experience. The importance of placing orders for scientific institutes for production of reagents necessary for chemical industry, as well as allocation of grants for their production, was emphasized.
Another issue is that Navoi and Almalyk Mining Metallurgical Plants have accumulated about 3 billion tons of man-made waste. 2 tons of gold, 8 tons of silver, 10 thousand tons of copper and rare metals such as tungsten and molybdenum can be extracted while processing 20 million tons of waste annually. Responsible officials were given specific instructions in this regard.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev focused on problems in the energy sector.
3 universities, 2 scientific organizations and dozens of scientists are engaged in scientific research in this direction, but no tangible results have been achieved in solving energy problems. There are no studies aimed at analyzing the consumption of fuel-energy resources at large enterprises.
For example, a study of Tashkent Pipe Plant activities, which consumes 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, showed that by optimizing the process, it is possible to save 20 million kilowatt-hours of energy that could be used to supply many households.
Taking this into account, the task was set to optimize electricity consumption at such large enterprises as Issiqliq Elektr Stansiyalari, Navoiyazot, Fargonaazot, Qizilqumcement, Bekobodcement and Quvasoycement with involvement of scientific organizations.
In addition, the annual volume of secondary gases generated in gas transmission system and at large industrial enterprises has an electric power potential of 730 megawatts. This resource is not used in any way. As a result, it was noted that it is necessary to develop projects for production of electricity from associated gas at Muborak, Shurtan and Gazli fields together with scientific organizations.
It was noted that domestic pharmaceutical industry depends on the import of substances. At the same time, Uzbekistan has sufficient scientific potential for their production. For example, the Institute of Plant Chemistry has exported $4 million worth of substances to Russia, the United States and France over the past two years. The task was set to create a special laboratory for studying of composition and standardization of medicinal plants, center for preclinical research and allocate grants to scientists.
“We need to understand one thing: we will never achieve our goals without science and innovation. We need to work not for reporting, but for results”, the President said.
It was noted that in cooperation with foreign clinics, it is necessary to establish operations for liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation at Republican Specialized Scientific Practical Medical Center of Surgery and Innovative Heart Operations at the Republican Center of Cardiology.
It was noted that potential of technoparks should be widely used to integrate science and production. Relevant instructions were given to higher education institutions, research institutes and the Ministry of Innovative Development.
Heads of scientific organizations and higher education institutions, industries and regions presented information about the scientific projects planned for the next year and the expected results.