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Medvedev chairs modernisation/technical development commission meeting

President Dmitry Medvedev is chairing a meeting of the governmental commission on modernisation and technical development of the Russian economy at the federal Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Sarov.

Prior to the meeting, Medvedev familiarised himself with information billboards reflecting some of the institute’s activities, including software for a supercomputer that has been created by the institute. It allows full-scale modelling. Some of the software products are already used and some are going through the process of certification, such as the Sokrat system that is designed to model serious incidents at nuclear power plants. It is already used to substantiate the safety of such projects as the Tianwan nuclear power plant, the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, and phase two of the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant in Russia.

The software makes it possible to complete al calculations not within months, as before, but within a day, and within hours in the future.

The first meeting of the commission was held at the Kaspersky Laboratory in June. It was decided at the meeting to set up five working groups within the commission to deal with energy efficiency and resource saving; nuclear technology, including nuclear energy, and future energy sources, including new types of fuel; space technology, medical technologies, including the development and production of medicines and medical equipment; strategic computer technologies and software.

The president noted at a special meeting in May that the work towards the modernization of the economy should be absolutely substantive.

"The problems of the modernisation of the economy no longer can remain abstract, the work should be absolutely practical in specific fields, such as medicine, biotechnologies, energy conservation and power generation in general," the president underlined.

"There should be concrete proposals, only then will they have chances for success," the president said.

Medvedev acknowledged that little had been done in this field as yet.

"This theme seems to be among the priorities, we talk about it, yet there's practically no headway.

"Despite the correct guidelines, no significant changes in the technologies level of our economy are taking place, which is particularly obvious in the period of the financial crisis.

"Neither small firms, nor industrial sites, nor venture companies or other mechanisms have yielded results in this sphere.

"All this largely exists on paper only," Medvedev said.

"The situation with innovative activities in industrial production is not taking a turn for the better: on the contrary, it has been worsening under the influence of the crisis.

"Labour productivity in Russia now makes up one quarter of the U.S. indicator," he said.

The president noted the inadmissibility of the low research level.

"The situation with the companies which must engage in research remains difficult. The number of such studies is unsatisfactory, to put it mildly, while the spending on the research and studies are frightful, shocking," he said.

In Russia, this indicator totals 6 percent of the company's aggregate spending, while in Japan it makes up 75 percent, in the USA some 70 percent, and in EU countries from 25 to 65 percent.

"We spend very little on it, and if we go on like this, we'll get nothing," Medvedev said.


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