Not so long ago, a meeting of the inter-factional deputy association "Science and High Technologies" was held. Chaired by Zhores Alferov - Nobel Prize laureate, member of the State Duma for Science and Science-Intensive Technologies, Academician and Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The topic of the meeting was "Prospects for the development of the high-tech industry and the problems of legislative support for this process." Today, the revival of industry is a priority task for the country, in particular, the revival of the high-tech industry.
Twenty years have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. What happened during this period - the thieves' privatization destroyed the existing advanced industries, the measures taken to modernize economic policy led to the de-industrialization of the country. While other countries began the post-industrial period, continuing to develop modern technologies, especially in the field of microelectronics. The first half of the twentieth century is associated with the formation of quantum physics and modern chemistry. The second half of the century is the emergence and development of new technologies based on the knowledge gained. First of all, we are talking about biology, life science based on the achievements of physics. The beginning of the new century is associated with the emergence of a number of new technologies. Russia missed twenty years. Is it possible to overcome this lag at all?
Zhores Alferov believes that this difficult task can still be solved. The way to a solution is the development of modern science. Back in 1950, Frédéric Joliot-Curie said that in the event that a power ceases to develop science, contributing to world civilization, it becomes a colony. This is happening gradually with our country. In order to maintain the status of a power, it is necessary to develop scientific research. And the legislative support should contribute to this.
According to Zhores Alferov, the State Duma in this direction is working extremely ineffectively, simply approving all the proposals that the government makes. The same proposals made by various factions are almost always rejected.
Today's government policy is aimed at strengthening international cooperation in the field of science and technology, but expect that we will be offered ready-made high-tech weapons for crude oil and gas - this will not happen. High technologies must be developed independently.
What support should the state provide to its enterprises
Most innovations are based on microelectronics. Many states that produce semiconductor products at their own enterprises provide serious support to production with the help of tax and tariff regulation instruments, preferences in government orders, and take measures to develop sales markets.
If we recall the Chinese "economic miracle", the development of high-tech in China, Taiwan, anti-crisis measures in the European Union, it is easy to understand how important the role of state support for microelectronic enterprises is.
Often, state support is understood only as direct subsidies; in fact, this is far from all that the state can do for its enterprises. State support can be expressed in its share participation in the modernization of infrastructure. And also in the formation of national standards and certification systems, that is, means of protecting their own manufacturers from dumping. And these measures are being taken on the territory of the European Union. In particular, in order to restrict the penetration of the Chinese microcircuit market, standards were introduced according to which the use of lead and some other harmful substances was prohibited. China is also introducing standards to protect its market. In Russia, enterprises do not experience such protection from the state.
Some factories in Japan and South Korea were partly built with government funds in the early 1990s. Even earlier, in the same South Korea, it was practiced to issue a loan in the amount of 50-80% of the amount required to open a production, on very good terms, and the return of funds began from the moment when the enterprise was firmly on its feet.
Shared participation of the state in the construction of factories, the implementation of their production activities is popular in many countries today. In the countries of Southeast Asia and the United States, there is also a system of tax incentives aimed at stimulating the development of science and industry.
In our country, we are not talking about stimulation, but about additional complications. For example, the import of equipment that can create a large number of jobs, which should be of interest to the state, is accompanied not by tax benefits, but, on the contrary, by additional tax deductions.
Energy tariffs for industrial enterprises in European countries are much lower than in Moscow.
In developed countries, it is accepted that the state finances scientific projects designed for the future. In the United States, for example, there are federal programs for converting military R&D results into civilian use, while the state pays 50% of the project cost, and the development results remain with the enterprise. In Russia, in such a case, patents go to the state, which does not know what to do with them next. This also does not stimulate enterprises.
Russia is a country with an unprotected market and uncompetitive economic conditions. The only thing that can help our microelectronics is a long-term government strategy.
The problem of higher education
Academician Igor Fedorov, President of the Association of Technical Universities, spoke about the difficulties that universities, their graduates and enterprises are facing today, which do not have the opportunity to get a young qualified replacement for their employees.
More than one million people are trying to get the profession of engineer in 150 technical universities of Russia. Ever since tsarist times, higher technical education in Russia could boast of a close connection with production. It was the same in Soviet times, but not today. The distribution guaranteed the enterprise new qualified personnel, and the educational institution - the opportunity for practical training, assistance in the formation of an experimental base, orders for R&D. Thanks to the distribution, it was possible to predict relatively reliably the need for personnel in the industry, to increase the social security of students. All these times are in the past.
The current scheme of targeted admission does not give such results, since enterprises do not see their future engineer in today's applicant, moreover, out-of-competition admission gives applicants different opportunities. The contractual system of relations between students, universities and enterprises has not yet been sufficiently developed, especially in matters of responsibility of the parties for non-compliance with the terms of the contract.
The cost of studying at a technical university is high, since the training process requires the use of expensive equipment, the purchase of which is only partially funded by the state, while funds are allocated at the end of the year without transferring to the next year. Therefore, not the most necessary equipment is often bought, because otherwise the money will return to the budget. The State Duma could deal with the issue of extending the period for the development of money at least until the end of the first quarter of next year.
In the past, equipment, which was often impossible to acquire at all, was transferred to the higher educational institutions of the enterprise. Today, such a transfer will require the payment of a significant income tax, funds for this sometimes cannot be found by either the university or the enterprise. So this channel of assistance to universities is practically closed. It is necessary to legally exempt the process of transferring equipment for the educational process from paying income tax.
The created classifier of specialties for training university graduates is legally enshrined, but its list cannot be considered complete, since some important specialties are excluded. So, today universities simply do not graduate engineers in such specialties as optics or cryogenic engineering. The classifier should be adjusted to suit industry requirements.
There are also problems with the level of training of specialists, although some tendency for improvement is visible.
If problems in education can be solved, there will be no need to invite specialists from abroad, and graduated specialists will become in demand.
Flight Research Institute Crisis
Anatoly Kvochur, chief designer of FSUE "Pilot Research Center", Honored Test Pilot of the USSR and Hero of Russia, spoke about the problems facing the Flight Research Institute.
For seventy years, the institute has been dealing with the issues of applied advanced flight research. Now LII is on the verge of closing. It's scary to imagine what this might lead to. Untested aircraft will go straight into production, it's easy to guess what this might lead to.
Of the hundred aircraft that were at the disposal of the laboratories twenty years ago, there is only one fighter and two heavy machines participating in engine testing, there are no helicopters at all.
Unique cadres retire or simply leave, young cadres are not in demand, since there is no job. Kvochur is the youngest of the test pilots, soon sixty years old.
In many promising areas, all research activities have ceased. For two years now, work has been underway on the topic "State order: integrated-modular electronics", interesting results have been obtained, which cannot be implemented in any way, since the developers of aviation technology refuse them. Only developments created many years ago are being introduced. The state must take control over these processes into its own hands.
Strong Regulatory Framework Helps Save Aviation Science
Modern aviation is impossible without the use of high technologies. She also initiates the further development of technologies. The aircraft industry is experiencing significant difficulties today. This is partly due to the emergence of powerful new players such as China, Brazil and India among manufacturers.
Another problem is related to the condition of the equipment. Approximately 65% are over 10 years old, sometimes their age reaches 25 years, and this despite the fact that the amortization period of intelligent equipment is five to six years. In addition to the development of programs for technical re-equipment, a regulatory framework that meets modern requirements is also important.
Director of the scientific and technical center "United Aircraft Corporation" Vladimir Kargopoltsev said that advanced technologies are a sore spot for the domestic aircraft industry. After twenty years of failure, technology readiness was estimated at only three points, when abroad this indicator reached ten points. Today the gap is narrowing significantly, the indicator has reached seven points. At the same time, one has to cooperate with foreign institutions, since the lag in many positions is very large and requires breakthrough technologies.
The issue of transferring progressive Western technologies and materials, which are now completely purchased, as well as the creation of replacement technologies, is very serious. All this translates into a number of programs that must be developed at the highest level.
These challenges cannot be met without the emergence of a strong regulatory framework. Today there are no clear regulations for the development of elements of the weapons program, there is a serious problem of preserving intellectual property. Weak regulatory frameworks impede the development of new technologies. This issue needs to be resolved across the country once and for all.
Lack of professionalism of people who make decisions
In Soviet times, Aeroflot was considered the safest airline in the world, domestic aircraft flew perfectly. And today contracts are being concluded for the supply of Boeing-737s from the United States. Today we have complete uncertainty in the aviation development strategy and the complete lack of professionalism of the people who make decisions. The aviation market is practically closed as we have almost nothing to offer.
Nikolai Panichev, President of the Association of Machine Tool Builders, spoke about how in 2007 he addressed the president with a conversation about the situation with the technological base, primarily in machine tool building, instrument making and electronics. The President instructed his assistant, four years later, a government decree appeared, the Program for the Development of the Machine Tool Industry until 2016. Something seems to be improving.
But 94-FZ is extremely underdeveloped and has many loopholes for corrupt officials. As a result, in many cases the lots are won not by the factories that carried out the necessary R&D, but by the intermediaries. At the same time, the amount of the lot was rolled back by 40%, 30% remained for the intermediary, and the remaining 30% already went to the plant, which was invited as co-executors. That is, the work must be done for 30% of its cost.
This must be stopped. But both Putin and Medvedev are expressing concern about what is happening, but there are no real changes. The regulatory framework does not at all stimulate the manufacturer and the creation of new technologies.
Rare factories, after a change of ownership, continue their activities and develop. Most of them have become warehouses, shopping and entertainment centers. It is necessary to legally prohibit new owners from changing the profile of enterprises of strategic importance. In the past twenty years, no effective owners have emerged in the industry.
And it's not just the legal framework. If we analyze what happened to the economy of our country, we can say that we need the State Planning Committee, and not the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. It's about changing the social order.