Belarusian science is a strong intellectual industryThe National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) is a leading scientific organization in the Republic of Belarus. It is an intellectual hub of the country; it helps shape Belarus’ development patterns. The NASB is a core of the modern knowledge and innovation system.
The Academy of Sciences is subordinate to the President of the Republic of Belarus and accountable to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus. The NASB Chairman of the Presidium is elected by the General Assembly of the academy and is equal to a minister of the Republic of Belarus. The Chairman is a member of the Council of Ministers.
The NASB initiates, holds, and coordinates fundamental and applied research in the main areas of natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities. The NASB also provides scientific and methodological support for IT development in Belarus. The NASB has been reorganized recently. The academy established new types of institutions (R&D centers and associations) and streamlined innovation activity management. At present all fundamental and applied research projects are conducted in accord with economic priorities.
The State Committee for Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus is responsible for state regulation and management of scientific, technical, and innovation activities. The committee also ensures protection of intellectual property.
Its main objectives are to establish new innovative enterprises to manufacture export-oriented products with a high added value, introduce and commercialize scientific ideas and projects.
The Belarusian innovation development program prioritizes resource-saving and energy-efficient technologies, industrial biotechnologies, nanomaterials and new energy sources, medicine and pharmaceutics, information and aerospace solutions, technologies to manufacture, refine and store agricultural produce, environmental protection and rational use of natural resources.
A special place in the innovation infrastructure belongs to R&D centers that make interaction between science and technology more efficient.
Research is mostly focused on concrete needs of the manufacturing sector and other industries. Scientific activity aims to upgrade the manufacturing industry, create the innovation-driven economy, and set up new production facilities of the fifth and sixth technological paradigms.
Achievements of Belarusian scientists in various fields of fundamental and applied research are recognized worldwide. Within a relatively short period of time the country managed to create an efficient innovation promotion system. The legal framework of innovation activity is being developed.
On 22 July 2012 the Belarusian satellite for the remote sensing of the Earth. was launched into outer space. That was a breakthrough event for the Belarusian science. The working orbit of the satellite is 500km to 520km.
The Belarusian satellite was launched into orbit as part of a cluster of five satellites by the Soyuz-FG booster rocket from the Baikonur space launch site. The Belarusian satellite is a manoeuvrable space vehicle which can promptly relocate in the orbit and take images at the required angle. The satellite is fitted with Belarus-made equipment produced by OAO Peleng , a leading manufacturer of optoelectronic devices in Belarus. The satellite weighs over 400kg. It has a panchromatic resolution of about 2 meters. The Belarusian space vehicle will work jointly with the Russian satellite Canopus-B.
By launching its own satellite Belarus will be able to satisfy the domestic demand for space images and sell them to other countries. A number of countries have already expressed interest in the Belarusian space imagery. Google Company is ready to consider a possibility of using images made by the satellite.
In an interview with the Russian mass media on 18 March 2011 President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said: “The satellite is a commercial project. Many countries are ready to pay because the cost of our satellite is very low. It will pay off quickly. But this is not the point. The main thing is that we still have good space researchers who have been in the industry since Soviet times. I would hate to lose these people and this industry. As soon as we got down to it, the industry became relevant again for our science and economy. We preserved the best we had had once.”.
Scientists of the National Center of Particle and High-Energy Physics of the Belarusian State University took part in experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)located at the France-Switzerland border. They controlled the operation of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS).
Specialists of the Stepanov Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus designed new-generation lasers. This is a brand-new field in modern laser physics. The laser emitters developed by the institute boast advanced specifications in terms of size, weight, and energy efficiency. These lasers can be used in a wide range of industries, from medicine to the manufacturing sector. They are safer for eyes in comparison with traditional devices. New lasers are smaller in size and more functional. New projects of Belarusian physicists are already in demand abroad.
The Stepanov Institute of Physics of the NASB designed a device for noncontact express optical cancer diagnostics. This device will help reduce the time spent on cancer diagnostics and cut relevant expenses. The innovative product can screen and localize tumors during surgeries. The institute cooperates with research centers and companies from India, China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Italy, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, and other countries.
Specialists of the NASB Institute of Physical Organic Chemistry developed a series of original medications on the basis of amino acids and their modified derivatives. Belarusian chemists devised new technologies to produce medications with various therapeutic effects, including a drug to treat cardiovascular diseases Asparcam, a radioprotective substance Taurine, an immune corrector Leucine, anti-alcoholic substances Teturam and Glian. Antineoplastic, antianemic, antinarcotic, and other medications are under development.
The NASB Institute of Genetics and Cytology opened a unique center for DNA biotechnologies. The new organization will promote the use of genetics and genomics in healthcare, agriculture, sport, and environmental protection in Belarus. Scientists of the institute are planning to create a modern testing field to grow transgenic crops, including potato, and conduct the first tests.
Scientists of the NASB United Institute of Informatics Problems designed a SKIF-GRID supercomputer on the basis of 12-core AMD Opteron processors and graphic processing units. This is the most efficient configuration in the family of Belarusian supercomputers SKIF of the SKIF-GRID cluster. Peak performance of this cluster (if measured without acceleration produced by graphic processing units) is 8 teraflops. The cluster’s efficiency makes 82.15%.
The High-Tech Park (HTP) was established in Belarus with a view to raising competitiveness of innovative industries, improving conditions for designing modern technologies and boosting export, raising local and foreign investments.
The first HTP resident companies were registered in June 2006. At present the High-Tech Park is one of the leading innovation-based IT clusters in Central and Eastern Europe. The HTP offers favourable conditions for doing business in the IT sector, as it provides unprecedented tax benefits and boasts highly qualified workforce.
Belarusian specialists are involved in various IT projects, from system analysis, consulting, and hardware selection to the development of composite systems.
Software produced by the HTP resident companies is used by Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Google, Toyota, Citibank, MTV, Expedia, Reuters, Samsung, HTC, Mitsubishi, British Petroleum, British Telecom, the London Stock Exchange, the World Bank, etc.
In 2011 a major IT publication, Global Services, put six resident companies of the Belarusian High-Tech Park into the world top 100 providers of IT services. Global Services annually publishes the list of leaders in IT and business process outsourcing.
For five years running HTP resident companies have been included in the list of leading software providers Software 500 compiled by an influential IT publication, Software Magazine. HTP resident companies compete successfully in high-tech markets of North America and Western Europe.