Executive Director of the Association of Participants in the Scientific and Innovation Activity SibAcademInnovation Erlan SALTYKOV:
ALL CONDITIONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENTIFIC INNOVATION AND EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES ARE ESTABLISHED IN KAZAKHSTAN, IT IS NECESSARY SIMPLY TO GIVE MIND TO IT
This autumn Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, speaking at a Kazakh-Russian interregional cooperation forum, suggested to the Russian side that the possibility of creating joint scientific consortia in promising areas is scrutinized. Kazakhstan’s leader stressed the importance of shaping international educational hubs and interaction in the field of educational programs in both countries. Executive Director of the Association of the Participants in Scientific and Innovation Activity SibAcademInnovation and Vice President of the Association of Graduates from the Novosibirsk State University’s Union in Central Asia Erlan SALTYKOV talked in an interview with Interfax-Kazakhstan about what work is currently being done on creating joint educational institutions, who can finance projects, and to what extent Kazakhstan is ready to create science hubs.
- How do you assess the initiative to create joint science consortia?
- A very smart and far-sighted step. The joint work on the creation of a science consortia is very promising at the moment and in demand. Russia has a huge scientific potential. Novosibirsk-based Academgorodok is a vivid example, which is well known in Kazakhstan and across the globe. The University – The Siberian Subdivision of the Russian Academy of Science – Technology Park naturally complement each other and are brought together in one town. There is a large number of Kazakhstan-born individuals living in Akademgorodok but who are ready to return to their homeland, like me. It is the scientific and educational center worldwide that is closest to Kazakhstan geographically and mentally.
- On the basis of what can such consortia be created in Kazakhstan?
- Huge work has been done in this area in Kazakhstan, the country’s positive reputation has been created globally. There is a large cluster - Nazarbayev University in Astana, the Autonomous Cluster Fund TechGarden Park in Almaty, we are already working closely with them. In particular, Andrei Tyuryushkin, ex-director of the IT cluster at Academpark, a member of the board of directors of the association of IT companies SibAcademSoft, a native of Temirtau has been working on the development of TechGarden’s IT Quarter in the center of Almaty since November.
There are special economic zones for promoting innovations. Roads, buildings, engineering and communal infrastructure have been built, it is necessary simply to give mind to that. The created facilities now require a substantive component. It is necessary to fill all this with massive innovative stuff, innovative environment, innovative companies. This is a delicate, laborious work, requiring HR, patience, time and investment.
By the way, our fellow countryman, a resident of Almaty, the creator of Novosibirsk Academgorodok’s Technology Park (Academpark), a person with tremendous experience in shaping a unique innovation environment and knowing from inside both educational and scientific and business growth points - Dmitry Verkhovod, is ready to join in and already conceptually helping us.
- As a rule, such projects are expensive. Are the sources of funding identified?
- A large number of development institutions have been created for that both in Russia and in Kazakhstan. By the way, VEB-Innovation is becoming the largest venture player. This is the driver for promotion of innovation and innovative companies in Russia. I hope that soon Kazakhstan will pay attention to the venture legislation.
- In your opinion, at the moment is Kazakhstan ready to create consortia?
- Yes, sure. There are big integration processes initiated by the Kazakh president. I am sure that the scientific, innovative and educational communities not only of Russia and Kazakhstan will find synergy in Kazakhstan and will complement each other next year. We are already launching a research and educational consortium because we believe that big economic changes associated with digital transformation require completely new HR, new competencies. You need to invest in talented guys who are able to think in terms of the digital economy.
- What work is currently being done on establishing joint educational institutions and attracting teaching staff?
- As the first step in this aspect the consortium, on the one hand, is a unique specialized educational and research center of the Novosibirsk State University (NSU) with 55 year-history and best traditions of Soviet-era natural-scientific approach. On the other hand, the physics and mathematics school Tamos Education in Almaty with 20-year history and excellent image and high-quality teachers. We will teach gifted children. The agreement was concluded and the first documents were signed. The Supervisory Board of the NSU Union in Kazakhstan has been formed from among the NSU graduates who are deans, vice rectors in Kazakhstan’s leading universities, researchers of the National Academy of Sciences and businessmen. For example, Maktagali Bektemesov, who is actively assisting us, is corresponding fellow of National Academy of Engineering, doctor in physics and mathematics, professor, firstst vice rector of Kazakhstan’s Teachers’ National University named after Abai
- 500 students reside in a boarding school at the NSU Specialized Educational Scientific Center. Which form of teaching is to be implemented in Kazakhstan?
- Four cooperation types have been defined: a summer school, distance learning, learning in classes and buildings and a full-fledged boarding school on the premises of Tamos Education. They have an appropriate campus and facilities for doing so.
- By what criteria will students be selected?
- The NSU Specialized Educational Scientific Center has huge experience, competencies in terms of looking for and selecting gifted children - winners of educational contests from all over the Far East and Central Asia, we will share our experience and introduce it in Kazakhstan. Grants and quotas are provided for gifted children from low-income families.
- Are there arrangements with funds about financing?
- There are preliminary agreements. Investors, realizing the expected cooperation effect from the Specialized Educational Scientific Center, and the Tamos Education schools show a keen interest. And also, we expect support from subsoil users, specialized funds in both countries.
- When will the school open?
- After Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Specialized Educational Scientific Center honoring its anniversary and the 2018 winter holidays, a group of NSU teachers and scientific staff from Novosibirsk-based Academgorodok to implement the new curriculum, will arrive in Almaty. We will implement part of the plans nearer the new academic year.
- Thank you for the interview.
© 2018 Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency
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