The General Condition of Russian Science and Supporting Facilities

Most, if not all, the entities visited during this study trip are suffering from reduced government funding and downsizing. All, to varying degrees, are seeking alternative and innovative funding sources. Success in this process is evident in that, for the most part, personnel cuts lag behind state funding cuts by 10% to 20%. To a large extent, the institutes have shifted from being organizations totally supported by the Russian Academy of Sciences, in the past, to becoming business ventures planning for the future. However, this process is slow and uncertain, and there has been a migration of highly trained people away from science to the world of business. This is particularly true for computer support personnel, many of whom have moved into banking.

The High Technologies Association (HTA), a public entity, was founded in Vladivostok in mid-1994 to assist young researchers in trying to start high technology businesses. The HTA was established to give researchers specific how-to-do-it help in business management, advertising, marketing, and legal matters. The HTA is supported by USAID grants. At present, 12 small companies have joined HTA.

One tangible measure of the success of the WTEC panel's visit to the Far Eastern and Siberian branches of the Russian Academy of Sciences is the 29 proposals received from Russia by the Office of Naval Research since our visit to those areas. They are listed in Appendix B. Those proposals funded by ONR will provide a basis for U.S.-Russian cooperative scientific and technical projects.

Published: August 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian