Government • 21 December, 2018

Bakytzhan Sagintayev discusses prospects for developing science in Kazakhstan with young researchers

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On instructions of the Head of State, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev arrived in Almaty on a working trip in order to get acquainted with implementation of the President’s Addresses, as well as with fulfilment of the planned indicators set in state programs. Upon arrival at the city, the Prime Minister held a meeting with young scientists from scientific organizations and universities, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, reports

At the meeting, an exchange of views on the current state and prospects for the development of science in Kazakhstan took place. The issues of the development of the science management system and doctoral programs, providing higher educational institutions with modern equipment, the improvement of the degree system were discussed.

The Head of State in 2019 declared the Year of Youth. Opening the meeting, Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that comprehensive support for young people is becoming a priority of state policy. The best conditions with subsidies, benefits and other support measures are provided for the development of science. At the same time, in turn, young people are expected to receive active and effective returns in all areas of the economy. Young people should take concrete initiatives, offer their knowledge to increase productivity and job markets. For example, these are scientific developments in the field of agriculture, aimed at improving the quality of the harvest.

In his Address, the Head of State gave a number of instructions on improving the science management system, which must be implemented in the near future.

The main instructions from the Addresses “New Opportunities under the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and “Growing Welfare of Kazakh Citizens: Increase in Incomes and Quality of Life” on science:

  • within five years, it is necessary to increase expenditures on education, science and health care from all sources to 10% of GDP;
  • to develop university science with a priority on research in metallurgy, petrochemistry, agro-industrial complex, bio-and information technologies;
  • to implement a phased transition to English applied research;
  • to implementation joint projects with leading foreign universities and research centers, large enterprises and TNCs by universities;
  • to establish private sector co-financing of all applied research and development;
  • to create a system policy to support young scientists with the allocation of quotas as part of scientific grants.

To implement the task of the Head of State to improve the performance of Kazakhstani science, the Government is conducting systematic work to support youth initiatives in Kazakhstan. The main goal is to diversify sources, budget funds should play the role of a “lever” for attracting private funding, including through the inclusion of Kazakhstani scientists in major international scientific projects. The allocation of grants for the commercialization of scientific results on co-financing terms has been launched, the private sector is being attracted. So, for the introduction of domestic scientific developments in the framework of 138 projects, about 3.2 billion tenge were attracted from non-state sources. Along with this, scientists together with the business community are implementing a number of projects under the auspices of the Science Foundation and the World Bank.

The meeting also included young scientists who raised relevant issues and voiced proposals for the further development of the industry. Director of the Center for Scientific Research of Almaty Management University Daniyar Sapargaliyev touched upon the issues of improving the system of awarding a degree. Director of the Astana branch of the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Ministry of Energy, Chairman of the National Scientific Council on Energy and Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D., Associate Professor M. Zdorovets, in turn, spoke about the current system of science management and measures for its modernization.

Head of the Center for Physical and Chemical Methods of Research and Analysis of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Candidate of Chemical Sciences, Professor B. Kenessov paid attention to the development of university science and doctoral programs, as well as equipping higher educational institutions with modern equipment. A scientist, a teacher at KazNU, E. Doszhanov raised issues of social support for young scientists, in particular, the provision of hostels. The presentation by the head of the laboratory of the National Center for Biotechnology, the head of the research project, the candidate of biological sciences M. Zhabagin was devoted his speech to the development of interdisciplinary sciences. In addition, issues of commercialization of the industry on the example of genomic research were raised.

Doctoral student at Nazarbayev University, Vice Chairman of the Alliance of Young Scientists B. Abdikenov told about the importance of developing artificial intelligence, in particular about the benefits of using it in health care (personal medicine), education, agriculture (autonomous agricultural machinery). Head of the Department of the Kazakh State Women's Pedagogical University, Ph.D. Nargiz Baltabayeva spoke about the benefits of courses and trainings for young teachers, and also made a proposal for introducing a new tool for training young teachers.

The lecturer of the center of postgraduate education of the Kazakh Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology E. Ishkinin noted that in Kazakhstan it is necessary to develop the practice of internships for young scientists in international laboratories, to develop the scientific potential through learning from foreign scientists.

Head of Laboratory of the Institute of Information and Computing Technologies, Ph.D. R. Mussabayev noted that information and computing technologies are the basis for the development of scientific potential. In turn, the deputy director of the branch of the Margulan Institute of Archeology, Candidate of Science T. Mamirov, touched upon the topic of the implementation of the main priorities of the Head of State’s article “The Seven Facets of the Great Steppe,” and also highlighted the importance of further studying the historical and cultural heritage.

Scientific Secretary of the Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology M. Kozybayeva raised the issue of prospective development of research institutions and grant research, also focusing on the incentive system for young scientists.

Summing up the meeting, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev thanked the participants for the open dialogue and voiced proposals. It was noted that in the matter of the development of science, it is necessary to clearly understand which areas should be further improved, which issues need special attention in order to systematically and dynamically develop scientific activities in Kazakhstan. It is necessary to develop the direction where Kazakhstan can establish itself among other states.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, in Kazakhstan, 386 organizations were engaged in research and development in 2017, 22,081 people were involved, including 17,205 researchers, including 7,733 young scientists under the age of 35. In projects and programs approved for funding for 2018–2020 under the grant and program-targeted funding, the proportion of young scientists up to 35 years increased to 49.3% of the total number of performers participating in research, which is 1.4 times higher than in the studies of 2015–2017.

The main scientific center of Kazakhstan is Almaty. The number of research workers in the city is 8.8 thousand people — about 40% of all scientists in Kazakhstan. The city accounts for 36.8% of research and development. The number of organizations performing research and development is 131.

During his working trip, the Prime Minister will also visit a number of infrastructure and social facilities, through which he will get acquainted with improving the quality of education and training, as well as the development of transport infrastructure in the city, the tourism industry, etc.

Recall that the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan makes a cycle of working visits to the regions on behalf of the Head of State. Bakytzhan Sagintayev visited Atyrau, Aktobe, Karaganda, Kostanay, Kyzylorda, Mangistau, Turkestan, West Kazakhstan, North Kazakhstan, Akmola, Pavlodar, East Kazakhstan, Almaty and Zhambyl regions.

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