The Second Russian "Science Cities" Forum
Inauguration of the forum in the House of Moscow Oblast Government
(13.11.15) The second "Forum Naukogradov", the annual platform for the strategic development of Russian science cities, took place just outside Moscow in November. Eight of the thirteen cities with this special status are located in the region of Moscow Oblast. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has been supporting research cooperations involving towns and cities such as Chernogolovka, Dubna, Pushchino, Troitsk and Zhukovsky for decades. It presented funding opportunities with its partner organisation the Russian Science Foundation (RSF).
The event opened with a panel discussion featuring high-ranking figures who discussed the current challenges faced by the science cities in front of an audience of 300 attendees. Andrei Fursenko, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation in Scientific Matters, Vladimir Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Ludmila Ogorodova, Deputy Minister of Education, all took part in the panel discussion. The German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH Moscow) and the DFG were also represented in the subsequent topic-based panels. International collaboration and early career support were the focus of the presentations by Dr. Martin Krispin (DWIH) and Dr. Jörn Achterberg (DFG).
The idea of creating so-called "naukogrady" (English: "science cities") is a relatively new one in contrast to the "akademgorodki" (English: "academic towns") founded during the Soviet era. The status of a "science city" has been governed by law since 1999 and is awarded by the government of the Russian Federation for a certain period of time. The majority of industry and other key areas in the naukogrady are geared towards researching and developing research areas defined as a priority by the government. The thirteen cities focus their research activities mainly on aviation and space travel, electronics and radio engineering, mechanical and apparatus engineering, chemistry and physics – particularly energy and nuclear research – as well as life sciences and biotechnology.