Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeyev Meets with HSE Researchers
The Higher School of Economics will become one of the government’s leading centres of expertise in the field of agricultural and ecological development, agrarian biotechnologies, rural areas, and the agroecological system as a whole. Additionally, the university will advise the government on methods for boosting agricultural exports and carrying out state regulatory reforms in waste management. This agreement was reached during a meeting between Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeyev and the HSE researchers.
‘Our main goal today is to work out a sort of think tank for developing comprehensive solutions for our main areas of work – ensuring environmental safety and creating an efficient waste management system. These objectives are laid out in the national ecology project. Another area of focus is the development of agriculture in a wide array of responsibilities, most of which are within the national project for supporting exports and cooperation. Such tasks centre on doubling agricultural exports by 2024. Separately, we are paying close attention to increasing the quality of life in rural areas, which may become an entirely new national project fully covering the entire list of problems associated with rural development,’ Alexey Gordeyev noted at the beginning of the meeting.
During the meeting, the deputy prime minister emphasised that all national projects should be carried out in the most efficient way possible, with consideration being given to advanced scientific and information technologies, as well as to the demands of society in relevant areas. It is here that HSE has great intellectual potential, and equally important, a platform for wider public discussion.
Participants of the meeting discussed possible areas for joint analytical work at the expert level. In particular, the director of the Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, Alexey Ivanov, talked about the Technology Transfer Centre, which was created this year and was given some of the most significant technologies for Russian farmers as a result of a merger between Bayer and Mosanto. This includes educational programmes in molecular selection in crops, digital farming solutions, and the modernisation of Vavilov seed and soil collections. In the future, the centre plans to share these technologies with Russian farmers and agriculturalists. Another important question concerns intellectual property in the field of biotechnologies. Technology Transfer Centre Director Roman Kulikov discussed planned fast-track educational programmes in which Russian farmers will study the selective breeding of crops in a laboratory setting.
Other prospective areas of cooperation focus on agroecological development and assistance with Russia’s Federal Scientific and Technical Program for Agricultural Development in 2017-2025. HSE is already prepared to develop a framework for an agroecological project, as well as come up with ways to bring this project into line with Russia’s international environmental obligations, noted HSE Agricultural Policy Director Eugenia Serova.
The team of experts will continue working with the government offices responsible for carrying out the national priority projects. Alexey Gordeyev added that once an optimal model for cooperation has been worked out, he is ready to invite HSE experts in these fields to participate in working groups and to become members of various councils. This will ensure that the best minds in modern-day science not only know about the decisions the government is making, but can play a role in formulating and making decisions as well.
The plenary session ‘Strategy of Russian Presence at Global Food Markets’ took place as part of HSE University’s XX April International Academic Conference, where participants discussed the prospects for Russian agricultural exports to Asia, as well as the use of nonconventional investment models, such as Islamic financial tools.