Science development in Gomel oblast
Gomel Oblast is ranked second in the republic in R&D, in the number of organizations involved in R&D.
Six institutes of higher learning, four research associations, seven specialized design bureaus, two experimental stations are involved in R&Dt. In2000 twenty-seven organizations employing 3,117 people (among them 32 holders of Doctor of science degrees and 113 holders of Ph-D. degrees) were involved in R&D. The scientific personnel of the oblast accounts for 9.5% of all research workers in the country. Some 16.3% have university diplomas, 22.3% have college diplomas, 61.4% have secondary school diplomas.
Research organizations of the oblast are engaged in fundamental and applied research. At the beginning of2001, 19,100 people worked in the education system in Gomel oblast. Today 222,000 students attend 703 secondary schools in the region. Over 42,000 students pursue their studies in seven establishments of higher education. The faculty thereof comprises 2,010 people, among them there are 74 Doctors of Science and 710 Ph.Ds. Altogether, in the sphere of science there are 106 Doctors and 843 Ph.Ds.
The main part of research organizations and establishments is headquartered in Gomel (89%). Three institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus are located here - Institute of Mechanics of Metal-Polymer Systems, Institute of Forestry and Institute of Radiobiology.
The area of fundamental research comprises nuclear physics, optics, spectroscopy, elementary-particle physics, theory of fundamental interaction, solid-state physics, generation and usage of laser emission and others.
The area of machinery and power engineering includes physics, chemistry and mechanics of surface, car mechanics, computer methods of calculation and modelling, resources and energy saving, brand new technologies of material processing (laser, magnet-electrical, etc), production technologies of metal, ceramic and polymer materials, and others.
In the area of biology the oblast focuses on studying the radiation situation as a result of the Chernobyl catastrophe, i.e. behaviour of radionuclides in various eco-systems, estimating medico-biological and genetic researches into radiation and developing the ways of reducing its harmful influence. Research aim to study genetic, physical-biological problems of plant productivity and their resistance to aggressive environmental conditions.
The area of medicine concentrates on the influence of modern eco-systems and lifestyle on human health, the study of topical problems of human health rehabilitation after the Chernobyl catastrophe, the development of new methods of diagnosis, preventive measures and cure for various diseases and others.
Scientific Research Institute of Radiology of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus (established after the Chernobyl accident) studies urgent problems of rehabilitation of the territories contaminated with radionuclides, investigates agricultural radiology and takes part in international projects on Chernobyl accident consequences.
In the area of rational multi-purpose forestry usage and increasing forests productivity the oblast scientific community focuses on the influence of radiation contamination on the forest agro-systems and minimizing its consequences. Specialists develop technologies on cultivation of ecologically friendly products of forests and means of plant protection in contaminated regions.
The area of the humanities research investigates the dynamics of social processes after Belarus gained independence, topical issues of history, cultural heritage, theoretical basis of the national development model of the Belarusian economy and its regulation.
Applied research aims to exploit the resources and energy-saving technologies, new constructional materials with given physic-mechanical and technical characteristics, technologies based on highly concentrated energy flows (laser, magnet-electrical etc), environmental protection and rehabilitation, minimization of ecological consequences, improvement of production competitiveness of machinery and radio electronics. A great attention is paid to the improvement of ecological state of the air and water basins of the Gomel region, the development of cleaning systems for foundries, air pollution reduction, development of filter materials on ceramic and polymer bases.
These problems are solved within the framework of the regional scientific program of Gomel oblast. In2002 the program pursued 14 goals. R&D organizations of the oblast have carried out the works totalling Br200,3 million, including Br100,6 million of general national expenses for R&D.
The main sources of financing of the scientific area in Gomel oblast are its own funds and national budget assignments.
Funds distribution within scientific areas look as follows:
Researches in humanities, medical and social sciences are financed only from the budget. 47% of expenses for technology and 44% for natural sciences were financed from own funds. About 67% of foreign funds financed works on technology, 25% - natural sciences and 8%-agricultural sciences.
Interior expenses for fundamental researches accounted for 10,8% of the total expenses and for applied researches - for 17,5%, research developments—for 71,7%. The proportion of financing of applied and fundamental researches is different in various scientific areas. In medical and agricultural sciences the greater part of funds is aimed at applied researches (67% and 77% accordingly). In the area of the humanities and social sciences, fundamental researches are of main priority.