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from 05.02.2008

Belarus needs to step up import-substituting efforts

Belarus needs to step up import-substituting efforts

Belarusian scientists should intensify efforts to make import-substituting technologies and products, First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko stated at the final session of the State Science and Technology Committee in Minsk on February 5.

According to him, Belarusian manufacturers have to use foreign equipment and technological solutions. “Yet, the country has its own scientific potential that needs to be used in full,” he said. Vladimir Semashko cited Minsk Engine Plant as an example. When designing a 300hp engine, the company learnt there was no appropriate domestic technology for engine body casting. This issue needs to be finalized.

The First Deputy Prime Minister stated that Belarus has a strong scientific school. Yet practical results do not always justify the hopes of manufacturers. “Scientific achievements should meet the needs of manufacturing companies. Innovative development of Belarus requires up-to-date highly efficient technologies,” Vladimir Semashko said.

Microelectronics and information technologies develop slowly in Belarus, First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko told a summarizing session of the State Science and Technologies Committee in Minsk on February 5.

In comparison with other scientific branches Belarusian scientists pay much less attention to the development of information technologies as well as microelectronics and radio electronics. As these branches require inconsiderable financial resources and major intellectual resources, Belarus should exploit them to the maximum, he said.

Designs made by Belarusian scientists are often assimilated in a tardy fashion. As a result, Belarusian companies’ competitive ability is inferior to that of foreign companies. “For example, we are going to start producing 0.35 micron microchips while Russian specialists are designing microchips as large as 0.16 and 0.08 microns,” remarked Vladimir Semashko.

Several other problems in the Belarusian energy industry need a scientific solution too. For example, the efficiency coefficient of many blacksmithing and tempering furnaces used by Belarusian industrial companies is as low as 8-12% while in Europe the figure reaches 45-47%. “We could do the necessary work spending 5-8 times less energy. The issue also has to be addressed,” he underscored. In Belarus there are about 600 furnaces with a low efficiency coefficient wasting huge amounts of energy. The Lykov Heat and Mass Transfer Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus has found a technological solution to the problem. “However, we haven’t seen a developmental prototype of the device the institute designed,” said Vladimir Semashko.

He also remarked, efforts will continue to create mechanisms to encourage innovations in Belarus. “Only new scientific ideas and technologies can improve the competitive ability of our enterprises and secure their positions on the international market,” he added.