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Science and business: not to be stubborn, but to cooperate

15 August 2016
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Deputy Chairman of the Board - Member of the Board of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken" Murat Abenov is convinced that Kazakh scientists should actively cooperate with the business.

In an exclusive interview to palata.kz Murat Abdulamitovich brought his arguments.

- Murat Abdulamitovich, in Astana today was announced the launch of a project to encourage productive innovation. The authors of the best scientific products will have multi-million dollar grants. At the same time today others ready technologies are in great demand, small money and time is spend on domestic know-how.

- The whole world is at the cross roads, in what is it better to engage - in fundamental or applied sciences? And frankly, in recent years, the country is divided on this issue. There are states which continue to support basic research, but do not pay attention to areas of application, and therefore their economies lag behind. There are examples on the contrary, where there was no engagement in basic research and the foreign technology was chosen for quick implementation, and therefore these countries are ahead. And there are countries, which work on balance, thus, contributing to the present and to the future. I think it is important to balance it. Of course, it is advantageous to use foreign achievements, and based on them to create innovative technologies, introducing them into life. This enables rapid economic effect. But if you do not have the personnel in the country and developments in fundamental subjects, who in the future will adapt these developments in production?

- How do you think in what areas of economy and business the Kazakhstani scientists could ensure a breakthrough, even a small one?

- I believe that it would be the energy sector, oil refining. Today we just burn it, but it's a good product for the organic development of the petrochemical industry. I would add IT, agriculture - food production without the use of GMOs, it is in demand worldwide. Transport logistics - why not? Those developments that we have today can be commercialized. And we should not limit ourselves.

- In your opinion, what reasons hinder today the formation of a commercially profitable alliances between science and business?

- Now we speak different languages, we need to get to know each other better. The project "Stimulation of productive innovations" will help to support researchers, it is important not to push each other and say, "I am the first, you're the second”. We need to do everything together, just like that. No scientific group will be able to commercialize, if it does not work with the business. And the business will not be able to go ahead if it does not use the scientific development.

- Do you support the thesis that it is important for modern scholars not only to lead in their respective fields, but also to be able to submit information about their scientific discoveries, at least in the Internet, to be able to sell themselves and their projects, to be able to promote their achievements?

- You're right, business thinking is not developed enough. Basically, we are working on a fundamental level in isolation, exclusivity. We lack the applied sphere. Science must learn to think like business, and business needs to learn how to talk, as a science. It is clear that science does not become self-sufficient, if it is not able to implement its projects. Today, there are no countries where the scientists would be paid money for nothing. In many countries, about 19-20% of the funds are spent on basic science, the rest - on applied science. The area of basic research narrows worldwide. We must understand that science is pushed to the business, and scientists must not be against it, but rather cooperate, seek for points of application.

- Thanks for the interview!

 Zhanar Serdalina

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