Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called not to try to save funds on fundamental science, as this could lead to the country lagging behind in the future.
Putin also said budget funds should be allocated to effective teams on the basis of competition, not be distributed in small amounts between research organizations.
“Despite the difficult situation, it is necessary to maintain the level of expenditures on fundamental science expressed as percentage of GDP. Saving money here today, we will certainly be hopelessly lagging behind tomorrow. We cannot allow this to happen,” Putin said a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education. “So along with budget funds, we will also allocate extra-budgetary funds to preserve the financing of fundamental science expressed in percentage of GDP in the next two to three years.” The budget of the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) for 2017 will total 17.7 billion rubles ($275 million), Vladimir Putin stated. “We will keep boosting the capabilities of that structure,” Putin said, adding that the foundation works in line with the principles of competitive selection of the best research projects. The Russian Science Foundation was established on the initiative of the Russian president to support basic research and development of leading research teams in different fields of science.