Academic journal article European Research Studies

Scientific Cooperation between Russia and the EU in the Development and Use of Large Research Infrastructure

Academic journal article European Research Studies

Scientific Cooperation between Russia and the EU in the Development and Use of Large Research Infrastructure

Article excerpt

1. Introduction: Horizon 2020 as the main tool of science policy in the European Union

A multidimensional social institution, science is currently considered as one of the crucial factors for sustainable economic development (Sayer and Campbell, 2003). For instance, the need to support breakthrough technologies at the state level is recognized in Russia and abroad (Foster, 2011). At the same time, the research infrastructure is seen as a fundamental tool that allows both solving already existing research tasks and outlining new directions of scientific inquiry (Mazurenko, 2010). In addition to that, it is generally recognized that scientific infrastructure facilitates the dissemination of advanced scientific methodology, attracts talented professionals and serves as a platform for researchers' networking in various fields of science, thus, being a basis for the development of new interdisciplinary projects and for the formation of innovative clusters (Azoev, 2006). It is expected that in the medium term, the development of advanced scientific infrastructure in high-tech areas (for example, in nanotechnology) will lead to modernization of the economy as a whole (Balyakin and Zhulego, 2012; Valma, 2014; Thalassinos, 2017; Liapis et al., 2013).

When creating scientific infrastructure that complies with the goals of sustainable development and international division of labor, the state should pay special attention to certain requirements. For instance, to develop appropriate managerial decisions, one should accurately identify both the most promising areas of research and the optimal formats for Russia's participation in international scientific projects according to the existing experience and with focus on the scientific and technological development of the country (Pociovalisteanu and Thalassinos, 2008; Malichkay, 2014). Another significant requirement is the joint use and (or) creation of research infrastructure by research centers and scientific organizations, both at the national, regional and international levels, this being a fundamental factor in scientific breakthroughs. Practice has shown that the cooperation is increasing in such areas as the creation of large facilities of research infrastructure both at the national and international levels in various fields, and, primarily, in interdisciplinary studies (Lenchuk and Vlaskin, 2011; Thalassinos and Pociovalisteanu, 2009; Malysheva, 2014).

There are several factors boosting the joint creation of scientific infrastructure. The most important of them is the economic, related to the high cost of this infrastructure, which requires international multilateral cooperation. Such processes were previously typical of the advanced physics research: high-energy physics, nuclear physics, energy, and astronomy. However, the focus is currently shifting to such areas of research as biology, biomedicine, materials science, environmental studies and control, oceanology, etc., (Pociovalisteanu et al., 2010). This paper investigates the experience of modern large research infrastructures; the work of the national Nanotechnology contact point located at the NRC Kurchatov Institute and discusses the specifics of the operation of large research infrastructures, as well as prospects for the development of scientific infrastructure and optimal forms of scientific cooperation. The article makes suggestions on the potential of international scientific cooperation as a tool that can help Russia achieve foreign policy. The authors prove that the development of scientific infrastructure is a driver of economic growth (Dzhukha et al., 2017; Zaman and Meunier, 2017).

The European Union is the most important scientific partner of the Russian Federation, and its main instrument of science policy is the specialized EU scientific framework programs which until recently provided direct funding to Russian scientists (6). Upon the completion of the Seventh EU Framework Program in 2013, the European Union launched Horizon 2020 Program, which is a logical continuation of the previous EU framework programs (Horizon 2020). …

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