Independence and the Development of Science
An international academic conference held in Tashkent on December 25 was entitled “The Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan in Independence Years”.
The event was attended by representatives of ministries and other government agencies, institutions of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, higher education institutions, scientific and experimental-design centers, international organizations, as well as academic communities of more than ten countries, including China, Russia, the United States, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and others.
The President of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan Sh.Salikhov noted in his speech that the priorities of the wide-ranging economic reforms being undertaken in our country under the leadership of President Islam Karimov are centered on shaping an innovation-based economy built on the intensification and elevation of competitiveness of production capacities by way of qualitative renewal with the help of cutting-edge technologies. To this end in mind, integrated measures have been taken to consolidate the scientific and technical sector, particularly to step up the activities of the Academy of Sciences, which has become during independence years a leading center of scientific research and a generator of intellectual innovative products.
From the first years of independence, the adaptation of the Academy of Sciences to new socio-economic realities, the arrangement of starting conditions for the production of science intensive goods that meet the requirements of the domestic economy and capable of competing in the world market, the formation of academic specialists of new generation who wield an innovation oriented thinking – all this has been accompanied by the adoption of a range of normative documents. These have included the resolutions of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Measures to Boost the Coordination and Management in the Promotion of Science and Technologies” signed 7 August 2006, “On Additional Measures to Encourage the Introduction of Innovation Projects and Technologies into the Production Process” inked 15 July 2008, “On Measures to Further Improve the System of Training Academic and Academic-Pedagogical Cadres of Highest Qualification” penned 2 November 2010 and other documents.
Today, the Academy of Sciences runs important fundamental and applied research in science, technical sector, culture and enlightenment in the most pressing socio-economic issues. It secures the effectiveness in the activities of its scientific institutions, coordination of academic research and innovation, timely introduction of scientific achievements and science intensive technologies into life, and trains highly qualified scientific specialists. This all facilitates the augmentation of the intellectual, economic and spiritual potential of our country.
As it was stressed during the conference, the Academy currently unites 32 scientific research institutions, including 23 major research institutes, a scientific center and a specialized engineering design and technology bureau, 4 museums, the Karakalpakstan branch with two research institutes and the Khorezm Academy of Mamun.
The Academy has been consolidating consistently also the integration of academic science and education. In cooperation with scientific and education institutions of various levels of our country’s education system, a range of joint departments were established, where undergraduate and graduate students have a unique opportunity to not only get familiar with the latest research innovations, but also take an active part in them. In this respect, young fellows are engaged by and large in the execution of competition projects in government scientific-technical programs.
Our nation’s independence has provided the young scientists with an opportunity to take an energetic part in addressing the urgent issues and challenges the global science faces. It is brilliantly illustrated by the establishment of the Center for High Technologies with the participation of the United Kingdom’s Cambridge University at the Mirzo Ulughbek National University of Uzbekistan. The share of young specialists has been rising among the developers of innovation projects. In order to support the talented youth, the Council of Young Scientists has elaborated a targeted strategy of the development of scientific and innovation activities sought to boost the enthusiasm of young people who embark on the path of scientific undertakings.
During independence years, the Academy has been able to pass through a remarkable path of renewal and accomplish a great many triumphs by earning international acknowledgement. This was specifically underscored by the foreign participants of the academic conference.
“Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have always enjoyed close scientific and technical ties, which were built on, among other things, the community of our cultures and the fraternal relations between our two peoples,” academician Ibragim Kuliev, Vice President for technical sciences at the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, suggested. “We can state today with a huge delight that during independence years, the science in Uzbekistan has received qualitatively new stimuli and an enormous government support, owing to which achievements of global significance have been made in a number of fields. These include solar energy industry, genetic engineering and unique astronomic discoveries.”
The acknowledgement of the nation’s scientific accomplishments is also indicative by the fact that on the eve of the 21st anniversary of our country’s independence, the Institute of Astronomy of Uzbekistan’s Academy of Sciences received a splendid news suggesting the discovery by Japanese scientists of a minor planet – asteroid no.22948 – which received a title of Maidanak by the International Astronomy Union. In the bulletin published in the directive of the Harvard Center of Minor Planets it was noted that Maidanak is a world class astronomic observatory located in Uzbekistan. In general, foreign astronomers in different times named five discovered minor planets in honor of our country – Uzbekistania, Avicenna, Ulugbek, Beruni and Khorezmi. Another planet was discovered in 2009 by Uzbek scientists in the Maidanak observatory. On the proposal of President Islam Karimov, it was entitled the name of Samarkand in honor of the city that has been a center of world astronomy from ancient times.
For the past years, the scholars of the Academy of Sciences have also made a number of other critical fundamental scientific achievements of international significance. The most crucial academic accomplishment in the cotton growing industry of the country has become the creation – with the help of gen-knockout technologies – of a unique trans-gen species of cotton that has an advanced root system and distinct with high productivity, outstanding quality of the fiber, early maturation and salt-endurance. The scientists created also other highly productive sorts of cotton, including “Mehnat” and “AN-16” that are sown annually in the fields of our country. In addition, 10 volumes of the extraordinary scientific and applied reference “Natural Compounds (Plant Resources, Structure and Properties)” have been produced and published in English for the first time. Also, more than 30 original domestic medicines based on local raw materials have been created.
“One of the latest achievements of our scholars became the publication of the scientific and applied reference “Natural Compounds (Plant Resources, Structure and Properties)” in English by the Springer publishers in London,” says Sobirjon Sasmakov, senior research fellow, chairman of the Council of Young Scholars at the Institute of Chemistry of Plant Substances of Uzbekistan’s Academy of Sciences. “It contains information on more than 7.5 thousand natural compounds related to a diversity of classes. As a young scientist, I was honored to be a coauthor of that book and I am glad that the reference has received agreeable acknowledgement of specialists and became a unique guide for the world scientific community.”
Direct academic contacts of the Academy’s institutions have considerably expanded with the major global scientific centers on an equal and mutually advantageous stand.
“Our institute has been vigorously cooperating for than ten years with the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan in a variety of fields,” shares Professor Abulimit Yuli, head of the laboratory at Xinjiang Technical Institute of Chemistry and Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the People’s Republic of China. “Currently, we are jointly working on the project to establish a center in Uzbekistan for the development and production of medicines and training academic specialists. In addition, we are closely cooperating alos with two scientific institutions of your country – with institutes of bioorganic chemistry and that of chemistry of plant substances, and pursuing research works in the field of medicinal plants, yielding practical outcomes.”
According to conference participants, a robust foundation has been established in our country during independence years owing to the apt strategy chosen by the President of our nation for a progressive and sustainable development of the country. It is brightly manifest by the mounting domestic oil extracting, oil and gas, automotive, chemical, metalworking, reprocessing industries and a range of other sectors, as well as the broad and diversified agricultural production capacities, creating new stimuli for the further development of our national science and innovation technologies.
The practical mechanisms in stimulating the development and introduction of outcomes of scientific and applied research works and innovations into the processes of modernization, technical and technological renewal of production capacities, securing a more closer connection of science and production were epitomized in the resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Additional Measures to Encourage the Introduction of Innovation Projects and Technologies into the Production Process” inked 15 July 2008. In accordance with this document, annual national fairs of innovation ideas, technologies and projects are being held in Uzbekistan with an enthusiastic participation of scientific, educational and production institutions.
During the six innovation fairs, more than 660 contracts and intention agreements have been signed for the introduction and use of scientific products of 20 institutions of the Academy of Sciences with a total volume of more than 54 billion soums.
It was noted at the conference that the further economic development of our Motherland, along with the processes of globalization place new challenges before the Academy of Sciences. Today, the scholars of our country are running wide-ranging creative works in the name of the development of the nation and for the good of our people; they have been making a worthwhile input with their new achievements into the evolution of national and world science.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan A.Ikramov delivered a speech at the conference.