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Some $30m to develop Belarusian nanotech industry in 2013

About $30 million will be channeled into the development of the nanotechnology industry in Belarus in 2013. The information was released by Mr Dmitry Krupsky, Head of the Science and Innovation Policy Office of the Central Department for Macroeconomic Analysis and Forecasts of the Belarusian Economy Ministry at a briefing on 22 February. The briefing focused on last year’s efforts aimed at enabling the intensive development of the national economy, BelTA has learned.

The official said that in 2013 and the next two years the annual spending on nanotechnology industry development will be close to the equivalent of $30 million. “The money will allow us to create the relevant physical infrastructure, which will enable transfer and commercialization of nanotechnologies,” he said. Dmitry Krupsky specified that upon the initiative of the Economy Ministry a concept for working out and developing a nanotechnology industry in Belarus had been prepared and submitted to the government as well as an action plan to implement the concept. The concept has been approved recently.

The official remarked that at present quite a large number of countries are part of the nanotech race and the market continues growing. “It is even more pleasant that Belarus will be the second CIS state after Russia to pass a strategic document in this sphere,” added Dmitry Krupsky. The concept that has been adopted envisages a serious increase in primarily state budget spending. In the last five years the appropriations varied between $2.5 million and $3 million per annum.

The official explained that seven organizations of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus will be fed money for retooling. He pointed out that companies with a full manufacturing cycle (from the development of nanotechnologies to the manufacturing of relevant products) do not exist anywhere. Dmitry Krupsky remarked that Belarus has a good base for manufacturing nanotech instruments, including atomic-force microscopes, various kinds of analyzers, without which nanoscale operations are impossible.

There are plans to set up four specialized centers in Belarus as well as a small-business incubator. The latter will have 860 jobs and will support the nanotech startup that will be an intermediate link between science and the real sector. Nanotech industry is viewed as an integrated interindustry complex, which unites legal persons and self-employed businessmen, who are involved in the development and commercialization of the technologies to make nanotech products.

Dmitry Krupsky also said that the Economy Ministry and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus had completed preparations to set up a national nanotech industry association. In the future it will allow forming an innovative industry cluster in this sphere. At the constitutive meeting held in February 18 organizations of science, education, and the production sector decided to set up the national nanotech industry association and to become its members.

The specialist said that efforts in this field are aimed at the accelerated creation of the new manufacturing capacity of the production sector and bringing the technological development of the national economy closer to that of the planet’s technological leaders.