Role of Core Facilities in the Strategy for Russia’s Science and Technology Development
The relevance of the formulated problems and proposed solutions in the report and further discussion is manifested by the assignment of the President of the Russian Federation V. V. Putin to design implementation arrangement tools for the long-term Strategy for Russia’s Science and Technology Development by autumn 2016. In addition to the tool for implementation of research in priority areas of Russian Scientific and Technological Complex development it is necessary to design relevant infrastructure. This brings forth a problem of efficient engagement of existing infrastructure assets into research activities and their capacity development in accordance with the existing scientific tasks. Core facilities (abbreviated in Russian as CKP), which provide multiple access to scientific equipment, research methods and expertise of employees of research and educational institutions for a wide range of interested parties, is one of infrastructure classes actively supported by the government. Effective public support of CKP and their orientation to external users allow to consider them as the second level infrastructure support to the research in priority areas of Russian Scientific and Technological Complex development. As the first level infrastructural support we consider infrastructure of a Centre of Excellence – the leading research institution by means of establishing CKP at their premises it is suggested to compensate CKP costs of servicing external users from the budget of Centre of Excellence, which is formed mainly from public funds. That is how the principle of multichannel funding is realized in connection with CKP, which is a strong incentive for research institutions to contribute to infrastructural support of research initiated by a Centre of Excellence. Implementation of the proposed 2-level system of infrastructural support to research means a wider understanding of CKP role in innovation processes, evolutionary transition from a bulk of CKPs to the structures responsible for research support in certain priority areas. Introduction of CKPs into activities of Centres of Excellence will enable CKP efficiency growth, which is not currently evident as the centres build up resource capacity by means of government support.