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Dmitry Medvedevs Article, Go Russia! (September 10, 2009)

 
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Creating an Innovative Economy

We really live in a unique time. We have a chance to build a new, free, prosperous and strong Russia. As President I am obliged to do everything in my power to make sure that we fully take advantage of this opportunity.

In the coming decades Russia should become a country whose prosperity is ensured not so much thanks to commodities but by intellectual resources: the so-called intelligent economy, creating unique knowledge, exporting new technologies and innovative products.

I recently identified five strategic vectors for the economic modernisation of our country. First, we will become a leading country measured by the efficiency of production, transportation and use of energy. We will develop new fuels for use on domestic and international markets. Secondly, we need to maintain and raise our nuclear technology to a qualitatively new level. Third, Russia's experts will improve information technology and strongly influence the development of global public data networks, using supercomputers and other necessary equipment. Fourth, we will develop our own ground and space infrastructure for transferring all types of information; our satellites will thus be able to observe the whole world, help our citizens and people of all countries to communicate, travel, engage in research, agricultural and industrial production. Fifth, Russia will take a leading position in the production of certain types of medical equipment, sophisticated diagnostic tools, medicines for the treatment of viral, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases and cancer.

As we follow these five strategies for success in high-tech spheres, we will also pay constant attention to the development of our most important traditional industries and, first of all, the agro-industrial complex. One in three of us live in rural areas. The availability of modern social services for rural residents, increasing their incomes, improving their working conditions and daily life will always remain our priority.

Of course Russia will be well-armed. Well enough so that it does not occur to anyone to threaten us or our allies.

These goals are realistic. The targets we have set for achieving them are difficult but attainable. We have already developed detailed, step-by-step plans to move forward in these areas. We will encourage and promote scientific and technological creativity. First and foremost, we will support young scientists and inventors. Secondary and higher education will prepare a sufficient number of specialists for promising industries. Academic institutions will concentrate major efforts on the implementation of breakthrough projects. Legislators will take all decisions to ensure comprehensive support for the spirit of innovation in all spheres of public life, creating a market place for ideas, inventions, discoveries, and new technologies. Public and private companies will receive full support in all endeavours that create a demand for innovative products. Foreign companies and research organisations will be offered the most favourable conditions for establishing research and design centres in Russia. We will hire the best scientists and engineers from around the world. Most importantly, we will explain to our young people that the most important competitive advantage is knowledge that others do not have, intellectual superiority, the ability to create things that people need. As Pushkin wrote: There is a higher courage: the courage of invention, creation, where an extensive plan is overwhelmed by the creative idea. Inventors, innovators, researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs who introduce new technologies, will become the most respected people in society. In turn, society will give them everything they need to be productive.

Of course an innovative economy cannot be established immediately. It is part of a culture based on humanistic values. It is grounded in our efforts to transform the world and guarantee a better quality of life, liberate individuals from poverty, disease, fear and injustice. Talented people who want reform, people who can create new and better things will not come here from another planet. They are already here among us. And that is clearly proven by the results of international intellectual competitions, the fact that inventions made in Russia are patented abroad, and the fact that our best specialists are headhunted by the worlds largest companies and universities. We -- the government, society and the family unit -- must learn to find, nurture, educate and take care of such people.

 
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