05 October 2013

IIASA intensifies collaboration with Russian Federation 

The newly elected President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Academician Vladimir Fortov, and an Advisor to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Academician Sergey Glaziev, met with IIASA Director and Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat in Moscow to discuss enhanced collaborations with IIASA.

Vladimir E. Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences with Pavel Kabat

Vladimir E. Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences with Pavel Kabat

The Russian Academy of Sciences is IIASA’s National Member Organization representing the Russian Federation. The RAS (then the USSR Academy of Sciences) was one of IIASA’s founding members and has maintained its membership since IIASA was established in 1972. In a meeting at the RAS, Fortov, together with Glaziev, and Academician Alexei Gvishiani, IIASA Council Member representing the Russian Federation, and Kabat discussed ongoing and future collaboration between the RAS, its many institutions and IIASA. 

The meeting happened in historical times for the RAS, which is facing a major reform over the coming years following a new law which President Putin signed on Friday 27th September 2013. This law was approved by the Russian Government in three separate sessions during its early stages. One of the key aspects of the reform is for the RAS to focus on enhanced international collaboration and this is where IIASA can play an important role. Possibilities of establishing new projects between RAS and IIASA and other leading global institutions in IIASA’s network were discussed.One such initiative is the new project on Eurasian Economic Integration, which is being established in close collaboration between IIASA, RAS and the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.

Fortov expressed great interest in increasing the number of Russian scientists in IIASA’s network, and emphasized the possibilities where collaboration between IIASA and RAS can offer young scientists from Russia places in IIASA programs such as YSSP and the newly created International Postgraduate School of Excellence. Fortov also welcomed the establishment of the newly launched Global Think Tank, and expressed interest in contributing to it from Russia and at the highest academic levels.

Left to right: Academician Alexei Gvishiani, IIASA Council Member representing the Russian Federation, Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, IIASA Director and Chief Executive Officer, Academician Vladimir Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Academician Sergey Glaziev, Advisor to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.







Kabat, Fortov, Glaziev and Gvishiani also discussed an increase of  Russia’s annual contribution to IIASA. Negotiations are progressing well, with the full support of the Russian Ministry of Science, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

During his trip Kabat met with Vladimir Yasinskiy, Member of the Management Board of the Eurasian Development Bank to discuss the preparation and setting up of the Eurasian Economic Integration project, to which the Eurasian Development Bank will make a substantial contribution.

Following this meeting, Kabat traveled to Kaluga to participate in a conference on Geophysical Observatories, Multifunctional GIS and Data Mining. Kabat joined a number of IIASA researchers who presented new work at the conference, ranging from the citizen science initiative Geo-Wiki, early warning signs of financial crisis, challenges of Eurasian Integration, representation and visualization of large data arrays related to food webs, and multi-risk models and tools for mitigating multiple natural hazards.

Gvishiani and Kabat were then received by Veniamin Kaganov, Deputy Minister and Evgeny Ugrinovich, Director of International Department, both from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. The minister fully supported a substantial expansion of collaboration between IIASA and the Ministry of Education and Science and proposed a number of concrete steps which can be undertaken jointly. This included IIASA participation in high level advisory work for a newly, to be established, system of international scientific evaluation and visitation of the Russian scientific institutions and universities, coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Science as part of the new law.

Kaganov and Kabat also agreed to explore the possibility of co-organizing a highly visible public lecture series with world leading scientists in Moscow. They also discussed creating a Young Scientist science dissemination model in Russia similar to IIASA’s YSSP and International Postgraduate School of Excellence.

In spring 2014 the Russian Federation will be hosting a high level meeting of the science ministers of the G8 countries and Kaganov invited IIASA to actively participate in both preparatory activities for the meeting and in the meeting itself.

Kabat and Gvishiani also met with Professor Sheremet, Advisor to the Deputy Prime-Minister of the Russian Government, and a Member of the Defence Strategy Committee of the Russian Government Sheremet expressed an interest for the Russian Government to explore some of the strategy- and , decision –support , tools and methods developed at IIASA for the purpose of the support of the management of some parts of the Russian Government structures. Sheremet will visit IIASA in November to discuss further.

Finally, Kabat also met with Petr Aven, Chairman of Alfa Bank to discuss contribution to the newly establish Global Think Tank. Petr Aven is an IIASA YSSP program 1977 alumnus. He returned to IIASA between 1989-1991 to research economic transitions. 

Academician Alexei Gvishiani, IIASA Council Member representing the Russian Federation, and Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, IIASA Director and Chief Executive Officer, meet with Academician Vladimir Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), and Academician Sergey Glaziev, Advisor to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

IIASA and the Russian Federation

Russia has been a key member of IIASA since the Institute’s formation in 1972, and was instrumental in the formation of the Institute. The idea of IIASA came out of a series of discussions between the United States and the then Soviet Union, including Premier Dr. Alexei Kosygin and Academician Jermen Gvishiani on the Soviet side, and President Lyndon B. Johnson and his National Security Advisor, McGeorge Bundy from the United States.  Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation continued their membership, designating the Russian Academy of Sciences as its National Member Organization.

IIASA maintains a number of key research collaborations with Russia, in particular in the fields of forestry and land management, energy and climate change, and population research. For example, IIASA has collaborated with the Russian Federal Forest Service to help map the vast forests of Russia, providing important data on carbon uptake and storage in forests. Researchers for IIASA’s Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Control Synergies (GAINS) model have built an instance of the model specifically for Russia, which aims to inform policy planning in Russia. Russian researchers also contributed to the Global Energy Assessment, a major research initiative that provides a comprehensive look at the world’s energy challenges and possible solutions.

IIASA works closely with the Russian Federation on capacity building and training efforts. IIASA researchers regularly work with Russian partner organizations to provide training workshops in the country. IIASA also hosts young researchers in the form of post-doctoral fellowships and IIASA’s flagship training program, the Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP). 190 students from Russia have participated in the YSSP since it started in 1977.

Fortov was elected as the new head of the RAS in May 2013 after a secret ballot by academy members in Moscow. Fortov is a prominent Russian physicist and was formally director of the Institute of Thermal Physics of Extreme States.


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Last edited: 07 October 2013

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Pavel Kabat

IIASA Director General and Chief Executive Officer

Directorate

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