By this law changes are introduced in a number of laws and codes, that establish benefits and preferences for participants of special economic zones (SEZ). The law on SEZ sets up the procedures of creation, functioning and discontinuing special economic zones in Russia. A special economic zone is defined by the RF Government as part of the territory of Russia, where a special regime of entrepreneurial activity is being effected.
SEZ are formed for the development of processing industries of the economy, production of new types of products and developing transport infrastructure. The formed zones may be located on the territory of only one municipal entity. In so doing, it is not permitted that the territory of such zone will include the whole territory of an administrative-territorial entity.
Administering such zones is entrusted with the federal body of executive power, authorized to exercise relevant functions, and with its territorial bodies.
SEZ residents are considered commercial organizations or individual entrepreneurs registered on the territory of municipal entity, within the borders of which is located a special economic zone, who concluded an agreement with the government bodies of this zone on running some kind of business activity. SEZ residents are granted a wide spectrum of preferences aimed at encouraging business activities.
The law contains “green field” principle, meaning that only new enterprises (excluding infrastructure objects) are to be placed in industrial-production zones. This will allow to free investors from their previous economic activity and the preceding property rights.
Technical-promotional zones are planned to be formed based on scientific-research institutions and science cities.
SEZ residents will be selected through competition, on which the economic efficiency of business projects will be evaluated. The law provides that a resident of industrial-production zone will invest capital investments of no less than EUR 10 million, with EUR 1 million to be invested even within the first year of the date the relevant contract has been signed. SEZ residents will be granted tax and customs benefits.
Thus, it is provided that the rate of single social tax for residents of technical-promotional zones will be lowered to 14% (common rate - 26%). During the first 5 years all SEZ residents are exempted from property tax and land tax. A regime of free customs zone will be effected in SEZ, according to which foreign goods will be placed and used within the borders of SEZ territory without payment of taxes and customs duties.
The law of SEZ prohibits some types of activity on their territory, for example, production and processing of minerals, metallurgical production, processing of nonferrous and iron scrap, as well as production and processing of excisable goods, excluding cars and motorcycles. The new law will not be used in Kaliningrad and Magadan oblasts, where separate laws on special economic zones are in effect in these regions.
According to calculations of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Russia, creation of SEZ will allow to attract to Russian economy no less than Rb 9 bn of investment. Special economic zones will annually produce products to the amount of around Rb 6 bn. As many as 14000 new jobs will be created, which will provide about Rb 1 bn of revenues to the budget system of Russia.
N.Volovik Development of Modern Forms of Integration of Science and Education This review is based on the applicable models of integration of academic and higher education sciences as illustrated by scientific-educational and research-educational centers. The report proves that it is expedient to use positive experience gained in the development of such centers in implementation of the governmental program on improvement of efficiency of the public scientific and research sector.
A list of main approaches to creation of new integration forms is presented.
In June, the RF Government approved, in general, the report of the RF Ministry of Education and Science “On Improvement of Efficiency of Public Scientific and Research Sector” and the attached Draft Schedule of Measures for 2005 - 2006. The report includes proposes on guidelines and measures of optimization of the public scientific and research sector which structurally consist of academic, higher-educational sub-sectors and applicable science sector. Provision of integration in different forms, including that of academic and higher-educational sub-sectors, was considered a high priority way of modernization. This is expected to be implemented by creating new “optimal forms of integration” ( universities as part of the Russian Academy of Sciences; integrated scientific organizations which are intended to conduct world-class fundamental research regardless of their departmental identity ) and upgrading the existing ones. The report also provides quite a general description of specific measures which are scheduled to achieve the effect of integration, including “development” of various centers, leading research and development universities, innovation and educational consortiums, strengthening of competitive financing, as well as transfer of the property arising from restructuring to scientific and educational organizations.
The report provides no information on any top-priority forms of integration to be specified or measures to be taken to make this integration long-term and successful. According to the data provided in the report, only 8% of the total number of researchers of the Russian Academy of Sciences are currently engaged in teaching, in spite of a long-term existence of baseline specialized departments, eight years of the Federal Targeted Program on “Integration of Science and Higher Education in the Russian Federation” ( which was unexpectedly discontinued in 2005 ) and other public initiatives. At the same time, no scientific and research work has been carried at 40% of public higher institutions. This means that no real integration of science and education has been in place.
It seems therefore reasonable to study the experience of integration of academic and highereducation sectors of science to further rely on in the development of new integration structures and/ or copy the models that have already gained success.
There are basically two baseline models of integration promotion existing for the time being: the first one was implemented as part of the Federal Targeted Program “Integration of Science and Higher Education in the Russian Federation”, and the second one emerged from implementation of another program on “Fundamental Research and Higher Education ( FRHE ) which was supported by two American foundations ( Macarthur and Carnegie Corporation ) and the RF Ministry of Education. The FRHE program was started in 1998. It is intended to support natural-science research conducted at Russian universities by creating Scientific-Educational Centers ( CEC ) at these universities. The CECs are supposed to provide a compulsory combination of thre components: education, research and development of external relations with research, educational, industrial and other domestic and foreign organizations and enterprises. A total of 16 such centers were created. Each CEC received a guaranteed financing to the amount of one million fifty thousand US dollars allocated for tree years with prospective extension of financing to the amount of 300 – 500 thousand US dollars for another two years, subject to a successful CEC operation. This is the so called base financing received by all the created CECs.
Most of the CECs managed effectively their funds and new status, and established cooperation with Russian and foreign counterparts. Nearly one half of the total amount of the grants was used to buy new equipment, 20% to pay wages and 10% to support young scientists and postgraduates. All CECs managed to borrow additional funds through grants, which averaged nearly 200 thousand US dollars per CEC annually.
The CECs have developed a favorable situation with staffing, since a share of young scientists at the age of up to 36 is bigger on average than that of older age groups of researchers and teachers. The ratio of teachers and students with postgraduates has been getting close to 1:1. In fact this means an individual approach towards the CECs’ students.
The program has become more diversified since 2003: sub-programs like post-doctor scholarships for young PhD scientists, grants for purchase of small equipment and mini-grants for various measures appeared in addition to the base financing. Moreover, departments for transfer of technologies in support of applied research and commercialization of research and development were created at the same period. All these initiatives have been carried out on a competitive basis.
Universities, where scientific and educational centers were created, have actively been cooperating with academic organizations in their regions by attracting researchers to participate in joint research and teaching. This is the essential difference between this Program and the Federal Targeted Program on “Integration of Science and Higher Education in the Russian Federation” which promoted creation of 154 Scientific and Educational Centers ( SEC ). The “Integration…” Program was based on the concept that higher education institutes should basically teach, while academic institutions should conduct research and development. Integration was mainly indented to attract researches of academic institutions to participate in teaching; to attract students to study at baseline faculties; to support, in less extent, the research and development activity of the professors at higher education institutions.
Both programs have gained achievements and positive experience. For instance, successful SECs have the features as follows: (1) individual education programs are available, (2) teachers take active part in research and development, (3) students are engaged in real projects rather than,educational ones, and (4) academic mobility promotion.
The Program, however, could have been more effective, if the ideology of large-scale coverage in prejudice of financing volume of a specific center had been avoided. It should have been reasonable to establish a limit on (1) supported SECs ( given the budget deficit, several centers in each industry should have been supported rather than 154 ones); (2) number of supported organizations in every SEC ( the Centers often embraced 10 to 15 organizations, which made them poorly manageable and hence less effective structures ); (3) types of activity. Given a moderate financing (it should be noted that the Program often suffered insufficient financing and was relatively moderate by the amount of allocated budget funds ), it is important focus on either fundamental sciences or applied and innovation-oriented works as well as the related educational programs. It is unreasonable to combine altogether when support mechanisms of these types of activity differ under scarce resources. In addition, a targeted support of research and development at higher educational institutions should have been provided.
In its turn, it is the fundamental research that the FRHE program promoted at higher educational institutions and partners’ academic organizations, because it provided a guaranteed financial support over a period of five years. Modernization of equipment and resource bases of research and development and various forms of cooperation resulted not only in new research trends but also increased their interdisciplinary level. The program promoted updating and revision of lecture courses and practical training. Educational program of CEC’s students were adjusted at every Center on an annual basis.
The number of updated programs varied from 3 - 4 up to 20.
A question, however, is raised as to how stable these Center are, and whether they be able to function upon termination of base financing through foreign sources. The results of a poll which was held at these Centers in the period between May and June 2005, showed that stability of the CECs under minimal public support relies upon the following factors: (1) reorientation from fundamental research and development work towards applied one; (2) relationship with the industrial sector; (3) provision of real support by regional government authorities. It means that only separate elements of the Centers, like joint equipment usage centers, are likely to keep functioning under the existing level of financing.
Hence the available experience in integration of academic and higher educational institution sciences testifies that creation of successful integration structures should be based on a specific set of measures. The key measures are as follows: (1) compulsory base support at the inception period ( minimum 2 to 3 years ) of integration; (2) a combination of base and project financing in the future;
(3) provision of targeted support of young research personnel; (4) flexibility, setting only “frame” standards of scientific and educational structure; (5) mandatory promotion of “external affairs” development of organizations with other institutes and research sectors; (6) continuous program monitoring.
Participation in formation of research universities could be quite a promising trend in the development of CECs and successfully functioning SECs. Such an ambitious expansion of integration structures could be quite effective and in the tideway of the resource concentration strategy which has approved itself in the Russian environment.
I. Dezhina Sessions of the RF Government of July 7 and 14, Of July RF Government sessions of special interest were the following. On July 7, the report of Levitin I.E., the RF minister of transport, "On the development of the RF transport infrastructure”, was considered, wherein an analysis was made, in particular, of implementation of the federal target program “Modernization of the transport system of Russia for 2002-2010”, and the course of implementation of toll highways considered. At the same session the minister of finance, Kudrin A.L. presented a report “On the course of enforcement the RF legislation on compulsory insurance of civil liability of transport means’ owners and the measures for its improvement”. On July 14, the report of the minister of finance “On the outcome of realization of programs of the state domestic and external borrowings of Russian Federation for 2004, and on draft programs of the state domestic and external borrowings of Russian Federation for 2006” was considered.