MP from the Opposition bloc Serhiy Lovochkin requires the Cabinet of Ministers to urgently ensure the preservation of the domestic scientific sphere and its full financing. He sent the relevant deputy inquiry to the Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
“I require to urgently take measures aimed at preserving the domestic scientific sphere and its full financing. I ask to inform me in the statutory period on the results of the undertaken measures,” Serhiy Lovochkin noted.
The MP stressed that the crisis in the scientific sphere is deepening now. According to him, this is due to the degradation of the field of fundamental research. One of the reasons for this state of affairs is misunderstanding of the fundamental importance of the scientific sphere by the authorities and the lack of an effective policy for its development.
“The government ignores the fact that modern engineering and applied scientific knowledge in our country is based on the scientific potential of the past decades formed by fundamental science. The current state budget policy in the field of science and technology can lead to the destruction of a number of well-known scientific schools in Ukraine,” the politician said.
Serhiy Lovochkin reminded that this year the level of financing of the Ministry of Education and Science amounted to UAH 32.6 billion (1.23 billion US dollars), and for research, scientific and technical development, implementation of works by state target orders, training of scientific staff and the development of scientific infrastructure it was provided only $ 864 million (32.6 million USD).
According to him, this is substantially less than figures of 2013, when it was allocated UAH 24.3 billion ($ 3 billion) for the corresponding ministry from the budget, and the mentioned research, development and other purposes – UAH 445 million ($ 56 million).
“Thus, the funding of the Ministry of Education and Science for the period 2013-2017 in real terms has decreased by 59%, and various research and development – by 42%,” the MP stressed.
Serhiy Lovochkin emphasized that, based on the parameters that were put into the budget-2018 by the power, financing of the scientific sphere would continue to decrease next year. Thus, for the Ministry of Education and Science it will be allocated UAH 31.3 billion ($ 1.07 billion) – by 13% less than this year’s figure in real terms. For research, scientific and technical development, works by state target orders, training of scientific personnel and development of scientific infrastructure – UAH 929.4 million (31,7 million USD), ie 3% less than the current year’s level.
The MP reminded that in recent years the government had been financing the scientific sphere on a final basis. This has already led to the fact that the research institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine are forced to reduce the number of scientific institutions. In 2016, activity of 6 institutes was discontinued. Collectives of other institutes work on a shorter schedule. According to him, the destruction of the system of scientific institutions engaged in fundamental research makes Ukrainian scholars to move to foreign grant projects and, in many cases, leave Ukraine.
“If these processes are not stopped in the near future, the degradation of the domestic scientific sphere will become irreversible, and Ukraine will be rejected on the verge of world scientific and technological progress,” Serhiy Lovochkin stated.