We live in a period of principal changes in Russia, making important government decisions aimed at support and development of national science. State and the academic community in these years made a number of cardinal steps to strengthen and develop basic research in the country, to increase their role in addressing the challenges facing the state.
As Confucius said, "Those who do not think about the distant difficulties will certainly have close troubles." Today it is essential to be able to look beyond the achieved horizons to find a qualitatively new ways to solve important problems. Attention to the scientific breakthrough technologies is a major step towards a truly reliable supplying all mankind with energy carriers, and ultimately towards the improvement of the life quality for present and future generations.
We all remember in what condition was science in the recent past. Many of promising research programs were scaled down or shelved. We were faced with a massive brain drain of scientific personnel and the loss of continuity of generations and authoritative scientific schools. Today it is encouraging to note that the status quo gradually but still changing for the better.
Tatarstan is one of the regions in Russia that were first to start implementing the course on the development of innovative economy based on science, education and culture.
According to the Strategy for science and innovation at the present stage the main purpose of the academic sector in the Republic of Tatarstan is “organizing and conducting targeted basic and applied research to accelerate sustainable socio-economic, spiritual and technological development of Tatarstan”.
First President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev at the General Assembly of TAS
The primary tasks of Tatarstan Academy of Sciences in the Charter of the Academy are the following:
- Participation in the innovation and creating an innovative environment for the effective transfer of academic research results to the domestic and global markets of knowledge and technology;
- Participation in the development and implementation of state S&T policy, examination of major scientific and technological programs and projects, development of environmental policy in the territory of Tatarstan and beyond, participation in the examination of textbooks;
- Preparation of highly qualified scientific personnel, including through postgraduate and doctoral research institutions of TAS, execution of activities aimed at identifying and supporting talented researchers;
- Development of international scientific cooperation, participation in major international programs, carrying out projects of foreign economic activity;
- Execution of publishing activities, information research, participation in creating scientific information networks, databases and data banks, scientific congresses, conferences, meetings, organization of exhibitions of scientific and technological advances in the Republic of Tatarstan;
- Participation in the popularization and promotion of science, scientific knowledge and scientific and technological achievements.
On the programs of basic and applied research and training Tatarstan Academy of Sciences cooperates with Russian Academy of Sciences, with its science center in Kazan, with state sectoral academies of Russia. Acting as the research coordinator in the republic the Academy carries out basic and applied research on a competitive basis in collaboration with universities and applied research institutions within their own research work schedules and national development projects in priority areas of science in the Republic of Tatarstan. This is a fundamental factor of the upsurge in innovation to a new level of the large production results of industry-scale.
During more than 15 years Tatarstan Academy of Sciences specifies the canons of scientific creativity, promotes honesty, openness, continuity and promptness in constant renovation. I am sure while maintaining its spirit and traditions the Academy will keep up to date and make a significant contribution to the development of our republic and the country.
Milestones of TAS History
For over two centuries the capital of Tatarstan – Kazan is one of the leading scientific centers of Eastern Europe. Thanks to the valuable contribution of N.Lobachevsky, N.Zinin, A.Butlerov, B.Arbuzov, V.Engelgardt, E.Zavoiskiy, K.Fuchs, A.Baudouin de Courtenay, V.Radlov, Sh.Mardzhani, Q.Nasyri and others by 1917 Kazan became the third most important scientific center of Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersburg). Their names and discoveries take a significant place in the history of the world science.
Tatarstan Academy of Sciences was established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev № УП-138 in September 30, 1991 “to ensure a high level of development of basic sciences in the republic, strengthen their role in solving urgent problems of material and spiritual culture, national economy, coordination of research conducted at academic and industrial institutes and universities”. The first president of TAS was the academician M.Kh.Khasanov and since 2006 the academician A.M.Mazgarov has been occupying the post.
Over the years of its existence Tatarstan Academy of Sciences has become the leader of the scientific community of the republic. Currently the Academy consists of seven divisions, which bring together scientists of the humanities, biological and medical, agricultural, socio-economic and legal sciences, mathematicians, mechanics, engineers, physicists, power men, representatives of earth sciences and chemistry. Ulyanovsk regional office was established under Tatarstan Academy of Sciences at the initiative of the scientific community of Ulyanovsk region. The integration is aimed at strengthening and effective use of scientific and technological capacities of the two neighboring regions in order to accelerate the solution of actual problems in the sphere of economy, science, education, culture and create favorable conditions for the harmonious development of all peoples living in the region.
Sh.Marjani Institute of History, Institute of Tatar Encyclopedia, Institute of Ecology and Subsoil, Institute of Informatics, Institute of Applied Semiotics, Center for Advanced Economic Research and others. Total number of staff members in the institutions of Tatarstan Academy of Sciences is more than 800 people.
35 scientific councils attached to Presidium and TAS divisions were organized in the Academy; that is for increasing its integrative and coordinating roles. A number of inter-sectoral scientific councils formed under Academy Presidium on several issues:
- Council on ecology problems;
- Council on integration of technical and medical sciences;
- Council on safety of the population and the teriitory.
Tatarstan State Prizes on Science and Technology as well as TAS nominal premiums were established and annually awarded after: Sh.Mardzhani (humanities), Kh.Kamay (chemistry and chemical technology), Engelhardt (biology), A.Teregulov (medicine and health), Kh.Mushtari (Mathematics, Mechanics and Engineering Sciences), K.Bohl (Veterinary), V.Mosolov (agriculture) and A.Ado (allergology, immunology and general pathology), including two international prizes: in physics – after Zavoisky, chemistry – after A. Arbuzov; 10 nominal scholarships were established for university students of the republic.
Science of Tatarstan is an organic part of Russian and the world science. Scientists of our republic made a worthy contribution to the global research process. Creative contacts and cooperation agreements are carried out with scientific institutions from more than 40 foreign countries and several regions of Russia.