The discussion moderated by the DFG President Peter Strohschneider gathered the Director General of the Russian Science Foundation Alexander Khlunov, Chairman of the Council of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research Vladislav Panchenko, Director of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research Oleg Belyavsky, and representatives of leading Russian universities from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan.
The central theme of the conversation was a review of the most important changes that took place in the organisations of the participants over the past year, which may impact future cooperation of DFG with partners in Russia.
Thanks to the close cooperation with DFG, we have brought the quality of review process in our Foundation to the world-class level. RSF reviewers evaluate not only the projects and programs of the Foundation, they assess nominations for the most prestigious national awards in science, their opinion is taken into account when selecting new national genetic centers that will be formed shortly. Based on the mutual trust, today we are ready to discuss with German partners mutual recognition of national reviews. In addition, we have accumulated a unique data bank of the most active and productive young researchers in Russia, which may be used in international programs, highlighted the head of the Russian Science Foundation at the discussion.
DFG representatives noted with satisfaction the successful completion of negotiations with federal lands about the allocation of funding for the next 10 years in a total amount of 180 billion euros, which implies an annual growth of DFG budget by 3%. At the same time, the German Research Foundation will assume additional obligations to support high-risk research projects, translational research and the development of research infrastructure. The other priorities for DFG in the near future will be the creation of national consortia dealing with big data relevant to various research disciplines, as well as the completion of expert work by a special commission on digitalization in research and launch of the next cycle of the Exellence initiative.
The panelists agreed that it is important for both countries to develop programs aimed particularly at supporting young researchers, building integration bridges between scientists, government, business and society, and developing large targeted institutional programs with a long-term funding horizon.