Chapter 13: Biotechnology: National Policy and Development Priorities in Russia
Galina Sagieva INTRODUCTION Biotechnology belongs to the group of breakthrough, rapidly-developing technologies. It allows society to deal with major socio-economic challenges such as increasing crop productivity; production of bioactive substances, vaccines; biosynthesis of antibiotics, hormones, interferon; early diagnostics and treatment of various diseases, and so on. Many experts believe that only bioprocesses have the potential to provide radical, global solutions to such challenges as production of food and environment protection. The development of biotechnologies is expected to create opportunities to greatly increase food reserves; develop new sustainable energy sources; prevent and efficiently treat severe diseases; further develop waste-free production technologies; and reduce adverse impact on the environment. In Russia, biotechnology is seen as a major priority of S&T development; in policy statements it is designated ‘live systems’, and as such enjoys active government support through various targeted federal programmes. However, the country still lacks a system of statistical monitoring in the biotech sphere (data on internal R&D expenditures in this priority area has been collected since 2008 – but it is clearly not enough to measure overall activities in the biotechnology field). The statistical classification of products and economic activities (OKPD) does not have designated classes and groups for biotech products. Modern biotechnologies based on advanced R&D results have high potential and are becoming increasingly more efficient, which strengthens and diversifies their effect not just on the human environment but directly on the human organism and its components, including genetic structures. Creation of genetic databases, introduction of passports...
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