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August 22, 2016

Science and Economics

science_economy

Innovative activities make up the basis of sustainable advancement of a modern state. History displays vividly how inquisitive human mind has been able from the first primitive tools of labor to reach the world of algorithms and nanoparticles, creation of modern innovative computers, super microelectronic, biologic, gene-engineering, solar and such other high technologies.

The official website of the Committee for Coordination of Science and Technology has recently published a review by President of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan Shavkat Solikhov dedicated to innovative development problems. Correspondents of the Uzbekistan Today prepared material on the basis of this publication on the strengths of the national science, oriented towards the solution of knowledge-intensive tasks of the country’s economy.

Over the recent years, scientists and research teams have achieved a number of important scientific results of global significance: in the field of physics – new semiconductors and nano-materials, high-temperature ceramic materials and products made from them; in the field of supramolecular chemistry was discovered a new phenomenon, establishing the relationship between the structure and the formation of polymorphic systems. The London-based publishing house “Springer” prepared and published for the first time in the English language a unique scientific-applied reference book “Natural chemical compounds” in 10 volumes, which essentially, is an encyclopedia for scientists and practitioners in the field of Plant Chemistry. Efficient domestic medicinal products and diagnostic test systems were developed for medicine on the basis of original technologies for determining infectious diseases, and many other things.

Rural economy is one of the major priorities for science. The agrarians’ highest demand in scientific developments is in improving the system of rational utilization and replenishment of land and water resources, biological diversity, creation of highly efficient agricultural technologies, highly productive varieties of farm crops and live-stock breeds on the basis of utilization of genetic resources and advanced scientific achievements.

During the years of independence the scientists in Uzbekistan, for example, have made a real revolution in the field of cotton cultivation, solving the problem over which cotton-breeders of the leading global cotton powers struggled for decades. The world’s first gene-knockout technology developed in the laboratories of the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics of the Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, and “Uzpakhtasanoat” Association, has created an opportunity to elaborate unique domestic varieties of genetically modified cotton series “Porloq” with improved characteristics bоth in their mode of cultivation and vegetation, and quality of their fiber.

This variety possesses unique properties: high yielding capacity, precocity, draught-resistance and high quality fibers, yielding, according to authoritative international experts, only to fine-staple Egyptian varieties. Today “Porloq” is the only variety of farm crop developed in Uzbekistan with the use of gene-engineering technologies.

From traditional cotton varieties, grown in Uzbekistan and producing fiber primarily of the fourth and fifth types, the scientists had developed a variety that produces fiber of the 1st and 2nd types, providing an opportunity to produce high-quality textile product from this cotton variety: shirting fabric without the addition of synthetic fibers.

The employees of the center are working today on the development of new varieties of wheat that will produce the flour with high gluten content for pasta and bakery industry. A new variety – resistant to rotting, a disease that reduces the yielding capacity of wheat – is also being developed in this country.

Researchers of the Institute of Bioorganic chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan are also working on the elaboration of high-yielding and quick-ripening varieties of potato resistant to different diseases and adapted to local climatic conditions. One of their latest achievements is harvesting a high-elite seed potato free from virus infections. This helped the national scientists to practically solve the problem of primary seed-breeding. In future our country will not only be able to abandon potato imports, but also become its exporter; while the potato-growing farms will have a reliable supply of high quality domestic seed material. The Institute has set up a biotechnological collection of potato, which is a unique achievement of the Academy of Sciences and currently it has in stock up to 150 potato varieties and lines. Some of them are noted for high content of biologically accessible iron and zinc.

Another peculiar example is creation by the personnel of the Institute of Chemistry of Plant Substances and Bioorganic Chemistry of more than 50 new domestic original medicinal substances, such as allapinin (VFS), ragosin, gozalidon, ecdysten, rutan, medamin, gossitan and others, the production of majority of which has been mastered by the pharmaceutical industry and are being realized through the network of pharmacies, while the substances of some preparations are exported abroad.

A Bank of biologically active substances of plant origin, with more than five thousand items, many of which make up potentially medicinal preparations, has been set up in this country.  Such a Bank of biologically active compounds is one of the largest in the world and will serve the ground for a long-term investment project for the creation of many new domestic pharmaceuticals. At present it is required to organize the production of substances of those products in accordance with international standards and production conditions, to protect them with international patents, which will significantly increase exports and attract additional foreign currency funds.

The scientists of the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan developed new technologies for production of high-efficiency fertilizers, growth agents, defoliants and other chemicals based on local raw materials, which are utilized by the industry and fully satisfy the needs of rural economy of the country, and are also exported in significant quantities.

A tangible contribution to the development of innovations is made by researcher-physicists, power-engineers, and materials’ study scientists. Important scientific and practical results were achieved in the development of efficient technologies for energy saving and energy efficiency of large enterprises of the country and the enterprises of basic branches of economy. Great progress has been made in the field of photo converters based on silicon and use of renewable energy sources, helio materials’ science and instruments manufacturing industry.