The Swing Principle in Science and Innovations: Between radical modernisation and maintaining the status quo
In spite of the “Lukashenko ultimatum” given to Belarusian science at the end of 2011, the status quo was still maintained and promised reforms were stalled. Attempts to initiate “internal competition” between academic and university science ran into obstacles due to the inertia of the former and inactivity of the latter. The announced transformation of the funding structure and the increased actual costs for financing scientific, technical, and innovation activity did not change the longstanding trend of science being chronically underfunded. The key problem of linking science with business and industry was still not resolved. Apart from some minor improvements to the situation regarding postgraduates in several disciplines, the general trend of downsizing and ageing of scientific staff continued. Positive results during the year included: improved research intensity figures (up from 0.7% in 2011 to 1% in 2012); Belarus’ rising international ratings (from 52nd to 45th place, according to the Knowledge Index; from 73rd to 59th place, according to the Knowledge Economic Index; and 6th place worldwide for the number of patent applications filed); and various successes in the information technology field.