This section of the National Science and Technology Portal of the Republic of Belarus has been conceived by its developers as a virtual meeting place for researchers – compatriots working in Belarus and abroad for exchanging ideas, experience and best practices of international cooperation.
Where does this idea originate from?
Upon experts’ estimations, 4-5 thousands of Belarusian researchers have been working currently all over the world. Most of researchers – expatriates have reached deserved positions in universities and research centers in industrialized countries. No doubts, many of them are interested in developing cooperation with their colleagues from Belarus. Some of them do interact already in different ways — joint projects and publications, participation in conferences, delivering lectures, etc. For the rest, the interest is just of a potential character.
Nowadays, many countries, including Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, as well as the EU member states and the European Union as a whole put efforts in establishing connections between researchers – compatriots while targeted programs for these purposes in Belarus are missing. At the same time, the Belarusian scientific diaspora remains a significant although underestimated intellectual resource for Belarus. We believe that its representatives are capable of influencing the development of science and economics not only in a state of their current residence, but also in the country of origin.
What is the goal?
Our overall goal is to promote establishing and enlarging the scientific and information links between researchers – compatriots working abroad and the research community of Belarus. The State Program “People’s Health and Demographic Security of the Republic of Belarus for 2016-2020” and the Action Plan on External Migration in Favor of Belarus adopted in 2016 prove that addressing the diaspora is both timely and urgent.
Which are the tasks?
Before talking about expanding links with diaspora, it’s necessary to identify it – to find expatriates and Belarusian experts working abroad for long time, develop an appropriate data base, invite them for a dialogue and clarify their position about collaboration with Belarus. Identification of diaspora is one of the tasks within the project “Analyzing opportunities and developing measures and instruments for expanding international science, technology and innovation cooperation with researchers – expatriates” which was implemented in 2011-2012 by the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support of Scientific and Technical Sphere upon the request of the State Committee for Science and Technology of Belarus. The research team worked on this project also included experts of the Center for Monitoring the Migration of Research and Pedagogical Staff hosted by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
It was at that time when an attempt was made to poll the diaspora about preferences regarding the forms and mechanisms of cooperation with organizations from Belarus. We were also interested in the opinion of leading scientists working in Belarus on the role of the diaspora in their foreign relations and the expediency of creating a target program for the development of cooperation with foreign scientists-compatriots. Based on the results of these two surveys and taking into account foreign experience, proposals were developed on measures and mechanisms for the development of international science, technology and innovation cooperation with the participation of compatriots working abroad. The proposals were submitted to the Government of Belarus however have not been taken on board. The search for on-budget sources to finance the proposed activities at the time of project completion and afterwards were not successful as well. More details about the project are available in the press-release.
Data base “Belarusian researchers abroad”
The data base of researchers – compatriots who have left Belarus forever and/or have been working abroad for a long time is being developed since 2011 (in Russian). By late 2020, it includes 638 names. To register in the data base, the minimum information is required – name, place of work and position, country of residence, short description of scientific interests. We offer those who are interested to register here. Also, we would be grateful to the visitors for disseminating the resource among partners and colleagues.
We offer the cooperation
Everything described above is a pilot project that is important for the Belarusian scientific community. We are looking for partners to continue research and capacity building activities with participation of diaspora and will consider variable proposals for cooperation on the topic, including ideas on possible extra-budgetary sources to support the activities. Please, address your ideas to email email@example.com (topic: “Diaspora”).
Updated on 30.11.2020