Innovations Should be of a Dual Purpose – Civil and Military

On March 11–13, the first Youth Forum: Innovations in the Youth sponsored by the Federal Youth Agency was held in Moscow.


Unfortunately, the sponsors of the forum touched upon the issue of innovations in business, though it is obvious that innovations in military and military industrial areas are as much important as in the national economy. More importantly, the most valuable innovations should be of a dual purpose, that is, civil and military.


On the eve of the forum, the Ministry of Defense introduced new proposals to engage gifted young nationals of the Russian Federation in innovation work during their service in the armed forces. For development of "breakthrough" technologies, the so-called "research troops" have been established. The most important thing is that all the students of civil establishments of higher education are offered to undergo a course of academic military training and then a three-month practical training in accordance with their military specialty at military training centers; such a training is made equal to real service in the armed forces.

Both the initiatives proceed along different lines though they originate from the same source – instructions of the President of the Russian Federation. However, in the course of implementation "splitting" of the team of performers takes place in accordance with structural division of executive authorities in the Russian Federation into those which are subordinate to the Government of the Russian Federation and those which report directly to the President. At present, discussion of the most important issues takes place at "expanded" meetings which are held on the President's personal initiative.


The "presidential" group of authorities has approved guideline documents on youth within the frameworks of the Ministry of Defense, as well as negotiated them with rectors of leading establishments of higher education. It is to be noted that in our view the most serious disadvantage is a lack of public debates on those issues with the youth and the organization of soldiers' mothers.


On the other side, it is good that changes related to preservation of military grades and parameters of military service of those new nationals of the Russian Federation who left the Ukrainian armed forces to join the armed forces of the Russian Federation were carried out within the record short period of time, that is, within a week.


What should be added to the draft final document of the youth forum?

1. Organize a comprehensive discussion of the related issues of innovation development of the Russian Federation and military training of young people for defense of their fatherland in peaceful time.

2. Seek expansion of the category of the youth which is granted the right to get prepared for fulfillment of its constitutional duty to defend the fatherland in peaceful time by way of combining that training with majoring in nondefense occupations (not only those which require higher education).

3. Seek engagement of the youth in the number of persons who are personally responsible for solution of concrete objectives of the country's safe development and organize assistance to those persons not only on the part of authorities, but also the public at large, particularly, youth organizations, committees of soldiers' mothers and other.

Vitaly Tsymbal, Doctor of Technical Science, Leading Researcher