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Russia to allocate $7.7 bln for nanotechnology until 2015 - 1

A top Russian official said Thursday the government would allocate 200 billion rubles ($7.7 billion) to develop nanotechnology until 2015.
(Recasts headline, para 2, adds details, background in paras 3-10)

MOSCOW, June 21 (RIA Novosti) - A top Russian official said Thursday the government would allocate 200 billion rubles ($7.7 billion) to develop nanotechnology until 2015.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who is in charge of high-technology development, said at a session of the government council on nanotechnology: "very significant resources will be allocated for this - about 200 billion rubles until 2015."

"We are on the threshold of a real nano revolution, capable of overturning all our ideas on life," Ivanov said. "For an innovative path of Russia's advancement, the development and use of nanotechnology provides real opportunities to create a modern economy, raise the nation's standards of living, and ensure the proper security for the country."

Ivanov also said the state will transfer to the Russian nanotechnology corporation 130 billion rubles ($5 billion) by this year's end. "And this is just the state contribution. I think the business community will not remain separate from this process," he said.

The government said last Thursday that it has set up a state council for nanotechnology, to be chaired by Sergei Ivanov.

The resolution on forming the new body, which will ensure interaction between government, business, and scientists in the implementation of state policy in nanotechnology and the nano-industry, was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted high-tech industries in his state of the nation address in April, saying nanotechnology research, which promises advances in medicine, space research, telecommunications, and weapons production, should receive priority funding.

"The government should provide the necessary funding to arrange this work in terms of technical equipment, staff, and organizational support," Putin said.

The council on nanotechnology, a promising science that works with particles smaller than one micrometer and, which has so far been mainly confined to the laboratory will make assessments and recommendations on the development and practical implementation of scientific achievements in nanotechnology, promote the nano-industry and establish a market for nano-products and services.

As another step in the promotion of nanotechnology in Russia the State Duma, Russian parliament's lower house, passed in the first reading last Thursday a bill on the formation of the Russian nanotechnology corporation.

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