Awards Established to Increase Science and Literature Innovation

ASTANA – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev recently signed a decree introducing the new Al-Farabi State Science and Technology Award and the State Award in Literature and Art, according to a statement released on Jan. 23 by the Akorda presidential residence

Al Farabi University

Al-Farabi University

The awards were established to create additional incentives for innovation in science, technology, literature and art, the decree says.

The awards are given by the President and coincide with Independence Day, which is celebrated annually on Dec. 16.

“Every two years, seven Al-Farabi awards and three literature and art awards will be granted,” according to the decree.

The Al-Farabi State Science and Technology Award is to be awarded to Kazakhstan citizens for the development of new types of equipment, materials, production processes and technologies at or above the level of their global peers.

The State Award in Literature and Art is to be awarded to Kazakh citizens for outstanding work in literature and art that is recognised as particularly valuable to the development of the nation’s culture.

A week after the introduction of the new public awards, Kazakh Secretary of state Gulshara Abdykalikova held a meeting with senior education officials to discuss attracting prominent Kazakh scientists from abroad to work in Kazakhstan and creating better conditions for local scientists to improve efficiency and prevent them from choosing to leave the country.

Addressing participants, Abdykalikova stressed the importance of maintaining and enhancing the human capacity of Kazakhstan’s science arena, noting that the government should stimulate research and development in line with the major provisions of the President’s Nurly Zhol (Path to the Future) state-of-the-nation address. “The two committees functioning under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – the National Commission for Training Abroad and the Commission for the State Science and Technology Award named after Al-Farabi are to address these and other problems in the related sphere,” she said.

Currently, 23,700 people are conducting scientific research in Kazakhstan. In 2014, Kazakhstan attracted more than 600 foreign scientists in various scientific fields, out of which, 75 were Kazakhstan natives. Last year, for instance, Nazarbayev University invited more than 350 foreign scientists from the United States, U.K., Canada, France, Italy and the Netherlands, out of which 26 were originally from Kazakhstan.

Today, 53 successful Kazakh scientists work overseas in well-known research centres in promising areas such as nanotechnology, robotics, hydrocarbons, fluid dynamics, genetic engineering, oncological biology, DNA repair and mutagenesis.

In summarising the meeting, Abdykalikova gave a number of specific instructions to meeting participants who included senior officials from the Presidential Administration, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Investments and Development, Ministry of Health and Social Development, Central Communications Service, Nazarbayev University and the Lev Gumilev Eurasian National University.

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