SIN Russia – The UK government’s Science and Innovation Network in Russia supports world-class science collaboration

One of the most exciting natural events to take place in 2013 was the Chelyabinsk meteorite which fell in February 2013 in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Following a request from Prof. Colin Pillinger of the Open University (OU) and the Royal Society, the UK government’s Science and Innovation Network – Russia (SIN-Russia) based in the British Embassy in Moscow immediately located a piece of the precious meteorite, and negotiated with Russia’s Vernadsky Institute for joint working with the Open University to analyse the age and origins of the sample, as well as its safe transportation to the UK.

Their joint results were published a few weeks later at an international conference in Houston, and later in the Russian Geochemistry Journal. The authors have also submitted a joint UK-Russia research paper to the prestigious journal, Science.

SIN Russia implements a raft of joint science projects and programmes in Russia towards prosperity partnerships for both nations. SIN Russia, for example, set up the UK Russia Year of Space 2011-12 platform, to highlight UK’s expertise as World number one in small satellites as well as expertise in downstream and upstream space related industries. SIN Russia implemented a number of high level UK Russia Space Science lectures under the Year including on Solar Flares: Predicting Impacts on Earth’ in March 2013 in Irkutsk, Siberia, between Prof. Lester, Head of the international programme, Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), from the University of Leicester, UK, and Prof. Viktor Grechnev, of the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, which led to agreement for enhanced collaboration on radars and solar physics. Another lecture on Exomars between UK’s Mullard Space Laboratory and Russia’s top Institute of Space IKI led to closer discussions on instrumentation for the joint ESA/ Roscosmos project.

SIN Russia was launched in February 2010 in order to further engage Russia’s brightest scientists in collaboration with the very best UK-based scientists towards establishing long-term science co-operation. For example, following a meeting between the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Presidium and the Royal Society, organised by SIN Russia, both Academies decided to holding a UK Russia ‘Frontiers of Science’ forum in Kazan for 60 UK and Russia-based young scientists, joint with the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences. Young scientists at the event discussed their research in eight interdisciplinary scientific areas which led to several collaboration outcomes.

SIN Russia also works strongly on the Science policy side. In October 2013, SIN Russia with Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science (MES) and the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) organised a UK Russia Joint Committee on Science & Technology Cooperation, hosted by the Royal Society. A Joint Statement was signed by UK Minister Cable and Russia’s Minister Livanov to enhance cooperation in Space, accelerator science/particle physics, energy efficiency, life sciences, climate and arctic science.

SIN Russia also encourages Russia to publish more of its research in international peer reviewed journals to enable global science to benefit – through recently facilitating experts from the UK Government’s BIS to share the UK’s experiences of implementing Open Access with Russia’s MES.

More information at:

Dr Julia Knights
Head of Science & Innovation
British Embassy Moscow

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