The Republic of Komi is one of the easternmost territories in the Barents region located at the foothills of the Ural Mountains. Research done at the Komi Science Centre, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences – one of the newest members of the Northern Dimension Institute – has already for decades addressed the most acute cultural and socio-economic questions in the Russian European North and also played an important role in the development of the Komi Republic.
The Republic of Komi is a resource-extractive region with forestry, oil, gas and coal industries comprising the main industries. It is strategically important to develop the highly remunerative oil, gas and coal industries relying on a sustainable resource base and progressive technologies of extraction and processing of raw materials. The role of science is essential in this process: scientific research is needed to create a reliable scientific base and effective high technologies.
Komi Science Centre is co-operating closely with the regional and federal governments as well as the business community in order to enhance the overall development in the Russian North. Today, our researchers are studying the means to improve the ecological safety of oil and gas production and transportation, increase the efficiency of extraction, enrichment, processing and transportation of coal as well as developing technologies for complex use of coal deposits, to mention a few examples.
Taking into account the industrial profile and the considerable industrial potential of the Republic of Komi, the work of scientists in the field of ecological safety and environmental protection obtains special value. The priority purpose is to decrease the negative impacts of industrial activity on the environment and to create ecologically favorable conditions for the population living in the region. Our researchers are studying the impacts of the Northern and Arctic conditions on human health as well as preserving and studying the cultural heritage of indigenous people in the Arctic. Improving the quality of life of the population through sustainable use of natural and cultural resources is a joint objective of the Komi Science Centre and the regional government.
There are several large regional and federal railway and port development programs ongoing that aim to develop Komi Republic into a future transport-logistical hub. The planned construction of “Belkomur” railway will not only connect the industrial Ural with the nonfreezing ports of Arkhangelsk, Murmansk and Northern Europe and service the Northern Sea Route, but also provide a major element in the planned transport corridor “Barents-Link” that would connect the four states of the Barents region. Scientists of the Komi Science Centre have provided scientific support to these projects since their very beginning. We will also continue to address these and other essential questions to help solve the challenges related to the industrial development of the region.
Vice-Chairman of the Komi Science Centre on scientific questions