Today Uzbekistan is a large scientific center in Central Asia. Almost 300 scientific institutions function in the country. There are a well-developed research basis and a wide scientific fund with over 25,000 skilled scientists and researchers. The scientists of the republic carry out fundamental research in the important trends of modern science contributing greatly in such branches like microelectronics, astronomy, biophysics, genetics and geology.
The accomplishments of Uzbek scientists in probability theory, hydrometeorology and the study of superconductors, medicine and agriculture are well known. During the transition period, the share of public funds allocated for the development of science make up 0.5 – 0.6% of the budget. Over 3.5 billion Soums are allocated annually for research programs carried out by the State Committee on Science and Engineering. Stemming from the issues of Uzbekistan’s development, the priority trends in scientific research include the utilization of genetic engineering in the production of new kinds of silkworm cocoons; the development of solar thermal systems; and the development of water-saving irrigation and water conservation technologies.
The Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan was formed on November 4, 1943, on the basis of 10 scientific-research institutes involving scientists of the evacuated scientific institutions from Ukraine, Byelorussia, and western regions of Russia. Today the Academy of Sciences is a supreme scientific institution in the republic and a center of research. The scientific institutions are incorporated into seven branches depending on the profile of their research: physico- mathematical sciences; mechanics and management processes; earth sciences; chemical-engineering sciences; biological sciences; philosophical, economic and juridical sciences; history, linguistics and literature. During the years of independence the scientists of Uzbekistan have scored great accomplishments in different branches of science. The Academy of Sciences has instituted Gold Medals named after al-Khorezmi, Khabib Abdulayev and Zakhiriddin Babur. Academician Kh. F. Fazylov, in 1993, has become the first holder of the Gold Medal named after al-Khorezmi in the field of natural and engineering sciences. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, U.I. Karimov, was the first to be awarded with the Gold Medal named after Z. Babur for his great contribution in the humanities.
In 1992 academician I. Kh. Khamrabayev became the first knight of the Gold Medal named after Kh. Abdullayev for his merits in the field of geology and geophysics.
International Scientific Cooperation
During the years of independence Uzbekistan has established and is developing scientific and technical cooperation with the USA, the European Union, Japan, China, Republic of Korea, India and others. As their basis they have over 60 international agreements in the field of scientific-engineering cooperation and the protection of intellectual property. Partnership relations are established with the scientific and engineering associations of the European Union INTAS and INCO-Copernicus, NATO’s scientific committee, the American Civil Research and Development Fund (CRDF), and the Ukrainian Scientific-Research Center. In 1999 about US$4 million was allocated for Uzbek scientists as international grants to implement the scientific and engineering projects. The decree by the Cabinet of Ministers of the republic stipulates a number of financial privileges, including exemption from state payments and taxes for the international scientific-engineering programs implemented in Uzbekistan. Lately a number of joint scientific-engineering projects with the USA, Germany, India, and the CIS countries is carried out along the priority trends on a bilateral basis. The republic regularly hosts international scientific-engineering seminars and conferences in various fields of natural, humanitarian sciences, medicine, agriculture, applied research, the innovation issues, the commercialization of science, the development and the transfer of technologies.