Representatives of the leading research institutions in Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Russia have gathered at an online meeting of the BRICS working group on materials science and nanotechnologies.  Maria Baturova, Deputy Director of the Biobank Centre at St Petersburg University, presented the possibilities of the Research Park at St Petersburg University and talked about the equipment access procedure for international users.

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When addressing the meeting participants, Maria Baturova said that St Petersburg University is one of the leading world scientific and education centres with dozens of operating research centres and laboratories as well as the Research Park provided with advanced high-tech equipment. The Research Park at St Petersburg University operates as an open access environment. Any specialists can use the most modern equipment regardless the affiliation. The users of resource centres are divided into internal staff of St Petersburg University and external specialists. However, all of them have to follow the same access rules. The research with the use of unique stands and installations can be performed both in person and remotely. In case of remote access, it is sufficient to send the required samples and data to the Research Park staff members who will carry out the experiments and send back the results. Moreover, the University can help with the visa application process to those specialists who plan to visit Russia in order to work at the Research Park. 

About 5% of the Research Park users are international scientists.

There are two sets of terms and conditions to use the Research Park equipment. The users who are ready to issue a joint publication together with the University can use the equipment of the Research Park to obtain the data for the publication free of charge. Such access is based exclusively on the original nature and quality of the research paper as well as its technical and ethical feasibility. If the researchers are not planning to publish a joint paper, they can still use the Research Park equipment based on the contract for paid services with the Research Park.

Maria Baturova also gave examples of research projects in the sphere of nanotechnologies and materials science. She demonstrated the results of cooperation with the research institutions in the BRICS countries to the online meeting participants. In particular, she said that the Research Park at St Petersburg University offers a possibility to implement research projects in the sphere of nanotechnologies with the use of such methods as nuclear magnetic and quadrupole resonance, electron paramagnetic resonance and spectroscopy.  The University specialists also conduct research in materials science, physics and chemistry of solid body, nanomaterials study and development.

St Petersburg University also takes part in the programme in the field of science, technology and innovation (BRICS STI Programme) and actively cooperates with all BRICS countries.

Physics and astronomy take the lead in the number of joint scientific publications. From 2016 to 2020, scientists of St Petersburg University published 236 articles in these fields together with their colleagues from Brazil, 248 articles with colleagues from India, 390 – from China and 215 – from South Africa. In conclusion, Maria Baturova, Deputy Director of the Biobank Centre at St Petersburg University, added that on the margins of establishing the innovative science and technology centre of St Petersburg University ‘The Neva Delta’, the University concluded an agreement with the municipal administration of Nanjing and with the International Technology Transfer Network in Hong Kong. 

The 3rd meeting of the BRICS working group on materials science and nanotechnologies.pdf

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