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Russia possesses the world biggest potential of the mineral primary resources. Large scale and complexity are distinguishing features of the mineral primary resources base of Russia. Practically all known mineral resources are revealed within the mineral wealth of Russia. Our country is one of the world leaders by reserves, mining operation and export of oil, natural gas, coal, iron ores, nickel, gold, platinoids, diamonds and other extractable resources. Siberia is a key territory for mastering mineral resources.
To a bigger degree, the above mentioned circumstances have determined that in the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering during all its history a special attention has been given to studying the problems of functioning and developing the mineral resources complexes. The basic concepts of the Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) have been made in 1970-1980-s within the research conducted (mainly in the Sectoral Department of the Institute) under the leadership of the academicians Abel Aganbegyan and Valery Kuleshov, as well as Anatoly Alexeev, Bictor Bogachiov, Yuri Maximov, Yuri Movsesyan, Valentina Smirnova, Sergei Starovoitov. Important scientific results in regards to mineral resources complex have been obtained also by the other researchers, i.e. Gagik Mkrtchian, Nina Pliaskina, Nikita Suslov, Sergei Suspitsyn, Victor Chernyshev, Victoria Kharitonova and others.
The research was oriented for searching ways and directions for forming procedures of planning and management of sector and inter-sector complexes, approaches for modeling development perspectives of certain industries and industrial complexes, including fuel and energy complex, and oil-gas complex. Research has been also directed to solving certain local problems of optimizing the process of bringing the sources of mineral primary resources in the economic turnover. In particular, special tools have been developed which allowed solving important sectors and national economic problems within the framework of the planned economy. One can numerate those problems as follows:
In the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering (IEIE) modern stage of research in the sphere of studying problems of the resource economy started in the second half of 1980s. To a bigger degree this was connected with a transit from the model of centralized planned economy to the model oriented onto the wide use of market coordination procedures in actions and decisions of economic agents.
Scientific problems had their evolution from searching optimal solutions for implementing projects in mineral-resources sector (under toughly given system of coordinating the actions of economic agents) to defining the economic framework and conditions, which to a biggest degree could allow realizing the social-economic value of natural mineral wealth.
Before the period of reforms the main theoretical paradigm, which has been used for research, referred to the approach based on the theory of optimal planning and management. In the post-reform period, the research within the paradigm of the neo-institutional economics became its theoretical base. Not so much optimal decision, determining dynamics of mastering natural resources and their recovery, is the most important result of the process of mastering the mineral resources object, but those effects which the society receives, starting from municipal level, then regional one (subject of federation) and up to the national level, i.e. federation in general. Therefore, institutional projecting in the sphere of mastering and using mineral primary resources became one of the main priorities for research. The main accent refers to studying norms and rules which determine behavior of economic agents in this filed. Along with that, to a big extent many of the earlier developed instrumental solutions have been integrated into this topic as evaluating procedures and quantity analysis for the use within different institutional systems.
During the last 25 years the main problem with which the researchers are working refers to directions and peculiarities of forming so-called resource regimes, i.e. “specialized” institutional system, with its set of norms, rights, rules and procedures. These regimes determine most efficiently mastering and use of the mineral natural resources, first of all, from the society viewpoint. Whereas the important place is given not just to studying processes of subsoil use, but rather to their estimation from the position of influencing on the possibilities of “exit” of primary resources territories onto the trajectories of sustainable social-economic development.
Research was developing within the frameworks of integration such scientific disciplines as:
Integration of the approaches common to the above mentioned scientific disciplines resulted in synergetic effect - a new scientific field in the sphere of studying problems and development trends within the resource regimes in the mineral raw materials sector of the economy. The work within this field makes up a core and a base of “Siberian School of the Resource Economy” (SSRE).
The main scientific results of the SSRE are as follows:
Conclusions, considerations and generalizations presented above have been obtained not only in the framework of studying the problems of the oil-gas sector in Russia and the East of the country, but also studying the mineral resources sector of mastering and recovery solid minerals. The territorial frames of research include not only raw material territories of the land zones of Siberia, but also objects and regions of the Arctic zone, including the shelf.
The main research work of the SSRE is being conducted in the framework of the Center of Resource Economy in the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering under the leadership of Prof. Valery A.Kryukov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Current research of the Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) is more and more focused on studying the forms of interacting the resource economy and economy of knowledge. This is connected with the fact that both in Russia and in the world perceptions about accessible, efficient and necessary mineral raw resources are changing very rapidly. Among the reasons we can speak about the current stage of the scientific-technical transformations (development of the economics of knowledge), and fast changes of forms and organizational-economic frames of involving mineral raw materials into the economic turnover within the framework of the whole chain of creating “value/cost”, starting from geological studies, explorations and up to the mastering and use of resources.
Under these conditions, the most important research of the SSRE is connected with:
Specific feature about Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) refers to the accent on researching the problems connected not only with extraction and complex, rational use of the mineral raw materials, but also with the effects on “entrance” and “exit”. In the first case we are talking about the processes of localization, i.e. using national scientific and production potential. And in the second case, that is about raw hydrocarbons deep conversion, creating prerequisites for enlarging the value of the extracted natural resources. Undoubtedly, the key trend here refers to analyzing the problems of developing the oil and gas processing, petrochemical industry, and also deep (science-based) processing of raw hydrocarbons.
Today record keeping and analysis of the innovation processes in mineral resources complex in various aspects is one of the key directions of research within the SSRE. A wide range of questions is under research, starting from problems of developing and implementing new technologies for extraction natural resources up to production and use of new materials. At present, together with further researching the problems of mastering resources of raw hydrocarbons, the accent has been made on solid commercial minerals, including those which have considerable innovation potential – rare earth metals, specific kinds of rough diamonds, etc.
Qualitative analysis of the mastering and use of mineral raw materials cannot be complete and sufficient. Conclusions and considerations in regards to directions and conditions for the development of the resource regimes are supported by the research connected with the quantitative measurements (comparisons). Quantitative evaluation supposes the development (adaptation) of the economic-mathematical tools allowing to analyze the processes of mastering mineral raw resources, and also to forecast development of the social-economic systems (first of all, of the so-called “raw materials territories”).
The development of tools is being conducted for several levels of grounding the decisions.
First, that is on the level of the mineral resources sector and its sub-systems. In particular, tools are designed for forecasting the development of the oil complex of Russia. A special approach has been designed, based on using simulation economic-mathematical models, for evaluating the forecast indicators of the oil industry development (volumes of extraction, of geological prospecting and exploration, volumes of investments). Within the complex of the built models the algorithm of calculation correlates the target indicators of the oil industry development with macro-economic, financial, technical-economic, technological and mining-geological parameters of the industry. These developed tools have been used for preparing the grounding materials for the General Scheme of Oil Industry Development in the Russian Federation.
Second, that is on the level of “raw materials” territories. One of the key directions of modeling the resource economy refers to evaluating the effects of the oil-gas complex onto the social-economic development of the regions. The predictive assessments of influencing by the oil-gas sector onto the dynamics of the social-economic development of several regions (Tyumen and Tomsk regions, Khanty-Mansijsk autonomous area – KHMAA, Jamalo-Nenetsk autonomous area – JANAA, Krasnoyarsk region) have been made with the help of simulation models. For that purpose, the following things have been developed, on the base of earlier developed instrumental methods:
Third, that is on the level of separate projects and programs. Optimization economic-mathematical models have been developed for analyzing the trends of forming the structure of the gas-chemical production on the base of the raw materials resources of the Eastern Siberia. The developed tools allow conduct the following:
Fourth, that is on the level of certain functional decisions. Some versions of tools for the quantitative assessment have been developed, and they refer to:
It is worthwhile to treat the work on using the cognitive approach to modeling social-economic systems as exploratory (search) direction within the framework of developing tools for the quantitative assessment the dynamics of the resource regimes. The following has been realized:
It is not possible to get theoretical conclusions and to test the tools outside of work with real practice. Therefore, applied works are important part of the Siberian School of the Resources Economy. There were projects fulfilled both for the companies-subsurface users and on the request of the bodies of power of the regions with raw materials and bodies of power on the federal level. There were fulfilled and are under fulfillment the expert and consulting works for such companies of the mineral resources sector as “Rosneft”, “TNK-BP”, “Novatek”, for the bodies of power of the raw materials regions, including Tiumen region, Khanty-Mansijsk and Jamalo-Nenetsk autonomous areas, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk regions. Among the biggest fulfilled projects are the following ones:
The important part of the activities refers to expert and analytical work for the bodies of state power. Many reports have been prepared for the authorities of different levels: the Council of Federation of the State Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation, regional bodies of the executive power (first of all, for the Siberia) and also municipal bodies.
One of the most important parts of the school activity lies in development of cooperation with the colleagues who study the problems of the resource economy, first of all in regards to the Asian part of Russia. There is fruitful cooperation with the High School of Economics (Moscow), the Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and Cryology of the Siberian Branch of the RAS (city of Chita), Tomsk State University, Tomsk Politechnical University, the Siberian Federal University, the Tyumen State University, the North-Eastern Federal University (city of Yakutsk), the Buryat Scientific Center.
Modern science is inconceivable without contacts, not only in country, but also in the world. Among our partners, both in the framework of separate fulfilled projects and within multi-year cooperation, there are The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (Oslo, Norway), The East-West Center (Honolulu, the USA), the research company “Association of Cambridge Researchers” (HIS, Boston, Massachusetts, the USA), The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (Oxford, Great Britain), the Western University in Ontario (Canada), Dandy University (Dandy, Great Britain), the Florence University (Florence, Italy), etc.
There were published more than 30 monographs, the results of the research are regularly published in the foreign scientific journals and books. The main results of the research are published in the world level publishing houses: Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Elsevier, Ashgate, Routledge, University Press of America, Springer.
The reports of our School have been presented at the conferences of the leading scientific communities and research centers of Russia, the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Norway, the UK, Italy.
Above from studying the problems of the resource economy, as well as considering and solving the applied issues of mastering raw mineral resources, including assessment of their social-economic value, the Siberian School of the Resource Economy (SSRE) is actively working in the field of educating personnel of the highest qualification.