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    LARGE BUSINESSES SHOULD HELP EVALUATE IMPORTANT INNOVATION PROJECTS

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    MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti correspondent Grigory Tebenikhin) - Large businesses and the scientific community should be included in expert evaluations of important innovation projects, Andrei Fursenko, the acting minister of industry, science and technology, said at a conference on regional scientific, technological and innovation policy.

    He said that in 2003, "the first experiment" was conducted when representatives of large businesses were included in the Expert Council on Innovation Policy. The experience was positive, said Mr. Fursenko, because it helped to prevent "a conflict of interests."

    The presence of the people, "who know how to make money and who have the experience in "transforming knowledge into commercialization of the product which can be turned into a commodity" will make the selection of innovation projects reliable, the acting minister said.

    He added that the Russian monopolies, like Gazprom, the Unified Energy Systems of Russia and the Russian Railways, annually invest nearly 15 billion rubles (more than $500 million) in research, experimental and design projects.

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