One of the most important directions of Lake Baikal Foundation is support of science and popularization of scientific knowledge. The scientists working with applied research in the Baikal region faced serious problems: underfunding and lack of interest from public and government. In this regard the Foundation initiated a program for young scientists «Baikal Initiative».
Under the terms of the contest, the Lake Baikal Foundation will allocate 1 million rubles to finance talented solutions both in lake environmental protection and in the expansion of the range of applied scientific research possible at Lake Baikal due to its unique endemic environment. The participants of the contest «Baikal Initiative» had to prove that the project was really relevant and necessary, presenting their projects to «popular expertise»: the financial assistance will be provided to those projects that will independently collect 20% of the project budget by crowdfunding, attract sponsors and other channels of public support. 80% of the budget of successful projects will be covered by the «Lake Baikal» Foundation grants.
- detection and supporting technological and applied scientific research aimed at protecting the Baikal’s environment;
- popularization of scientific knowledge about the Baikal.
- to develop the contest documents;
- to draw researchers’ attention to the contest, to post information about it at web-portals, in social media and on scientific organizations’ web-sites;
- to interact with scientific-technological council of the Foundation, to analyze and to select the most relevant and useful projects;
- to provide grants for the winners;
- to help with projects’ implementation.
What has been done:
- 10 scientific projects took part in competition. Among them were:
- «Discovering of migration routes and wintering areas of Yellow-breasted Bunting (Ocyris aureolus) nesting in Selenga River delta». Project manager – Y.A. Anisimov;
- «Seismic station on the Svyatoy Nos peninsula». Project manager – A. Duchkov;
- «Physiological state of fish in The Lake Baikal». Project manager – I.I. Gordeev;
- «Developing a biotechnological method of lowering synthetic suerace-active substances concentration in the lake Baikal by creating consortium of microorganisms highly active in synthetic surface-active substances destructing». Project manager – E.V. Zharnikova;
- «The monitoring method of night horizontal migrations of pelagic amphipod Macrohectopus branickii (Dyb.)». Project manager – D.Y. Karnaukhov;
- «Along the Doppelmayer’s trail: protecting the nature of Barguzinsky nature reserve for over a 100 years». Project manager – N.M. Luzhkova;
- «Monitoring for water birds in the southern part of Lake Baikal in the situation of long-lasting low-water period». Project Manager – A.I. Povarintsev;
- «Development of a low-inertia equilibrator for expanding the capabilities of gas analyzing equipment». Project Manager – A.M. Shamrin;
- «Monitoring of abiotic parameters of water in South-West coast of Lake Baikal using modern data-loggers». Project Manager – D.S. Bedulina;
- «The assessment of the symbiotic relationship of antibiotic producing actinobacteria with endemic amphipods of Lake Baikal». Project manager – D.V. Aksenov-Gribanov.
On october 25, 2017 the winners of the competition were announced. They are the following projects:
- «The assessment of the symbiotic relationship of antibiotic producing actinobacteria with endemic amphipods of Lake Baikal», which involves screening of natural compounds and evaluation of the role of biologically active substances that produce actinobacteria endemic for Baikal. This research is in line with the search for new substances for the synthesis of naturally occurring antibiotics. Project manager is D.V. Aksenov-Gribanov;
- «Along the Doppelmayer’s trail: protecting the nature of Barguzinsky nature reserve for over a 100 years». Scientists want to monitor the route of the expedition of one of the reserve management and studies pioneer George Doppelmayer – along the valley of the Tarkulik River, from the coast of Lake Baikal to the watershed of the Barguzinsky Range. Based on the results of the monitoring, it is planned to create an interactive web-map « Doppelmayer Expedition – 100 years after» for the popularization of the reserve management and nature protection activities. Project manager is N.M. Luzhkova;
- «Monitoring of water birds in the southern part of Lake Baikal in the situation of long-lasting low-water period». Scientists intend to compare the current state of some species of birds of southern Baikal with the state of their populations in the low water period of the early 1980s and the high water periods of the 1980s and 1990s and trace how the periods of water rise and fall on the lake affect the bird colonies. Project Manager is A.I. Povarintsev.
Under the terms of the competition, the winners had to provide 20% of the budget by themselves to receive the grant. Each of the leaders choose their own way of collecting funds, as a result it allowed to involve different groups and the popularize the project for a number of audiences.
In February, 2018 Lake Baikal Foundation signed the agreement with the winners and at the moment they have started the implementation of their projects.